This year has been challenging on so many counts, particularly for singers and performers.  All over the country amateur singers have been struggling to get together to rehearse and perform.  This year the Arts1 choir based in Milton Keynes were so excited to have the chance to perform as part of an outdoor streamed concert, taking to the virtual stage with Lily Allen’s Somewhere only we know.  Like so many choirs in the UK rehearsals had been taking place on zoom, the stage was set but at the last minute the performance had to be cancelled by the organisers. 

Determined to perform the choir re-located to the car park outside the performing arts school. Where they rehearsed, whipped out every set of fairy lights we could lay their hands on and used cars for additional lighting.  The choir is made up of a wide range of singers with real jobs, we have teachers, vets, recruiters, classroom assistants, charity workers, project managers, engineers and everything in between.


“It says a lot that a giggle and a song in a car park has been a major highlight of the year! I feel so lucky to have my choir family to keep me going through all the uncertainty 2020 has brought us into”
Steph Kimble
Day job – Primary School Teacher

“This year has seen separation from family. The Arts1 choir is another family to me and so to have the opportunity to sing with my choir family really gave my well-being such a lift.”
Laura Price
Day job – Operations director Age UK Milton Keynes (key worker)

“After such a difficult year it meant more that I can easily express to be back together, doing what we love with our choir family at Christmas”
Kate Daw
Day job – Part-time worker and Mum

“Like many others 2020 has faced me with some very unique moments. Being with such great people in my first performance in this choir however has been the cherry on top of the Christmas cake”
Nicki Davies
Day Job – Merchandiser Sainsburys/Argos

“Singing together is what brings us together. Singing has been my mental health lifesaver this year and this is much more than a choir.”
Ruth Williams
Day job – Freelance project manager

“I hunger for the day we can be together again in a room, in the warm! Totally worth it to spend time with good friends. Merry Christmas all.“
Paul Hayward
Day job – Recruitment Manager

“I cannot describe how wonderful it felt to be singing together again! Christmas isn’t Christmas without a good old sing and I would gladly sing in a car park every week if it meant we could all be together again – socially distanced of course!”

Kat Hackett
Day job – Primary School Teacher

“We find so much joy in performing as a choir that even standing in a car park with icy fingers and toes couldn’t stop us spreading some Christmas magic and sparkle through our shared love of singing!”
Cheryl James
Day job – Teaching assistant

“You enter a musical world of friendship and laughter for a brief period during this crazy time, that can’t be a bad thing. “
Ruth Panther
Day Job – Community Worker

“This was the first time I’d been together with my choir family since March. How I missed them. Despite the cold this was definitely one of the most enjoyable evenings of the year, with fabulous friends doing what we love.”
Heather Smith
Day job – Waitress- TGI Fridays

It was magical how the Arts 1 carpark transformed into a christmassy choir stage
Mike Wade
Day job – Civil Engineer

wouldn’t say doing online choir and singing together in a cold car park is the only good thing to happen in 2020, but it has certainly helped. Well done to Arts1 for finding a way
Katy Webster
Day Job – IT Consultant

“Singing together is more than just making music, it is communicating in one voice, it brings together communities and gives us a shared language.  Leading this committed team of singers that refused to give up is an absolute joy”
James Grimsey
Day job – Creative Director Arts1