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Community choir shines in TV spotlight for KCOM

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The singing group has been bowled over by the response 

A Hull community singing group has been bowled over by the response after hitting the high notes in KCOM’s first ever TV advert.

The Hull Community Voices group provides the soundtrack for the advert, singing the classic Housemartins’ hit Caravan of Love, which is now being broadcast across the Yorkshire region on ITV.

The minute-long advert features scenes from around Hull and East Yorkshire as it pays tribute to the key workers who have kept the region going during the coronavirus pandemic.

Choir co-leader Debra Darmody said waiting for the advert to hit TV screens had been “scary” – but that she’s been delighted with the phenomenal response.

She said: “It was quite nerve-racking waiting for it to appear on that first Friday, but when it did it was brilliant. The response was just overwhelming and really positive. There were some lovely comments on social media.

“Everybody who was involved was texting and emailing each other – and, of course, everybody had told their friends and family so they were all getting in touch to say well done too.

“One of the nicest things was people were saying how lovely it made Hull look. It’s great to hear some real Hull accents on the TV and it definitely shows our region in a positive light.”

Debra added being in the TV advert had given the group a massive boost during the difficult lockdown months. The 17 core choir members who recorded the song remotely from their homes over a Zoom conference call can be seen singing towards the end of the advert.

She said: “To be honest it was quite difficult to know what the end results was going to be – because we were all basically recording ourselves singing alone at home so we didn’t know what it was going to sound like when all the different voices were brought together.

“But when we saw the final results we were really chuffed. It’s a brilliant song and we thought it worked really nicely.

“I think one of the things we’re most proud of, which happened quite early on when we’d just started lockdown and some people were struggling with it all, was how it gave us a focus.

“To begin with some of us were maybe worried about doing something new like this, singing and recording over Zoom, but as a group we’ve thrown ourselves into it and conquered our fears. It’s given us a real sense of achievement.”

Debra is now hoping the TV exposure will generate new interest in the 40-strong choir and attract more members to its weekly singing sessions once the lockdown ends.

The group will be holding singing workshops across the region once life returns to normal and Debra is keen to hear from anyone inspired to start singing.

For more information about Hull Community Voices and how to get involved in its activities visit http://hullcommunityvoices.org.uk/

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