Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity, has announced its annual Christmas concert which will be both in person and online this year. The live concert will feature Sir Rod Stewart, and the online stream will see an appearance from Nile Rodgers.
The Nordoff Robbins Carol Service will be taking place on December 14 at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea. Alongside Stewart, Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May and saxophonist and presenter Jess Gillam will also be performing. The evening will feature a host of celebrities giving festive readings.
For those unable to attend in person, Nordoff Robbins is also offering a virtual event, The Stars Come Out to Sing at Christmas 2021, hosted by Rodgers. Streamed on December 19, the virtual concert will include carols and readings from artists from across the globe.
With Hipgnosis as its funding partner for the second year, the Nordoff Robbins Christmas events will be raising funds to enable the charity to support the lives of people in the UK affected by life-limiting physical and mental illness, disabilities, or feelings of isolation.
Throughout 2020, the charity’s trained music therapists helped the lives of 5,782 individuals, and aims to increase this number in 2022.
“Christmas is a special time and I’m thrilled to be sharing the seasonal joy in person at this year’s Nordoff Robbins Carol Service,” said Sir Rod Stewart. “Everyone can thrive through the power of music and that’s why Nordoff Robbins’ work is so important to me. Every music therapy session at Nordoff Robbins is unique because every person is unique. The charity’s trained music therapists understand that music evokes different reactions and responses in people who may not otherwise be able to connect with the world – and for many, can simply be life changing. I’m looking forward to treating fans to a festive night like no other – and asking you to give what you can to ensure this important work continues.”
Nile Rodgers also said: “Nordoff Robbins believes in the value of music for all people in our society – which is why it’s so close to my heart. I understand the power of music and have witnessed how music therapy can connect people who may otherwise feel isolated or disconnected from the world. It’s the universal values that we can all express through music that brings us together in a unique way. I’m honoured to be hosting this special online concert for the second year running, bringing together some of my friends from the music world, including one of my favourites – Sir Rod Stewart - who feel just as passionately as I do about the important work of Nordoff Robbins.
“Get together with family and friends and settle down for a musical treat on Sunday December 19 at 7pm from the comfort of your own sofa for Christmas carols with a difference as The Stars Come Out to Sing at Christmas 2021. The concert will help to raise vital funds for a whole range of people who need it most, including children with autism who rely on music therapy for a sense of connection and those affected by life-limiting illnesses or disability.”
Sandra Schembri, CEO of Nordoff Robbins, commented: “According to our recent UK survey, 90% of those questioned agree that music has the power to make a positive impact on people’s lives and is a great way to bring people together. That’s what we see first-hand day in, day out: the incredible impact that music has for the people that we work with – it is quite simply life changing.
"We believe that all people in our society – including those who may feel isolated through physical or mental illness – have unlimited potential to be empowered through music. What a wonderful event this year’s carol service is going to be – whether guests are experiencing it in person or online. We are beyond thankful to everyone who is making this event happen – to our funding partner, Merck Mercuriadis and his Hipgnosis Songs Fund, as well as to all the artists involved who are helping us to celebrate Christmas with a unique opportunity to join such a wonderful line up of stars.”
“With the support of everybody attending our carol service and joining in by donating online we’ll be able to make a real difference to the people we work with. This year’s event is a true celebration of the power of music for all members of society.”