Sandra Godley is celebrating after a successful launch of her choir project, which aims to give people who have faced mental anxiety or physical disabilities a chance to perform ahead of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle on May 19 – a ‘Gosp-Ability’ choir. She has been inspired by the work Prince Harry has accomplished in recent years, in particular, the world-wide attention that both he and other Royal Family members have achieved, highlighting the courageous, brave and heart-warming actions of athletes and members of our diverse community.
The project was launched live on air, 5th December at BBC Coventry and Warwickshire and interviews were conducted with the Dean of Coventry Cathedral and members of the public who wanted to get involved.
Sandra stated, “Today was incredibly enjoyable but also very challenging. I had no idea how much this is going to mean to so many people. One stand-out moment for me was listening to people just having a go at singing in the Cathedral Nave, all of them with their own story to tell of how they’ve overcome some of life’s harshest challenges.
Another moment will stick with me; when a young disabled man was given the opportunity to sing on stage. He could only walk with great difficulty; his loving mum had to help him all the way to the microphone. He looked up, composed himself and summoned up the courage to start singing. He pierced the atmosphere with a song that left us all speechless. It was just electric – magnificent – for a lot of people, it brought a tear to their eyes. It was like an X-Factor moment!”
The campaign is supported by Coventry, City of Culture 2021 and is a partnership with experienced charities that provide frontline mental health support to people who may need it, whilst raising awareness and tackling stigma.
Chaplain to the Queen, Rose Hudson-Wilkin said “How exciting! It would be such a memorable experience for the couple and the world looking on. It would be bringing together people and places as part of their special moment of joy (i.e. people with challenges who do not give up).”
Online submissions to audition are open until midnight, March 2nd 2018. Final auditions for the choir are to take place in the end of March at Coventry Cathedral and Sandra is hoping to enlist between 15 and 20 singers from across the UK. Applicants must be aged 18+.
Once the choir members are chosen, the choir is scheduled to perform on the BBC1 TV show “The One Show”, ahead of the wedding. The Mayor of Windsor, Cllr John Lenton will host and welcome the choir on the day of their performance.
“Singing breaks the outer shell that keeps us fearful of each other. My quest to find my Gosp-Ability choir has begun.” said Sandra.