Choir of blind veterans release first EP and music video

24 Jun 2019 11:00

A choir made up of blind veterans from Essex has released their first music to mark the beginning of Armed Forces Week.

The Choir, called Vision in Song formed in 2018. A community support worker for Blind Veterans UK helped set up the choir as she spoke to a number of blind veterans in the Essex area who mentioned that they either missed singing or would love to give it a go. 

The ten vision-impaired ex-Service men who make up the choir represent all three branches of the British Armed forces: Army, Navy and RAF and they range in age from 76 to 96. They perform an assortment of numbers from war-time classics to patriotic anthems and jazz hits.

Their first EP, “Sing As We Go”, is made up of three war-time classics: Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag, It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and the title track Sing As We Go.

Since formation the group have met for regular rehearsals and also have performed their first concerts.

Jennie Hammond, the Community Support Worker who helped form the choir, says: “The rehearsals have really brought the group together and provided companionship which is so crucial in combating the isolation that is so often felt in older people, particularly if they have a disability like sight loss.

“It all started with visiting one of our veterans called Danny. I visited him at home and was really moved by his story. His great love was singing but when he lost his sight he was unable to be accommodated by his old choir. I made it my mission to make sure Danny could sing as part of a choir group again.”

“Jennie asked me what I missed most since my sight loss and without hesitation I told her it was being part of a singing group. Words cannot express how much joy Vision In Song has given me and I’m so thankful to Jennie and Blind Veterans UK for making it happen.”
Blind veteran Danny

Another veteran who sings in the choir is Former Royal Artillery Wireless operator Ted, 82 and from Basildon, he says: “Vision In Song has given all of us a chance to sing again when we thought we never would. There is a real sense of camaraderie in the group and we all really look forward to rehearsals.”

The release of the EP is also accompanied by the group’s first music video although we're pretty sure it won't be their last!

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