News about last year’s fantastic song/video release - ‘Sunshine’ 

Last year’s song ‘Sunshine’ ended up with nearly 7000 voices on the recording from 64 different countries. We were totally amazed at the quality of the music. Not only was the singing so good but we had schools staging all kinds of incredible routines for the video production. The song has had radio plays all around the world and become our ‘hottest’ song in terms of downloads. All funds raised have gone straight to help the children in our Njombe Project in Tanzania.

Sunshine and wacky videos! 

Thank you for some amazing recordings! Wacky Video/Photo Time! 

Thanks to all of those of you who have sent in some great vocal recordings, pics and videos. The quality of singing is incredibly high this year!! 

The 'Sunshine' theme definitely seems to have evoked lots of fun and good times judging by the photos and video clips sent in. We have seen some hilarious poses, really creative dance moves and lively singing actions. There is a distinctly 'wacky' sense to some of the clips and pics and lots of laughter going on. We think this is great! If it's not too late to say, and if you haven't yet taken your pictures and videos...please please please make them as much fun as possible. LET'S MAKE A VIDEO TOGETHER THIS YEAR that will brighten up the lives of everyone that watches it. 

We like to think that enjoyment is what the VATW project is all about! Look forward to receiving all of the great work from your students! 

Laurie and the VATW team 

Impact of your support to help children in Tanzania - listen to the Njombe children singing! 

Money raised from your VATW downloads and events last year are now being injected into creating outdoor sports areas for the children at St Mary's School in Njombe. It will also be used to help buy sports equipment. This is a very exciting for the school and we are looking to build substantially on this over 2017. Many VATW schools are running 'Live Aid For Tanzania' music concerts this year to help further with the fund-raising. If you would like to join in the fun please let us know and we will arrange for you to have access to lots of free music/choir resources to
help you!

Here are the children of St Mary's School in Njombe, working with Rachel, Tom and Lauren - three teachers from Bengeworth Academy in Evesham, UK who went over last October to support the teaching staff at the school. The children were very excited to learn last year's VATW song 'Lighting Up The Flame'


 

Getting in on the act! The staff have got talent too! Staff choir here we go!! 

Can the staff sing too?
Well this was not a direction we thought we would go in. But never say never.......
We have had requests from schools that would like to submit recordings from staff members for this year's project. We thought about this long and hard (about two minutes actually) and thought YES WHY NOT!

SO now we are officially inviting you to send in staff vocal recordings and video clips/photos. If we get enough submissions we will release a separate song/video adult version of 'Sunshine' in early July alongside the students' version. 

Danger! Danger! Rehearsals in progress - interesting report from a VATW school in the The Middle East 

Sunshine rehearsals in progress
It’s amazing to think that thousands of students around the world are currently busy learning this year’s Voices Around The World song ‘Sunshine!’ We know from the feedback received that students of all ages are thoroughly enjoying the song and it looks set to be another Voices Around The World ‘smash hit’ when we release the Sunshine song/video at the beginning of July. The song has clearly had wide appeal, with very young children finding the tune easy to master and older students taking on the challenge of mastering some of the intricacies of the harmony lines. We thought you might like to read about an example of one school in action with this year’s song project.

The 'Sunshine' effect in Bahrain
Here is a report from Kristina Bourner who is a secondary school music teacher at a school in Bahrain in the Middle East: 

Our students at St Christopher’s School have been busy learning the song “Sunshine” for the Voices Around The World 2017 project. Pupils across the Infant, Junior and Senior Schools are enjoying rehearsing the song for their upcoming concerts as well as getting very excited about the prospects of recording the song in April! 

The song has a very catchy tune and It has been amazing to see how rapidly our secondary school students learned it. After just a short time into rehearsals the students had picked up the song’s lyrics and melodies. A few of them also joined in with the backing track on their own instruments whilst singing, with one or two on guitar, and a few others on cajòn box drums and percussion. They are really enjoying learning the song and have been particularly interested in finding out more about the band members behind the writing as featured on the voicesaround.com website. 

The Head of Music at the Junior School, is also delighted with the progress that the Junior School singers have made with the song so far. The song has been such a success in choir rehearsals that the Music teachers at the Infant and Junior Schools have been including the piece in curriculum lessons involving 800 students! The HOM mentioned that ‘The pupils are really loving the song. Many of them asked me to share it with them, so I’ve shared it with the whole school on Google Drive. One of the Year 5 classes created their own accompaniment using classroom percussion and accompanied the whole Junior School singing it in an assembly. The Year 4 Lahan choir members are excited and looking forward to the upcoming recording session.” 

Google Drive and Google Classroom have proved to be particularly useful resources to share the various backing tracks, lyrics and sheet music with the school community. Senior students mentioned that they have been enjoying listening to the song on their way into school whilst on the bus. Students also commented that the song is catchy and easy to learn, and said that it had often been stuck in their heads after rehearsals. 

Thank you to the Voices Around The World team for the production of this year’s song!

Join in the fund-raising and produce your own 'Live Aid' Concert 

  
 Fundraising To help our charity work in Tanzania 
So far, over the last two years, VATW has contributed to the work of helping the development of St Mary’s School in Tanzania. Here are some of things that have happened: 

  • Steering group (including VATW) formed to support the school’s development 
  • Two new classrooms built 
  • Avocado trees extensively planted – to help agriculture and sustainability in the project by linking up with the people in Njombe 


Three Teachers 
From Bengeworth School, UK 
Visiting Njombe to work with staff 
 

  • Three UK teachers went over to the school in October 2016 and spent two weeks providing training for the teachers there, helping with current development planning. While there, they recorded last year’s song ‘Lighting Up The Flame’ with the children. VATW provided 20 MP3/4 players for the school to help the process of learning this and other songs. 
  • £3,000 raised by VATW downloads and activities since last September – now being directed at building sports areas outside the school and providing sports equipment (very little in existence currently) 
Njombe Children learning to sing Lighting Up The Flame, which they went on to record for us! 






Join us with boosting the fund-raising for St Mary’s School in Njombe. Help these children – many of whom have been orphaned by the HIV virus which is rife in this part of Africa. 
Many amazing VATW schools have agreed to run a fund-raising ‘Live Aid For Tanzania’ music concert during 2017, join this exclusive club of fantastic schools and run your own fund-raising concert. 
We hope that you will feel like joining in this very worthwhile cause. How amazing is it for our students to sing their hearts out at the same time as raising funds to help these very needy young people in Njombe. If you wish to join in with us on this please drop a line to info@voicesaround.com and in return we will provide you with lots of extra free choir and display resources. Let’s all make 2017 an AMAZING YEAR for the Njombe children!

VATW Goes Percussion and Dance Crazy in 2017 

Percussion Crazy!
This year's project Sunshine - as you already know has a fairly high powered rhythm and backing. You will also have notice - because you are such astute musical-minded people, that there is an instrumental break section during the song - this is no accident! This year we wanted to lay down a challenge to all of those participating in the project to come up with your own percussion work for this section! If you get something you are pleased with - please send us a recording along with the vocal and video recordings. IF IT IS SUITABLE....we will look at including some of your percussion recordings onto the final mix - wow ...this could be amazing! And maybe maybe maybe ...if there is enough material we could look at producing a separate percussion and backing track  recording ...we can't wait to see what you get up to!

 

Dance Crazy!
Sunshine is one of those songs where it is very difficult to keep still when the music is playing - In fact we strongly recommend that you don't! Short story: A couple of years back VATW was over in Africa busy recording some African folk songs at a school. We suddenly noticed that the singing had 'gone off' and was becoming rather tuneless and out of rhythmn ...African youngsters often have naturally great singing and dancing ability. After a while we discovered that an inexperienced teacher working with them had told all of them to 'STAND STILL WHILE YOU SING!' We quickly got them dancing and moving around again and the tuneful singing AND the smiles returned almost immediately! So the lesson - YES let them move!!


Over the years, we have had some great video dance clips sent to us for the project and last year, even though it was not requested we still got schools sending in some great dance work videos. WELL this year we ARE requesting some dance videos! Let's see what happens when they start busting some moves in Botswana, showing us their shimmies in Shanghai, showing the Harlem Shuffle in New York or rocking the World up in Reykjavik ....OK I'll stop... I think you've got the idea! Please rise to the challenge and send us your dancing solos, group dances etc. Whatever happens....make sure there is plenty of smiling. A sunshine song without smiling is unlikely to be a good thing!  Let the challenge commence!

 

Don't Get Left Behind - Make your students famous! Join the 2017 Sunshine Project  

The VATW project for 2017 has got off to an amazingly fast start. Many schools have already regiistered and signed onto our email list to make sure they receive all breaking news, advice and tips about working with us this year!

Important change for 2017.
This year we have decided to make joining our email list and registering to be part of the project MUST DO areas for you all! Oh dear....that sounds a bit fierce doesn't it! We have decided to only accept song and video submissions this year from schools that have registered and are on our mailing list. The reason for being a bit strict with this is that in 2016, we received a lot of unexpected submissions of video and vocal recordings (some at the last minute) which created a lot of problems in the studio with much more work than we had planned for.....So really this is a shout for HELP to you all ....please , please please make sure you register and join the mailing list and you will be our best friends forever! 
THANK YOU to all of our VATW best friends!

? Thanks to Steven Sugden for climbing Kilimanjaro! 

Voices Around The World has many supporters, but none more so than Steven Sugden, who, back in September 2015 climbed Kilimanjaro to help raise funds for the children of Njombe. What an amazing effort raising £1800.  This money will be dedicated to developing the sports facilities at St Mary's School Njombe. Currently the facilities are pretty much non-existent so this will be an enormous boost for the students and staff.

Steven is leading the way with this extra fund-raising and we are hoping to see lots of schools and youth organisations following suit this year with running their own 'Live Aid For Tanzania' music concerts to help raise more funds for both the Njombe Project and other education projects in Tanzania that we are supporting

Thanks Steven on behalf of all the children and staff at Njombe 

New Song/Video Project for 2017 - Sunshine 



We are getting 2017 off to a rip-roaring start with our new song/project release to schools. The song is entitled 'Sunshine' and has been written and produced by a team of up-and-coming young musicians from Bath Spa University, UK. As we have done over the last five years, we invite you and your students to be part of making an amazing international song/video recording release this coming June. Sunshine is an uplifting, powerful, energetic and positive song celebrating life, written and produced by young people at the cutting edge of new musical developments.

The Sunshine writing and production team from right to left - Max Lewin (writing/arranging) Jess Holland (Amazing Vocals/Vocal arrangements), Phil Yates (Production/studio engineering), Alejandro Invernizzi (Writing)







Join us for this year's exciting musical journey.  To be part of the project, all you need to do is register, join the mailing list, download the free choir resources - MP3 tracks, music score etc and teach the choir parts. When you are fully rehearsed, record the choir parts and send these to us along with some video clips of the rehearsals and/or performances to mix onto the final release version of the song. 

We believe this year's song has every chance of being a world-wide commercial success and thereby help us raise funds to fully develop the education for the children in Tanzania. In addition to the recording, some schools have already offered to perform their own 'Live Aid For Tanzania' concerts or carry out other types of fund-raising events for us. If your school is interested in teaming up with us in this way, please tell us when you register to join this year's project. All of you who offer to help us in this way will receive free access to all previous VATW song resources from the last five years and other amazing resources to help with your Tanzanian fund-raising efforts. 

Click here to go to our new Sunshine Project choir resources page - to find out all the full information and access the free downloads for your choir work.