Kaiser Chiefs headlined the annual fundraising Christmas Carol Service for music therapy charity, Nordoff and Robbins, at St Luke’s Church in Chelsea on Tuesday 12 December. The indie rock band were joined by Ayanna Witter-Johnson and Beverley Knight among other performers and celebrity readers on the line-up for the incredible event, which raised a staggering £100,000 and counting for the music therapy charity.
Kaiser Chiefs performed a stripped back set of their biggest hits and rocked the pews with Ruby, I Predict A Riot, Coming Home and Love’s Not a Competition (But I’m Winning). Front man Ricky Wilson danced down the aisles, wowing the audience.
Ayanna Witter-Johnson, singer, songwriter, pianist, cellist and winner of the Classical Award at this year’s Nordoff and Robbins O2 Silver Clef Awards performed Roxanne on her cello and Wonderful Christmastime on the piano.
Event host and Queen of British Soul, Beverley Knight, wowed audiences with Holy Night and O Come All You Faithful, alongside co-host Joe Stilgoe who accompanied her on the piano. The crowd was enthralled by performances of Silent Night by the Nordoff and Robbins Community Choir, and Carol of the Bells by Latymer Prep School Choir.
The musical performances were interspersed with festive readings from Ronni Ancona, with voice coaches Carrie and David Grant leading the audience in a singsong and also talking about their own experiences of Nordoff and Robbins music therapy.
The money raised from the Nordoff and Robbins Christmas Carol Service will help the charity to continue its vital work in breaking down barriers through the power of music for some of the UK’s most vulnerable people. It will enable its trained music therapists to continue their valuable work with children and adults with extreme life challenges, including injuries, disabilities and terminal illness. In 2022, Nordoff and Robbins music therapists held 46,453 therapy sessions reaching 11,807 individuals throughout the year. The charity also worked with 359 partner organisations such as schools, care homes and hospices to provide much needed music therapy.?
Ricky Wilson from Kaiser Chiefs, who will release their eighth studio album in March 2024, alongside a UK tour, said, “I love the idea of being able to unlock people’s worlds with the work that Nordoff and Robbins does.”
David Grant said: “Music is healing, music is a moral right, music is still the most powerful form of magic. As Maya Angelou says ‘Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back on loneliness’. The Nordoff and Robbins choir provides the space between the notes for anyone, regardless of ability, regardless of experience so they can experience the joy of singing together with other people.”
Beverley Knight said: “Nordoff and Robbins work is about accessing people’s hearts and their minds. That’s how special music is.”