Written by Ian Croll - Taken from the Liverpool Echo article published on 23rd December 2020
Like all musicians and performers across the country, Rachel Hilton and co have seen their time on stage restricted due to government coronavirus regulations.
She has witnessed first-hand the detrimental effect the pandemic has had on the arts and entertainment industry.
As for many people, this year has been tough. Usually during this time of year her schedule is jam packed with concerts and gigs at local venues. Of course this December has been somewhat different.
That didn’t stop her from exploring alternative avenues in the face of adversity, as she took it upon herself to bring music back to local people in the community.
Rachel, 37 is a trained performer and recently moved back to Liverpool having spent a number of years down in London.
Since her return she’s stayed busy. She has integrated herself in the community setting up a number of music and movement programmes which are also linked to singing mama choir sessions and baby massage courses.
In these troubled times, festive cheer has been in short supply with lockdown restrictions having prevented her from taking her specialist programmes and courses into care homes, nurseries and other community centres.
With that connection and line of interaction broken, Rachel decided to create a platform where she could bring Christmas and music to the doorsteps of people who needed it most.
It all started after a conversation with her sister who offered some advice. Rachel said: “I spoke to my sister about it and she suggested why not just go old school, just literally go to people’s doorsteps and sing to them and bring the music to them, so they can stay on their porch or wherever is safe for them.”
It didn’t take long for Rachel to put a plan in place as she called on the help of schoolfriend Kathy Halter and long-term friend Gaz Elliott.
Kathy and Gaz are both semi-professional musicians who are well known on the Liverpool music scene.
Rachel said: “I’m studying a course called singing for health and we just know through science how beneficial singing is for people.
“When we sing, endorphins are released and it lowers our stress hormones. There’s definitely a lot going on inside our bodies when we sing and even more so when we sing together as a group. It helps people feel like they belong to each other.
“So I got my two friends together, Gaz and Kathy, we’ve been working on some harmonies and arrangements and what we did was set up a GoFundMe page and we also put a shout out across Liverpool to ask people to nominate a loved one or organisation they think deserve (a performance).”
The trio have connected with places all over Liverpool including rehab facilities, Christmas
food banks, care homes, Claire House Children’s Hospice and lots of individual nominations.
“People are just so excited because
life at the moment seems mundane, life seems like nothing is really happening, so to have real life people bring live music to their doorstep is actually quite big.
“It probably wouldn’t have seemed like that last year, but what a difference a year makes. I feel really proud."
The Travelling Trio of Carol Singers consisting of Rachel, Gaz and Kathy have already carried out a number of performances across the city with a number of others planned in the runup to Christmas Day.