A song for Hen Harrier Day

The invitation

We have a lovely new song for Hen Harrier Day in 2020. It is called "Skydancer, Ghost Of The Moors" and is written and composed by the wonderful Cheryl Camm. Cheryl has written a number of songs about British birds so we were thrilled when she agreed to write one specially for Hen Harrier Day 2020.

We'd love it if you would like to sing the song and send us a version to contribute to Hen Harrier Day. It's suitable for choirs or smaller groups, and everything you need to get going is on this page.

Cheryl lives in Northumberland and has worked as a composer around the north of England as well as in Australia and New Zealand, composing music mainly for choirs, schools and other ensembles. Writing for a range of abilities, her music is characterful and ear-tingling. You can read more about her here.

Image

About the song

The song Cheryl has written for us celebrates the many local and historic names of this wonderful bird, and includes a section naming some of the many young hen harriers that have gone 'missing' in recent years. As it was written during lockdown it also reflects on how solace may be found in nature, and expresses hopes for the future.

The piece is in up to five parts and is particularly suited to choirs and small groups, but individuals or instrumentalists could perform it too. A first recording (made under lockdown conditions by The Bridge Singers, which is a community choir based in the villages of Felton and West Thirston in Northumberland) will form part of Hen Harrier Day 2020 and we'd very much like to have further contributions in whatever form you would like to offer.

Image

The brief

We are inviting contributions from choirs, groups or individuals which:

  • include the full song, unamended except for the purposes of the performance style chosen.
  • may otherwise be in any musical form.
  • are submitted as video files. The imagery can be as simple as you like but unfortunately we can't accept plain sound files because we're working in a visual medium and we don't have the resources to add video to entries ourselves.

Dates

You must submit your contribution by midnight on 24 July 2020. We cannot accept entries after that date.

We will aim to inform entrants whose contributions we would like to include in the event by 31 July and others as soon as possible afterwards.

Image

Why we hope you'll accept our invitation

It's a great song and we're sure you'll love singing it.

This is not a competition and there are no prizes but we will:

  • aim to include several of the best entries 'live' during Hen Harrier Day Online.
  • put most or all entries, at our discretion and if you agree, on the Hen Harrier Day website, giving them a permanent home there.

All the entries we use will be appropriately credited, whether during the event or on the website.

Image

How to put your contribution together

The key resource is a learning video which Cheryl has prepared. This explains the construction of the song, the parts to be sung and approaches that might be taken. You can also listen to the song, as performed by the Bridge Singers. These aids, together with a written version of Cheryl's guide, are all to be found here.

There are three versions of the score to choose from: a single line version with optional accompaniment, a simplified version and the full score. To select your preference, click on the appropriate button below. You'll find a PDF file which you can download and save.

How to let us have your recording

We want to give you full credit for your entry and the best way to do that is to include all relevant material in the video. In particular, please include the name of the choir or other performers; you can also say more about when and where (and how) it was recorded.

To submit your song, please complete the form here. Video files are of course quite large so the form enable you to post a link or Dropbox details and to mesage us about getting your recording to us.

By offering a contribution you agree that we may use it for the purposes set out above, but not otherwise. You retain copyright.