A song for Hen Harrier Day 2020
We had a brilliant new song for Hen Harrier Day in 2020, 'Skydancer, Ghost Of The Moors', 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 us.
Cheryl lives in Northumberland and composes music mainly for choirs, schools and other ensembles. Written for a range of abilities, her music is characterful and ear-tingling. You can read more about her here.
The song Cheryl has written for us celebrates the many local and historic names of the hen harrier, 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.
Cheryl very kindly made the full score and other materials available for other performers and on this page there are links to two distinct versions.
Here you can hear the recording made by Cheryl Camm with The Bridge Singers, a community choir based in the villages of Felton and West Thirston in Northumberland). It was put together during lockdown in April 2020 and recorded by individual members of The Bridge Singers choir. Their recordings were then edited together and made into a video with art by the choir and their friends and families. An extraordinary achievement.
This version was recorded by the Woodlarks, a choir of young graduate singers in Cambridge, directed by James Dougal. It was set to video by Josh Hutt, to whom many thanks for this and other great contributions to Hen Harrier Day 2020.
Although this song was commissioned for Hen Harrier Day 2020, we'd love it if you wanted to produce a new version. 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. It may well be suited to a variety of musical forms and we'd love to hear different interpretations.
Cheryl most generously provided all the necessary materials and guides for new performances of the song and you can find them all here. The page is unamended from the original published earlier in 2020, but just ignore all the time-sensitive material. There's a link on the page for letting us know about your version.