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SONGS AND CEREMONIES AS MANCHESTER REMEMBERS ARENA ATTACK
 

Star date: 22nd May 2018

ONE YEAR ON...

One year on from the Manchester Arena attack, today sees the Manchester Together – With One Voice event this evening in Albert Square from 7pm to 9pm, and Remembering Together, a civic reception this afternoon at Manchester Cathedral.

Meanwhile, local band Prose and the Manchester Survivors Choir have teamed up to raise money for those affected by the Manchester Arena bomb, with the track A City United.

Full details here...


A City United A City United
click image to enlarge

One year on from Manchester Arena bomb attack, Salford and indeed the whole country is remembering the horrors but the ceremonies are centring around Manchester.

This afternoon, from 2pm there is a private Remembering Together civic reception at Manchester Cathedral for families, first responders and civic leaders, although it will be screened for the public in Cathedral Gardens, while BBC 2 is also broadcasting the service.

This is followed by what is sure to be a huge public event in Albert Square between 7pm and 9pm, Manchester Together – With One Voice, where there will be speakers and 3,000 singers from choirs across the region. If the Square becomes full, Cathedral Gardens will be used an alternative venue for those wishing to watch and take part in the event.

Throughout the event, people who work and volunteer for Human Appeal, a Muslim-faith based charity, will be handing out free water to the crowds despite not being able to have any themselves as they will be fasting for Ramadan.

The charity has also raised £28,322 for victims of the attack... "It helped pay for funeral costs, medical bills, emergency accommodation and psycho-social support for those affected" says Samra Said UK Domestic Programmes Manager of Human Appeal.

"We wanted to take a stand against the evil that tried to divide our city" he explains "We respond to humanitarian crises wherever they are; Syria, Yemen, Iraq; and on May 22nd 2017, our home was facing a humanitarian crisis.

"As we all gather this week to remember those who lost their lives and those who have had their lives scarred one year ago, Muslims who will be fasting from food and water during Ramadan will be handing out bottles of water to those in attendance to show that - regardless of our religion, or our gender, race or sexuality – we are all one, we are all Mancunians and no one will ever be able to stop that" he adds.

Meanwhile, Manchester band, Prose, has teamed up with the Manchester Survivors Choir to release the track A City United, with all proceeds going to the Manchester Emergency Fund and Peace Foundation.

A City United was recorded by Mike Murray and Lee Royle from Prose, mixed by Elbow's Craig Potter, mastered by Peter Hewitt Dutton, and video filmed by James Killeen all in a matter of days...

"Like everyone, we felt devastated after the Manchester bomb attack" says Mike Murray "The following day we were in our studio and there were still a lot of people searching for missing family members and we were talking about how awful it must be for the families of the victims.

"The whole city was in complete shock that something like this had happened here and at a music concert with so many innocent people just trying to have a good time" he adds "We both felt very emotional and just started expressing how we felt. Lee started playing the piano, I started singing and without realising it we had the basis of a song, but we didn't know what to do with it..."

Months later, the band played the song at a homelessness benefit gig where it was heard by Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, who suggested they release it to support victims of the bomb attack. From the initial publicity, Manchester Survivors Choir came on board...

"When we saw Andy Burnham's tweet about the single, we knew we had to get in touch with Prose" recalls Cath Hill from the Choir "We loved the song, the lyrics and everything it stood for and really hoped we could be part of it. They were singing about us, so it just felt right.

"It has been an amazing experience for the choir to collaborate with the lads from Prose" she adds "The young people in the choir were so excited to get the opportunity to go to a professional recording studio. It was wonderful to see them all smiling, laughing and having the confidence to sing and be recorded.

"It is a tough song for us to sing, the lyrics are so moving and take us back to that night" she explains "However, we are determined to show the world that with a bit of northern spirit and resilience we can create something that people can enjoy listening to and hopefully raise some money for the charities who helped us and others affected. It is a positive end to a very difficult year."

A video of A City United was made last weekend at Salford's Sacred Trinity Church, where the choir rehearse, and the track itself is released today on Run With Faith Records with all proceeds going to the two charities.

To buy the track on download for 99p – click here


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