Charity singers rise to lockdown challenge for airport

Kings of Herts barbershop chorus in jolly action at London Luton Airport last Christmas. Picture: Kings of Herts

Kings of Herts barbershop chorus in jolly action at London Luton Airport last Christmas. Picture: Kings of Herts - Credit: Kings of Herts

Determined not to let down a major charity fundraiser, the Kings of Herts barbershop chorus have recorded a virtual performance of Christmas carols that will be played to arriving passengers at London Luton Airport.

The Harpenden-based Kings have performed there for several years in support of the Luton Airport chaplaincy’s fundraising efforts for various charities.

The four-part harmony club’s sing-out manager Drew McKenzie emailed the chorus to tell them they need not stand aside in such a difficult year for charity fundraisers.

Pandemic restrictions could be overcome, he suggested, if chorus members would record themselves on mobiles singing solos for Christmas songs.

“They rose to the challenge brilliantly,” said Drew.

“Fourteen guys volunteered to record their harmony parts at home and then sent the recordings to one of our audio gurus for mixing.

“We put together nine carols and songs which the chaplaincy will play as a background to their collection efforts as passengers exit through the arrivals area.

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“The guys each sang along to backing tracks and then my colleague Peter Browell weaved them into a whole.

“A brilliant effort, supported by our webmaster Nick Cox, who put together a graphic display for screening while we sing.”

Chorus chairman John Lough said: “I am really proud of the way chorus members rallied to the cause to put on this performance.

“It was a great lockdown challenge. Now, with vaccines on the way, we can look forward with some confidence to supporting charities with live performances again next year.”

Macmillan Cancer are the beneficiaries this Christmas, as last, when live performances by the Kings and other choruses raised more than £6,000 for the chaplaincy to pass on.

The Kings, unable to sing together as a chorus since March, are looking forward to resuming rehearsals as soon as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

The charities they support including Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

Any male singers interested in joining their ranks when circumstances allow can find out more about the Kings of Herts on their website at