I have just returned from the choir rehearsal for this year's Songs of Praise 'Big Sing'.
Even before the announcement was made, I had looked through the music book and seen the name 'Hayley' against one of the numbers. 'Could this be our Hayley?', I thought to myself. 'More than likely', I decided, though there are one or two other Hayleys I wouldn't mind seeing either
In his welcome the conductor, Paul Leddington Wright started listing the celebrity guests for this year's recording.
For the Christmas show:-
'Michael Ball' - Ah, the ladies will be pleased about that
'Hayley Westenra' - Phew! I really hoped it would be
Usually there are only two or three celebrities, but the list went on:-
'Jonathan and Charlotte' - Oh, I've been wanting to hear them live
'Libera' - Wow! Love them
'Susan Boyle' - Hmmm, we'll see
The recording will be next Sunday, 8th September at London's Royal Albert Hall. I think tickets are all sold out.
The show 'The UK's Top Ten Carols' is scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday 22nd December. Hayley will sing a new arrangement of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem'. The show will be presented by Aled Jones.
The first time I ever saw or heard of Hayley was at the Big Sing in 2004. It was the memory of Hayley's 'Silent Night' duet with Aled at that performance, that stuck with me through the years and guided me surely back to the voice I needed so desperately for comfort four years ago This will be the fourth time I have seen Hayley at this event
Many thanks for this wonderful news, of which I've shared on our HWI Facebook page.
The RAH website has some further details about the recording...
This year's Big Sing, hosted by Bill Turnbull and Aled Jones, will be a spectacular showcase of favourite Hymns and Carols!
Come and join a congregation of five thousand in the magnificent surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall to sing the UK's Top 10 Hymns and Top 10 Carols as voted for by Songs of Praise viewers. Together with the Big Sing Orchestra and star guests this promises to be an exciting and unforgettable experience.
The recording will result in two special editions of Songs of Praise, scheduled to be shown on BBC One in October and December.
I actually think it's great that Hayley will be on the show with 2 notable acts from Britain's Got Talent... each 2nd place winners! I'm sure Hayley will be pleased to meet them all. Also, if any Susan or J & C fans are watching for their favorite acts, they will get to see Hayley, too.
You can't expect them all to be your favorite acts in the world, anyway, John... though you do seem to like a lot of artists.
As I'm unfamiliar with how BBC's broadcasting online works, I wondered if this show will be available for live streaming? If so, is this where they'll make it available? www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006ttc5
BBC programmes are usually available on iPlayer for seven days after broadcast, but only for the UK . I think it very likely that somebody here will record the show and post Hayley's performance on YouTube
I believe TV programmes on the BBC iPlayer can only be viewed in the UK because of the licensing laws. I'm sure Hayley's contribution will be recorded and posted on our website soon after transmission.
A few photos of Hayley waiting to perform in the afternoon rehearsal. Sorry about the poor lighting - I couldn't take any while Hayley was singing, and photography in the actual recording wasn't allowed.