The Invictus Games Choir, who are supported by Help for Heroes, are taking on Twickenham this Saturday for the 100th ‘Army v Navy’ rugby match. The choir will be singing to the sold-out stadium filled with 82,000 fans before kick-off.
The Invictus Games Choir has now grown to over 40 members– all of whom have one thing in common, they are all rebuilding their lives after suffering life-changing injuries or illness during or as a result of their service in the Armed Forces.
The Choir were also joined by Gareth Malone, choirmaster and broadcaster, at a Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester over the weekend, where he helped the choir rehearse and record and boosted their confidence to reach the high C notes.
Gareth said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the Invictus Games Choir, it was incredible to work with them last year and to see it now expanding with so many new members and to see the benefits of the music written largely through this group of people. It’s really profound and I’m very honoured to be associated with it.”
Gareth and the choir co-wrote the music and lyrics for ‘Flesh and Blood’ – a process which challenged the choir members to dig deep into their experiences of injury or illness and the different stages of their recovery.
One of the choir members James Belmont of Battersea, formerly of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, suffered an injury whilst in the military and during treatment, was diagnosed with testicular cancer at just 25 years old.
After his treatment James was medically discharged from the Army and has been involved with Help for Heroes ever since. He now sings in the Invictus Games Choir to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and to feel part of a team again. He says: “The support I’ve received from the Invictus Games Choir has been absolute phenomenal. All of this is really thanks to the Help for Heroes crowd and really going for what we believe is a dream which is to get out there and push and promote recovery through singing”
The Invictus Games Choir will be singing on the pitch from 14.30 before kick-off at 15.00.