Music for the NHS

Music for the NHS

Cultural groups across Northern Ireland have come together to pay tribute to frontline workers in a series of online musical performances. Churchill Fellow Brian Dougherty (2012) helped advise on the project which was broadcast on the BBC.

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Marching bands, highland dancers, musicians and singers have joined together to produce a series of videos with performances paying tribute to the NHS and other key workers. The videos, produced by the North-West Cultural Partnership, have been shared on social media each week and have received a hugely positive reception.

One of the videos, created by The Londonderry Bands Forum, featured a performance of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ which was picked up in a report by BBC Newsline. Fifty-two performers of all ages from a dozen bands across Northern Ireland recorded their parts to this well-known song from the safety of their homes.

Fellow Brian Dougherty is a strategic advisor to the North-West Cultural Partnership and helped guide the project, which was also designed to keep cultural groups active during the lockdown. He said, “The videos were important as a tribute to NHS Frontline workers and provided our staff and students with a continued focus and opportunity to showcase their ongoing training.”

The North-West Cultural Partnership was born out of Brian’s Fellowship research. When he returned from his travels to the USA in 2013, Brian co-ordinated the creation of the Londonderry Bands Forum. This aims to promote marching band culture, promote peace-building and help train performers. In 2016, using a partnership model from his Fellowship, Brian and the team expanded the concept to include broader forms of cultural expression - drama, highland dance, other musical forms and historical teaching. This broader group became the North-West Cultural Partnership, the organisation behind these videos.


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