Cheshire Fire Choir was formed for the BBC 2 series two of Sing While You Work and is made up of firefighters and fire support staff.
Members of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service choir were auditioned by Gareth Malone in 2013. Following the second series of The Choir: Sing While You Work, in which they reached the final, our choir has stayed together under the guidance of a Musical Director and Accompanist.
Members are drawn from across the Service with the choir made up of firefighters, fire authority, support staff, youth workers and volunteers.
In 2016, to mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, Cheshire Fire Choir released Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising as a download.
The Rising by Cheshire Fire Choir is available on iTunes (79p), Amazon and Google Play (both 99p). All proceeds from the sale of the single are donated to The Fire Fighters Charity to support injured and ill firefighters and their families.
Cheshire Fire Choir's charity song The Rising is out now and available to download:
Performing The Rising is Cheshire Fire Choir's way of never forgetting colleagues and a means of raising money for The Fire Fighters Charity. The song holds a special meaning for every single member of the choir, comprising firefighters, control and support staff from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, as it was written in reaction to the attack in which 343 firefighters, 60 police officers and 8 paramedics lost their lives. It is also a tribute to emergency services personnel in the UK who have given their lives in the line of duty.
The choir, formed for the BBC 2 series Sing While You Work, is made up of firefighters and fire support staff who are giving money raised from the download and from their first headline concert on September 30 to The Fire Fighters Charity.
The Rising was written by Bruce Springsteen who originally released it as a single in 2002. He wrote it in reaction to the September 11 2001 attacks on New York City. The song earned him Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance as well as a nomination for Song of the Year.
The decision to record the song was reached in New York where Cheshire Fire Choir had been invited to take part in a concert at Carnegie Hall. While they were there they performed The Rising at the Ground Zero memorial and it was at that particularly poignant performance that the decision was taken to release a download and raise funds for The Fire Fighters Charity.
Watch Manager Phil Marke explains: “Performing The Rising is our way of never forgetting our colleagues. The moving song holds a special meaning for every single member of the choir as it was written in reaction to the September 11th 2001 attack on the Twin Towers in New York in which 343 firefighters, 60 police officers and 8 paramedics lost their lives.
Read all about the trip to New York by reading the Fire Choir blog - Cheshire Fire Choir in New York
“But, for Cheshire Fire Choir, the song isn’t only a reminder of those who fell on 9/11; each time we sing it we feel it is a tribute to those emergency services personnel in the UK who have given their lives in the line of duty.
”We feel it is the right song for us to release to raise money for The Fire Fighters Charity which is there to help firefighters who put their lives on the line every day to save others. The charity really makes a difference with their support for firefighters and their families."
Produced by Chris Taylor, The Rising was recorded at Grammy award-winning Parr Street Studios in Liverpool, a recording venue that has played host to the likes of Coldplay, Stereophonics and Take That, to name but a few.
The Fire Choir has performed at:
The Spirit of Fire Awards, London
The Gareth Malone Voices tour, Opera House, Blackpool
Bollington Festival, Bollington, Cheshire
Croydon Gospel Choir tour, Chester Cathedral
The LGA Fire Conference, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Feast of Choirs, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
Love Music Trust, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Chris Evan's CarFest North, Oulton Park, Cheshire
WWI Commemoration event at Tatton Park, Cheshire
When is a choir not a choir? When it’s not supported by some amazing musical talent. But we are, and we are so lucky to have Ruairi Edwards as our Musical Director and Wendy Dolby as our Accompanist.
Ruairi is a reputed conductor, arranger and piano accompanist. Associate Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Young Voices Choir, he is also regularly commissioned by musical organisations as an arranger of choral music.
He is Associate Artist at Warwick University’s Music Centre and works professionally in music theatre. Ruairi also currently teaches piano at Magdalen College School Oxford, and has appeared on Gareth Malone’s BBC 2 series ‘Sing While You Work’ as a piano accompanist for the last two consecutive seasons where, most recently, he met, and fell in love with the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service choir.
Wendy studied at the Royal Academy of Music and gained a GRSM Degree (Hons), LRAM Diploma, a Professional Certificate (Hons) and a Post Graduate Advanced Diploma (Solo Piano).
She has performed extensively at home and abroad and received sponsorship from the Arts Council for a tour of Ireland which included a broadcast recording on RTE. Recent collaborations include concerts with So Supertonic and Opus 5 performing throughout the North West. She is in demand as a solo pianist, as well as an accompanist and repetiteur with opera companies including City of Manchester Opera and Silk Opera, and teaches the piano in schools and privately.
With impressive credentials like these it is no wonder we love to sing with Ruairi and Wendy!
Last updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2023