Kettering soprano teams up with the RAF to record popular hymn

The collaboration was the idea of senior aircraftman Joe Kemp, a percussionist in The Band of the RAF College who is also from Kettering

By Stephanie Weaver
Saturday, 6th June 2020, 6:00 am
Joe Kemp and Faryl Smith, both of Kettering
Joe Kemp and Faryl Smith, both of Kettering

Kettering singing sensation Faryl Smith has teamed up with the RAF to record a special performance of popular hymn Abide With Me.

The performance comprised of musicians from the Band of the RAF College Cranwell recording from home along with Faryl who was a Britain's Got Talent finalist in 2008.

The idea came from senior aircraftman Joe Kemp, a percussionist in The Band of the RAF College, who also comes from Kettering.

Joe began his military career in 2010 after playing with Salvation Army bands as a child.

He was first introduced to Faryl when The Masquerade Choir performed alongside The Kettering Salvation Army Band at a Christmas concert.

This concert saw Faryl singing her first solo with the choir.

Ever since that performance, Joe was keen to use her talent as part of this special ‘work from home’ performance.

As well as being a percussionist, Joe also plays a huge role in the production of the social media content posted by RAF Music services.

Due to the current restrictions, he wanted to create a video involving members of the band playing from their own homes.

While driving, the hymn Abide With Me popped into his head and Joe knew the perfect soloist to make his idea come to life.

Joe chose to use the version of Abide By Me arranged by Rowland Lee, a close friend of RAF Music Services.

Band members filmed themselves playing at home and this recording was sent to Faryl so she could sing her part over the top before Joe edited it together.

The video was released last month on the RAF Music Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.

A spokesman for RAF Music said: "RAF Music were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Faryl Smith, we hope you enjoy the collaboration."

Faryl began singing at an early age and was part of The Masquerade Choir but rose to fame after reaching the final on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008.

She has released two albums with Decca Records which sold in the UK and the US.

Her first album entitled ‘Faryl’ was the fastest selling solo classical album at that time in British Chart history.

Her second album, ‘Wonderland’ was released in 2009 and she was nominated for two Classical Brit Awards in 2010.

Faryl has performed for Her Majesty The Queen as well as performing at numerous events including The Festival of Remembrance at The Royal Albert Hall and The Royal Variety Performance.

The soprano is also regularly asked to sing the National Anthem at televised sporting events at Twickenham, Wimbledon and Wembley.

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