23rd May 2023

Global MS Choir returns to sing Stand By Me

2023 MS Connections

In 2020 World MS Day began a very special musical initiative to bring people affected by MS together – the Global MS Choir. An international ensemble of singers lifting their voices for MS, the choir connects the global MS community together in literal harmony.

The MS Connections campaign is all about community, support and connection. In the spirit of the campaign, the choir builds social connections through the power of music.

With World MS Day 2023 fast approaching, the Global MS Choir is back with a special rendition of ‘Stand By Me’. This well-known classic by Ben. E. King, is an expression of courage and solidarity as we gather on 30 May for everyone living with MS. To celebrate the diversity of the MS Community, we translated parts of the chorus into Spanish and Arabic.

Over the past few months the Global MS Choir has been getting ready for its big performance. We warmed up our vocal cords during rehearsal and went through each choir part with the guidance of our fantastic choral director, James Sills. Holding rehearsals online meant that anyone could join. We have choir members from every corner of the world, Brazil, Finland, Singapore, South Africa and beyond! This year over 80 participants from 27 countries sent in recordings, learning to capture their best takes from home. These individual tracks are then mixed together by our talented music team, with Iori Haugan engineering the sound and creating the final video.

Love from the final Global MS Choir rehearsal before World MS Day 2023

Members of the Global MS Choir told us about the experience so far.  David from the UK is a Tenor in the Global MS Choir: ‘The joy of coming together to sing is so uplifting. It gives me the space to not think about anything else for the time we are together as a kind of MS family. The pride, satisfaction and joy I get on World MS Day, when we get to hear that final track the sound engineers have so skilfully mastered blending all our voices. It is a wonderful and emotional moment which I hold dear to my heart.’

‘The joy of coming together to sing is so uplifting’

David from the UK

Anabel from Spain sings Alto and is a returning choir member: ‘The first time I enrolled in this choir I had never sang before, afterwards I joined a choir in my town… The Global MS Choir has been a great experience from the very beginning. I can get in touch with people from all over the world singing at the same time and everyone can see us smiling. People can see although we have MS, we can do lots of things.’

‘People can see although we have MS, we can do lots of things.’

Anabel from Spain

Kathryn, singing Soprano from the United Stated said ‘It was an awesome experience!  I’ve sung in choirs practically my whole life but my MS has made it difficult to continue singing.  This has been an opportunity to sing again with a group.’

It was an awesome experience!

Kathryn from the US

It has been very moving and brilliant fun to sing with people affected by MS across the world. Don’t miss the Global MS Choir’s performance of ‘Stand By Me’ on 30 May. This World MS Day anthem will premiere at 13:00 BST on World MS Day Facebook and YouTube channels. We would love you to watch the show!

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