Kirsty Baird named It's Good 2 Give Local Hero
This week's It's Good 2 Give Local Hero will no doubt strike a chord with those in the city's musical community as Kirsty Baird picks up our weekly accolade for her work with Sing in the City.
Throughout this period of uncertainty, Kirsty's vision and leadership has inspired, reassured and engaged 1000+ choir members, their friends and families as the local choir group, Sing in the City - whom Kirsty is the Founder and Creative Director - have continued to keep their members engaged with a variety of online initiatives.
Sing in the City's mantra is 'more than a choir' and this has never been more true as the community of singers have truly come together during this crisis.
Online classes and charity singles!
Along with her team, Kirsty moved to quickly get all rehearsals online whilst she has been engaging the community through various projects including virtual art classes, virtual dance classes and daily zoom chats.
Every Monday and Friday she has performed an online gig with Annette Hanley, the other Musical Director of Sing in the City. Kirsty has brought purpose, routine and joy to thousands of people of all ages over the last six weeks.
And, as if all of the above wasn’t enough, her Sing in the City band (Hanley and the Baird) wrote, recorded and released a charity single - titled Follow the Rainbows - in just a 10 day period to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Sing in the City.
With all proceeds going to SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) to support mental health, over £4500 has been raised so far, not including download sales.
Follow the Rainbows charted at number 10 in the UK charts at the end of April, and the video for the charity single involves many members of Sing in the City, as well as their families. The song has been played on community and local radio stations around Scotland widening the community involved.
Inspired by their choir members, the song tells the story of their choir family coming together, overcoming their fears and insecurities and replacing these feelings with strength and positivity.
The song was inspired following a zoom chat between Kirsty and choir members to discuss how everyone was feeling, the words and feelings shared by the members have been incorporated into the song lyrics.
The mental health charity SAMH was selected as the beneficiary as Baird and Hanley believe that mental health will be greatly affected in the months to follow as a result of the virus COVID19 with many people suffering from anxiety which have never previously experienced this problem.
She is valued by every single one of her members!
We caught up with some of Kirsty's nominators who shared some of the brilliant stories that truly make her a Local Hero.
"When I joined a small choir in January 2013, never in a million years did I think I'd actually be becoming a member of an extended family. What Kirsty and Annette have created is so special to so many people in so many different ways, my only regret about joining is that I didn't do it sooner.
"I am so proud to be a small part of the Sing in the City world and what the girls have done throughout lockdown to ensure their members felt safe, included and connected has been staggering.
I know the hours they have put in and all the hard work and sleepless nights they have gone through over the last 6 weeks and I just hope they know how appreciated and valued they are by every single one of their members."
"When I say it’s more than a choir nothing could be more true than now during this COVID-19 crisis. Kirsty has put her all into ensuring our choir members are not alone setting up virtual rehearsals , twice weekly gigs from her lounge together with her partner Annette performing every week.
"They have also organised additional activities including zoom chats with the choirs, dance classes, guitar lessons and mindfulness classes all to keep our members, many of whom are on their own, engaged and motivated through lockdown."