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Frontline healthcare workers join the VSO & Dan Mangan in a cover of a Beatles’ classic

Musicians from across the Lower Mainland united in a rendition of All You Need Is Love arranged by VSO musician Dave Haskins

As part of its VSO@Home digital series, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra members join singer/songwriter Dan Mangan and frontline healthcare workers in a cover of the Beatles’ classic All You Need Is Love.

The video, shot entirely on mobile phones, features frontline workers performing from hospitals and care homes, edited together with VSO musicians performing from their homes.

The video was a way to not only thank healthcare workers but also to connect with them creatively.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the many connections between these two fields of work – discipline, dedication, fortitude, and teamwork, to name a few,” says VSO organizer Michelle Goddard in a media release. “I could think of no better way to celebrate and pay tribute to our healthcare heroes than to have them join us in music-making,”

Vancouver-based and Juno-award winning musician Dan Mangan joined the healthcare workers and VSO musicians in the video.

“It’s an absolute honour to have been a part of this project with the VSO,” says Mangan in the release. “I had no idea when I recorded my bit, of how emotional the final result would make me. I’m so thankful to live in a place where world-class healthcare from these incredible frontline workers is a given universal right.”

“It seems totally fitting that these superhuman medical professionals also just happen to be wonderfully accomplished musicians.” – Dan Mangan (photo above in a screenshot from the video).

Putting out the call for healthcare workers to participate, those who responded were each sent a track to follow and film themselves playing along. The 50 submitted videos were then assembled, synchronized, and mixed, and the video montage assembled.

For Dr. Julia Reynolds, a violinist and family physician in primary care obstetrics at Royal Columbian Hospital, music became touchpoint as routines changed dramatically with the pandemic.

“Two things that remained constant for me were delivering babies and music,” she says. “This miracle of new life, like music, cannot be halted even by a global pandemic. After each day of endless donning PPE and Telehealth visits, I returned home to music coming from many rooms in my house. My six children filled my house with music practice that inspired me and gave me the energy to face my next challenge. Music transcends our uncertainty and anxiety. It is critical that as a society we support our musicians as we find our way back to live performance.”

Dr. Holden Chow, a violinist and family physician and the co-medical director of Abbotsford’s COVID Assessment Unit, points to the role music plays in our lives.

“The music played in our house is the soundtrack of our lives,” he says. “One day, when we look back at this COVID era, it will be the music that is always being practiced and heard that will mark how we passed through these times, how it kept our family-focused passed through these times, and will remind us that we have the ability to accomplish good things when we put in the effort.”

In a screenshot from the video, Drs. Julia Reynolds (left) and Holden Chow (right) perform. The two are joined by dozens of other healthcare workers from Lions Gate Hospital, Villa Cathay Care Home, St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital, Eagle Ridge Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, UBC Hospital, Richmond Hospital, BC Emergency Health Services and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre.

For more information on the VSO@Home digital performances visit vancouversymphony.ca.

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