A talented Stockland Green School music teacher has been raising roofs – and community spirit – after forming a street band with her neighbours to support the NHS clap.
Adele Hollis who lives in Nuneaton, was initially a ‘one woman band’ performing a different instrument and song every Thursday evening after the clap for NHS – at the request of a frontline worker friend. Now the former solo artist has joined together with neighbours to headline a five piece band called
Each week the multi-generational supergroup – which features drum, guitar and vocals – perform a variety of classsics such as Over the Rainbow and one step beyond and tuning for this week’s Sweet Caroline. Such is their popularity that they even performed to an audience of 50,000 when they appeared on BBC News and even asked to perform wedding anniversary.
Adele explained: “I began to play, as I have some very close friends who are frontline NHS workers and my admiration for them currently is through the roof. I had considered playing and wasn’t sure and the one of those friends said that she wanted me to play and as she was a frontline worker I couldn’t say no! (All in fun). So I did it and put a message on Facebook saying it was with them in mind. I also wanted to do something to lift the spirits of my street/neighbours. “
Multi-instrumentalist began with a rendition of Somewhere over the Rainbow outside her house and performed flute and then keyboard the following weeks at the request of neighbours. News soon spread across the local telegraph (well, washing line) pole and recruit members:
“I shouted out to my neighbours (and those from the street behind who had crept round) and asked if they would join in with a sing-a-long the following week. They said ‘yes’. Within an hour I had a message from a lad three-doors down who asked if he could join with his guitar.
“Then I put signs on the lampposts in the street telling everyone the song so that they could download the lyrics. Next I put a note on a washing line pole and propped it up against next-door where the 10-year old there is a drummer and I asked him to join us. After last Thursday another neighbour has asked if they can join as a singer. So we now have myself, Owen aged 17 (guitar), Rhys aged 10 (drums), Aime aged 16 (vocals), Andy who is Owen’s dad (vocals).
Now that the band is a little bigger with a new singer logistics , rehearsals
“It was easy when I was on my own. Now we have a band I had to do a bit of planning, including a wet weather plan! I moved the car off my drive and so did Rhys’s dad (we share that drive) and the drums were put there with a gazebo over him. Another gazebo was put in front of my living room window which was over 2 metres away from Rhys. I put my keyboard and mic under there. Owen had a wireless lead for his guitar and was able to stand on the pavement outside my house. His dad stood next to him.
This week We will play Sweet Caroline. We are rehearsing this week by me lifting the fence again and teaching the drummer. I have recorded the song and sent it to Owen so that he can learn it in the correct key and I have sent it to Aime so that she can sing-a-long to the right version. We set up at 7pm and manage to fit in about 2 run throughs before the clap. We always play after the clap and not before because that clap is not ours, it is for the NHS.”
The band is changing lives in unexpected ways and is more than just appreciation as Adele explains positive comments on social media “The response has been more than I could have ever imagined unexpected fame:
“Most important of all, we as a street are now all talking to each other and we know who each other are. I popped outside to welcome our new singer last week and whilst I was at the end of her drive talking to her and her mum, Rhys’s mum popped out to the bin and she shouted….’Rhys, Adele is here’ and he ran out to talk to me!
“People are shouting my name over the fence in my garden and introducing themselves. I’ve been asked to play for a couple’s Wedding Anniversary in the garden in a few weeks’ time! The sense of community has changed so much where I live and it’s so lovely. Then the BBC got in touch. After that people I have not heard from for years have got back in touch.
She said: “Music is a core subject in society. It unites people, which is never more important than in this current time. It can positively change the way a person feels and I am so proud that I am able to share this in my own little way.”
Adele added: “I am missing the students and staff so, so much. I may not have been at Stockland for long but my heart is fully there. I would like to think that perhaps some of the students can see that music can help them.
Headteacher Marie George said: “We are so proud of Adele – she is quite the hit among students, staff and the public, the response has been phenomonal. At our school music is so important and teacher and this shows the power of music and inspire and uplift others and teach our children and young people that caring for others and community can change lives.”
Doorstep Set list – in her own words
Week 1: Saxophone: One Step Beyond ….which is what the NHS have gone.
Week 2: Flue: Somewhere Over The Rainbow….the symbol that is representing the NHS.
Week 3: Keyboard: Mr Blue Sky…..the main NHS colour is blue.
Week 4: Wonderwall…….I asked the guitarist to pick because it had to be something he could play.
This week: Sweet Caroline……because the neighbours joined in last week and this is a great sing-a-long song.