Top Menu

POP UP CHOIR – Olympic Team Refugees Anthem – Thursday 4th August, All Hallows Church 7.15 – 10pm

Facebook event page: HERE

Contact: Beccy Owen at [email protected]


  • On the 5th August (the day after this event), at the Olympic Opening Ceremony in Rio, the first ever ‘Team Refugees’ will take part in the parade under the Olympic Flag and will walk along with the Generic Olympic anthem as their backing music.
  • I saw this excellent news a few weeks ago and felt very inspired. So I thought it’d be cool to write a bespoke (albeit unofficial) vocal piece to mark the special occasion and show love, support and solidarity for all refugees, everywhere.
  • I’ve been working on the song every since, with the help of the marvellous Boff Whalley, and it’s almost finished…So now what?


  • That’s where you come in! At All Hallows’ Church, Leeds (, on the evening of 4th August, a ‘pop-up choir’ (i.e. a diverse and inclusive group of people) will come together to learn and record the bespoke anthem for Team Refugees.
  • Please sign up (just press ‘going’ on this events page or message me separately), spread the word, tweet about it, share the event, invite people….generally make it known and get as many people involved as possible.  Contact: Beccy Owen at [email protected]


  • I’ll run it like I would any other group singing workshop/choir session. We will spend some time warming up, exploring our collective sound, having fun, making noise together, generally relaxing and remembering to have fun and be playful…then we will begin a relatively intense ‘learning session’ of the anthem – currently in it’s final draft and titled ‘The World Is Our Song’.
  • We’ll then record this special, one-off, world-premiere version using my mobile recording studio (a laptop and a mic).
  • I’ll also bring song sheets for everyone and will be setting up an online resource pack over the next few days, so that if you do want to do some learning in advance, you can. But that’s not obligatory!
  • All Hallows’ is a beautiful place to sing int and it’s awesome that we’ve secured this space so quickly. The venue have kindly agreed to provide refreshments (and the building itself!) on a ‘pay what you feel’ basis, so please bring a bit of cash with you if you can spare it, and help with the cost of running the event/providing a cuppa for everyone.


  • It’ll go viral and be a global smash hit, obvs.
  • But first, it will be mixed and mastered overnight, then on the 5th August – the day of the Opening Ceremony – it will be shared with the Olympic Committee, various other relevant organisations i.e. PAFRAS who are working with Refugees, and available as an online-only, ‘pay what you want’ download via Bandcamp.
  • It’d also be cool to get it on YouTube, so if anyone has video filming/editing skills they’d like to offer, please get in touch!


  • Everyone…I repeat….EVERYONE is welcome to come along and sing. This isn’t about perfection, it’s about having fun together and spreading love, joy and solidarity.
  • I’ve tried to write something that is anthemic and accessible to all. You really don’t have to be the greatest singer to be able to join in, you don’t have to be able to read music or have any previous choir experience, although being able to sing vaguely in tune and willing to do so along with others is a bonus! Enthusiasm counts for a heck of a lot!


Here are the athletes on the team, with their particular Olympic discipline, their host countries are in brackets.

  • Yiech Pur Biel -Sudanese runner (Kenya)
  • Yusra Mardini – Syrian Swimmer (Germany)
  • Rami Anis – Syrian Swimmer (Belgium)
  • Yonas Kinde – Ethiopian marathoner (Luxembourg)
  • James Nyang Chiengjiek – South Sudanese runner (Kenya)
  • Anjelina Nadai Lohalith – South Sudanese runner (Kenya)
  • Rose Nathike Lokonyen – South Sudanese runner (Kenya)
  • Paulo Amotun Lokoro – South Sudanese runner (Kenya)
  • Yolande Bukasa Mabika – Judo Practitioner from Democratic Republic of the Congo (Brazil.)
  • Popole Misenga – Judo Practitioner, from Democratic Republic of the Congo (Brazil.)


More on Beccy Owen:

Artistic projects:

Community projects (musical director):

, ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

seventeen − five =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hosted by Totaal