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A number of hero high resolution photographs of performances and our founders are available to download from this Google Drive folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1gYH3bVd_Hh3n34pSCETJzE9M5nfZWdUk
Profile photographs of our musicians and singers, as well as some images of them performing can be found on our website at https://www.lockdownpresents.com/gallery
We are always adding to our video collection, which you can watch on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-ARWPbPXIBYThp9Fn3dfOg. Currently this includes:
You are welcome to embed any of these videos in your articles or content. You will also find shorter clips on our Instagram and Facebook profiles.
Below are a number of testimonial quotes from our customers. Accompanying high-res images are available in the image gallery above. Additional quotes are available on our website at https://www.lockdownpresents.com/testimonials
Simone booked cellist Abi Hyde-Smith to perform two of her grandma Mag’s favourite pieces by Mozart & Purcell for her 83rd Birthday.
Mags said: “That was such a memorable birthday. Amazing! So many thanks Abi. I’m on cloud nine - what a birthday I’ve had. I never expected anything like it!”
Helen booked mezzo soprano Sophie Dicks to surprise her parents on their usual weekend Zoom call. She wanted to cheer them up as they were missing their regular pre-lockdown trips to watch the opera.
Her mum, Janet, said: “That was one of the best surprises I’ve ever had! It was wonderful. Thank you so much. The experience was one of the highlights of lockdown!”
Liz booked John Garner to play a specially curated set for her daughter and fiancé for the day that they would have been getting married in Cheshire. She wanted to do something special to mark the day.
Liz said “I'd been searching for something very special to mark the day and was stumped until, at the 11th hour, I saw a friend recommending Lockdown Presents. The wedding was going to be Baroque themed so having a personal violin performance with repertoire beautifully chosen to suit was perfect! We absolutely loved your performance, John, thank you! It made the day very special.”
Christina hired cellist Abi Hyde-Smith to perform the Star Wars theme tune as a surprise for her son Jamie on his 1st wedding anniversary. Jame and Hannah got married on May 4th last year and had a Star Wars themed wedding. They walked down the aisle to the theme tune.
Christina said: “Jamie and Hannah loved it! What a great innovation! The whole family enjoyed the surprise and it made it feel like such a special occasion. Thank you Abi!”
Ben and Helen booked singer-songwriter Danny from DG Solaris to do the music round at their weekly family Zoom quiz. He played the intros to 5 different songs and people had to guess the artist and song title.
Ben said: “It was such a laugh. Danny fitted seamlessly into our family banter! We chose songs from his repertoire that we knew people from different generations would recognise. His acoustic covers were spot on!”
Alice hired mezzo soprano Sophie Dicks to surprise her fiance’s family. She booked the performance for the same day that they were meant to be going to Wales for a family get-together.
She said: “We wanted to do something thoughtful as we couldn't go to Wales. We thought that instead of sending flowers we'd do this as a surprise and still get the family together virtually. People loved it! Sophie was spot on with everything - her intro, timing, talking to everyone and of course the singing! She's amazing.”
Below are quotes from some of the performers featured on Lockdown Presents. If you would like to speak to one of our performers, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talking about her experience with Lockdown Presents, Sophie Dicks, who has previously performed with the Welsh National Opera and Opera Holland Park, said "Lockdown Presents is a great concept because it gives singers like myself an opportunity to keep performing when venues are closed and shows have been cancelled. It's lovely to have a reason to perform again. I enjoy being able to interact with my audiences on a more personal level and see the smiles on their faces."
Violinist and composer John Garner, who is a graduate of the Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, said: “I have most enjoyed putting together the perfect set of music for each virtual audience, and sharing some music in real-time with real people. Practice and composing is all well and good, but it’s all for nothing if you can’t share your music with other people.”
“Music is a source of happiness and brings people together. We created Lockdown Presents to provide a new way for people to enjoy live music and share the experience with their friends and family during this difficult time. With thousands of professional musicians and singers unable to perform due to the coronavirus outbreak, we also saw an opportunity to create an online platform that would allow artists to earn a living and keep entertaining audiences through intimate performances.” said Lockdown Presents co-founder Simone Girardeau.
“We think this is a great way for people to celebrate special events or send messages of love and gratitude through this time of restricted social interaction and heightened risk of isolation and hardship.” said Simone Girardeau.
“The musicians love playing something personal and meaningful, so it works perfectly for gifts. Especially when they can each cover such a broad range, from Bach to Disney’s Frozen.” said Simone Girardeau.
“We had the idea after the success of our video chat with Simone’s grandmother and spent the next five days glued to our laptops so we could offer others the same exhilarating experience.” said Steffen Hoyemsvoll.
Kathleen Miles, Director of Fundraising at Mind, says:
“We are really grateful to be chosen as one of the charities that Lockdown Presents will support. This fun virtual event is a fantastic gift idea, and a really creative way for people to enjoy beautiful live music from the comfort of their own homes.
The current situation has meant that people are really struggling with isolation, stress, grief, financial worries and fears about the future, and those of us who already had mental health problems have also seen usual support and services reduce or disappear. Donations from initiatives like Lockdown Presents mean more people experiencing poor mental health in these unbelievably difficult times, are able to get the support they need to see them through.”
Simone Girardeau wanted to send a birthday present from their trip in Canada to her grandma Mags (Margaret Garel, 83, from Mumbles, Wales). But she had left it late and couldn’t risk the post, as well as wanting to avoid sending nonessential post from abroad.
Simone’s old school friend, Abi Hyde-Smith and her partner Matt Maguire are both professional classical musicians and Simone had recently seen a concert they had livestreamed on Facebook. Unfortunately, they have both had had all of their live work cancelled due to lockdown, with no certainty about when performances will resume. (Cancelled work included concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre and the Barbican, as well as summer opera seasons and tours of Europe and Asia).
Simone asked Abi and Matt if they would join her family birthday Zoom party. They pulled together a thrilling 15 minute concert featuring Mags’ favourite composers, Mozart and Purcell, and the family had a very memorable Zoom call on Mags’ birthday!
A few people contacted Simone afterward and asked if they could organise similar performances for their loved ones. Knowing that so many incredible musicians are without work at the moment, that there is a greater need than ever to support charities working with people most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that her partner, Steffen, is a dab hand with website building, the idea was born.
Steffen Hoyemsvoll: Steffen, 30, is an entrepreneur and the techie behind Lockdown Presents.He studied Physics at Oxford before going to work at RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) in Sales & Trading. He left RBS after 4 four years to start a software business with some friends. He still works for that business while also handling operations for E-Commerce Accountants (a specialist accountancy). He does both roles remotely from Canada where he and Simone are currently traveling for a year (although their trip has been paused during lockdown).
Simone Girardeau: Simone, 30, also studied at Oxford (Economics & Management), where she met Steffen at a sports social curry night. She later worked at BCG (Boston Consulting Group) for 5 five years. She spent the last 2 two years working at Livingbridge (an investor) with entrepreneurial UK businesses. She is now working as a freelance consultant during their travels.
Both Simone and Steffen are happy to be interviewed. If you would like to speak to either of them, please contact email@example.com.
The performers are all professional musicians and singers who would otherwise be playing in concert halls, theatres, venues and recording studios with the country’s leading orchestras, ensembles and bands. A few examples:
The Lockdown Presents community includes musicians from a wide range of styles, so customers can find something for every occasion. There are classical musicians, opera singers, jazz players and singer-songwriters.
They are incredibly talented people so no piece of music will be too difficult. Examples of customers’ requests so far include Mozart recitals, hits by The Who, movie soundtracks, opera classics from Carmen, and singalongs to Shirley Bassey.
Most gigs are solo or duets. Our musicians and singers are performing from their homes whilst venues are closed, so the majority are performing solo. Although we also have some incredible duet acts living under the same roof.
We’ve had bookings for a huge variety of occasions. The magic of the gigs is the intimate performance and interactive connection with the artist, which creates a really memorable experience. A few of the great gig ideas we’ve seen have been:
Have a think about the experience you want to create, or the preferences of the recipient if it’s a gift. If they are an opera lover, they will be thrilled with having their very own opera singer. If it’s a family get together, perhaps you want some singalong tunes, or do your grandparents miss going out to classical concerts?
All the musicians on the platform are really friendly and personable, so whoever you choose is sure to make the audience smile!
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If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org