News and Blog

Rachel Speirs Soprano.jpg
13th January 2021

Hello and Happy New Year! It's perhaps not quite the start to the year we were hoping for, but I hope  you had a restful Christmas and that you are staying warm and cosy during these colder months.


After an immensely tough year, I was absolutely over the moon to have some exciting projects able to go ahead in December 2020, including the broadcast of my Betty Bannerman Award Recital from Clonterbrook Recital Room; 'Sing Song Merrily on High' - an online fundraiser for SoundUp Arts which raised over £1,000; and a performance in Christchurch Priory of Handel's Messiah to a LIVE audience (my first since March 2020!).


Sadly, now that we are back in a national lockdown, my upcoming recording with Retrospect Opera of MacFarren's The Soldier's Legacy has had to be postponed until 2022, however I'm pleased to say that the recording of Paul Carr's Requiem 'The Light of Love' which was recorded in September 2020 (between lockdowns) is set to be released at the end of this month. At the end of this month we will also be launching a new project from SoundUp Arts called TuneUp - 5 Musical Ways to Wellbeing. I look forward to sharing that with you.


In slightly different news, I have just this week started in my new part-time role as a Dementia Support Worker for Together Dementia Support - a Manchester based charity for whom I have been working as an administrator since September 2020. It seems as though 2021 will be a very different year from the one we perhaps all envisioned, but perhaps a positive one in some ways. Take good care.

Links to find out more:

Clonter Opera Recital -

Together Dementia Support -

SoundUp Arts -

'The Light of Love' by Paul Carr -

30th November 2020

Hello and thank you for reading my first blog post! Since it's 2020 and the world is in a bit of a strange shape at the moment, I thought I might as well share some of my news and stories from lockdown life with the world somehow - so here we are! It's certainly been quite the year, what with cancellations here there and everywhere, my final term of Masters being delivered entirely via Zoom, and everyone adapting to an entirely new way of living and working. I'll admit I felt utterly lost to begin with and had no idea what to do with myself, but gradually things began to happen again.


I was delighted to be asked to produce 10 Musical 'Postcards' for distribution by Tayside Health with a group of musicians from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in June 2020. I then held my first online live concert on Facebook from my parents' front room in July and was pleased to raise over £1,500 for SoundUp Arts and Artists.


From there I returned to Manchester where I have set up a new small business called The Wishing Jar Company (please do visit my Etsy shop!) and went on to work as project manager and artist for a new development with SoundUp called TuneUp - 5 Musical Ways to Wellbeing, which will be released in early 2021. In September, I was so grateful that our planned commercial recording with EM Records of Paul Carr's 'The Light of Love' was able to go ahead, and I was also delighted to have the opportunity to spend a day recording a recital of French Song with Clonter Opera in their stunning Clonterbrook Music Room. This will be broadcast in mid-December. I have also recently recorded a 45 minute digital workshop for Healthy Arts entitled 'Singing for Wellbeing' which will be released in December and is suitable for anyone wishing to grow confidence in singing and expressing through music.


Finally, I look forward, tentatively, to performing infront of a live audience for the first time since March on 12th December in Christchurch Priory, singing Handel's Messiah with 8 singers, small chamber ensemble, and Simon Earl conducting. Despite all that has happened this year, I've found a greatly renewed sense of musical and creative purpose during these months, and I know that the arts and creative industry, and the amazing people who form it, will always find a way to thrive and continue to grow and develop, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles. Take care everyone.

Links to find out more:

Healthy Arts Workshop -

The Wishing Jar Company -

Royal Scottish National Orchestra -

Home - Online Concert
Sing Song Merrily at Home
Clonterbrook Recital with Robin Humphreys
Messiah Dorset