A GROUP in the area will be getting musical to celebrate Christmas this year.

To prepare for the upcoming festivities, Tang Hall Big Local and Friends have been preparing a song to commemorate the Christmas spirit.

The project has been a group effort with much of the Tang Hall community getting involved.

It was spearheaded by Tang Hall Big Local Events and Volunteering Co-Ordinator, Sarah Bentham, 34.

The song, ‘Paper Doors’, is releasing on Wednesday, December 1 and offers an upbeat sound with a refreshingly modern twist to traditional Christmas melodies. It features Sarah and Oscar Rosen, 14, as well as a choir of the Tang Hall Residents and staff of the Community Centre.

When asked about writing Paper Doors, she said: “In my last job, we used to write songs with the patients of Stockton Hall Hospital.

“We also made a Christmas song with Community Base with the York City Council in 2019, just before lockdown.

“Last year I got in touch with some friends who are musicians and we made a song over email that raised over £400 for York Neighbours Charity.”

The song released last year was titled ‘Do the Right Thing’ and was released under the name ‘Your Friendly Neighbourhood Punks’.

Sarah began working with Tang Hall Big Local and Friends in August this year.

She said: “When I started with Tang Hall Big Local, there was an opportunity to work with so many people. People wanted to be involved, but what I needed was a guy who wanted to do some MC’ing and they put me in touch with Oscar.”

Oscar wrote the three verses that he performs on the track himself and was more than happy to help when he heard about the opportunity.

He said: “ I felt quite nervous when I first walked into the studio but Sarah was amazing and I knew quickly that this would be a fantastic project to be involved in.”

The song will be released onto Bandcamp, which will allow listeners to pay what they feel the song was worth.

Sarah’s aim of the song is to help a particular group and a particular person.

The group she hopes to help is ‘Kitchen for Everyone’, who provide meals for people in York that are vulnerable or homeless.

The person, Diane Bothamley, is a local who has been tirelessly fundraising to implement a defibrillator machine near the Fourth Avenue shops.

As well as fundraising for the defibrillators, Diane also knits poppies to raise money amongst many other activities. Sarah noted that Diane “does so much for the local community.”

When asked about a potential benchmark for fundraising this year, Sarah said: “I’d love to make more than last year, but we did have t-shirts last year. Interestingly, Tang Hall Big Local funded those shirts, so it’s all come full circle.”

“It’s been a rubbish two years. It was nice getting all those residents involved. They’ve all made something together.”

When it is released, the music video will be available on all of THBL’s social media as well as YouTube. To download the song and donate to the cause, you should visit www.tanghallbiglocal.bandcamp.com.