Book your virtual Open Day now

University vocalist records new song with Dire Straits band member for NHS ‘heroes’

University Head of Vocals Susan Legg recorded the Hold on Tight track to raise money for frontline NHS staff

A VOCALIST from the University of Chichester has spoken about working with a member of legendary band Dire Straits on her new song which pays tribute to the NHS.

Head of Voice Susan Legg wrote and recorded heartfelt track Hold on Tight with famed keyboard player and guitarist Guy Fletcher – also of Roxy Music – with the aim of raising money for frontline healthcare workers. The song, which is out now, also includes performances from celebrated cellist Caroline Dale, who has played live with U2, and viola player Andy Brown, who directs the London Metropolitan Orchestra.

Susan, who teaches in the University's Conservatoire, said: “I wrote the melody, lyrics, piano and string parts and when Guy sent over his guitar part I was so excited to hear what he had done. When I heard it, I realised that his playing had completely dictated the direction the song would take from that point on."

Unusually, the entire track was performed and recorded by the musicians alone in their homes, located across the UK, owing to lockdown restrictions. Susan is herself a celebrated vocalist for film, TV, and videogames who recently appeared on flagship ITV drama Endeavor.

It was due to her success and popularity in the industry that she was able to call on the expertise of ITV composer Matthew Slater as well as husband Stephen Baysted, a Professor of Film, TV and Games Composition at the University of Chichester, to arrange the final composition. So far the track has raised more than £1,500 for the NHS, with an overall target of £5,000.

Susan added: “The song pays tribute to all the heroes in the NHS. It has been an incredible experience to have enlisted the support of extraordinary musicians in the recording. Please donate generously and I hope you find the song uplifting - I really do.”

Hold on Tight can be streamed on YouTube and other platforms, or downloaded on iTunes with proceeds going to the NHS. A JustGiving page has also been created for those who want to donate directly to the cause at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/susan-legg1.

For more about Susan Legg and her work at the University of Chichester go to www.chi.ac.uk/staff/susan-legg.