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Hannah Campbell, Singing Teacher: Five things I LOVE about Jersey

Hannah Campbell, Singing Teacher: Five things I LOVE about Jersey

Friday 01 May 2020

Hannah Campbell, Singing Teacher: Five things I LOVE about Jersey


Perhaps most well known as being one of Jersey’s Optimistic Voices, this singer and vocal coach is now channelling that positivity into the five things she loves most about her island home.

The current health situation has seen Hannah Campbell's place of work, Chordz Coffee House and Music School, provide their music tuition in singing and other instruments online rather than in person.

In that same spirit of adaptation, Express’s long-running series, ‘Five things I’d change about Jersey’ has transformed into ‘Five things I LOVE about Jersey’ - and now it’s Hannah’s turn to sing the island’s praises... 

1. Home is where the art is

Of course, the music scene is high on our list and as an Island we boast a pretty impressive score of musicians, bands, duos, composers, songwriters, producers and performers. Through Chordz alone we see students achieving exceptionally high grades and awards in their musical endeavours and during the holidays we coach them through those first stage nerves in our Rockschool's where they form bands and play their first gig by the end of the week!

Video: Hannah and Charlie Northedge (founder of Chordz) perform a cover for ArtHouse Jersey (ArtHouse Jersey Presents).

Jersey may be small, but the supportive network here is enormous and particularly encouraging towards aspiring artists starting out. Even in lockdown islanders are coming together with online challenges and we’ve been following ArtHouse Jersey Presents to see what local artists have been creating.

2. News travels fast!

It’s safe to say whether we wanted to or not, we are all more online than ever right now and the sense of community is stronger than ever with various acts of kindness Facebook pages and the like.

But even before the covid crisis hit our shores, we were astounded last November by power of social media. Chordz mascot Hendrix the Sharpei escaped his poor dog walker and within seven minutes of posting a picture of our Houdini wannabe on Facebook, it had over 600 shares, countless comments and an inbox of messages piling up with questions on what he might respond to, what his favourite foods are and what toys he likes. 

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Pictured: This gentle giant was reunited with Hannah and Charlie through the power of social media and community.  

An army of islander detectives were prepared to go out late one stormy night in search of this loveable rogue while we were on a flight to the UK to attend a funeral (when it rains, it pours). He was found the following day and we could honestly feel the whole island breathe a sigh of relief with us! 

3. Liberation Day

If there’s one day in the year to feel proud to be a Jersey Bean it’s 9 May. I feel extremely privileged to be part of the Liberation Festival each year singing with the Optimistic Voices and bringing back the music of that era to an audience of all ages. 

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Pictured: Hannah alongside her fellow members of 'Optimistic Voices', her mother Sharon Campbell (centre) and Holly Milner (right).

It brings a joyful tear to my eye every time we look out to see tiny toddlers spinning around on the dance floor or trying to copy our moves while dodging between the Lindy Hoppers, a sea of faces smiling and singing along with us in rain or shine, and our island elders with a tear in their eyes for the memories they hold of being occupied and liberated on this rock we call home.

It’s a heart-warming day that is even more poignant this 75th year as we be commemorate it from our homes in order to keep those who fought for our freedom then, safe now. 

4. Honesty (box) is the best policy

We are all guilty of taking things for granted and forgetting the simple things that make Jersey so charming but with life taking a somewhat slower pace right now and in exercising our two-hour allowance of outdoor activity, perhaps we’re noticing these little roadside delicatessens all the more? 

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Pictured: Hannah says that the quintessentially Jersey honesty boxes and local veg stands shouldn't be taken for granted. 

While we may be queuing out the door of M&S, I hope we’re also all making more trips to the honesty boxes for our Jersey Royals, bunch of flowers or freshly laid local eggs because it doesn’t get much better than that for local produce and putting back into the island, does it?

5. It’s a small world after all

We sometimes toy with the idea of up sticks and relocating somewhere further afield and on every holiday, assess the location for whether we could live there. Like many others before and after me, I finished my A-Levels and lugged an enormous backpack to the other side of the world for my gap year, desperate to get away from my "tiny narrow-minded island" and experience the real world. 

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Pictured: "We are lucky here, on this island."

I began to realise; the journey was about the people I met and the friends I made. Although I saw incredible landscapes, seascapes, forests, mountains… I kept finding a miniature version, in my memory of home. Granted, we don’t have white slopes to ski or snowboard down, but we are spoilt with our beaches, a constantly moving coastline with one of the biggest tidal movements in the world, reservoirs, valleys, sand dunes, woodland, farming, a cobbled road in our town and a market open six days a week!

Passing islanders each day (at a socially acceptable distance) the one phrase that is echoed over and over, “we are lucky here, on this island."

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