Downton music teacher records single with rock legend!

Downton music teacher records single with rock legend!

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 10:40am 4th March 2020. (Updated at 10:42am 4th March 2020)

4 minute read

Elizabeth Weager directed the Invictus Games Choir with Jon Bon Jovi and Prince Harry present.

The unique collaboration between rock royalty and the Queen's grandson took place at the iconic Abbey Road Studios on Friday. (28th February).

The pair are re-recording Jon Bon Jovi's song 'Unbroken' in support of the Invictus Games Foundation which the Duke of Sussex founded.

The new single features the Invictus Games Choir.

The choir was was started by Wiltshire based charity Help for Heroes for wounded, injured and sick veterans and serving personnel to come together and use the power of music to aid their recovery.

12 members of the thirty strong choir were invited to the special recording along with their musical director Elizabeth Weager who lives in Downton.

Invictus Games Choir Liz Weager 1
Jon Bon Jovi with the Invictus Games Choir at Abbey Road Studios.

Elizabeth, who teaches at Farleigh School in the Test Valley, told Spire FM it was an amazing experience for everyone involved.

"Recording "Unbroken" in Studio 2, Abbey Road - the studio used by the Beatles and, yes, we actually used the original Beatles' microphones - gave the Invictus Games Choir members exposure to the rigours of working in a recording studio at a particularly high profile event; they really upped their game and developed vocally during the sessions with Jon Bon Jovi, and performing for Prince Harry was the icing on the cake.  

"The words of the song " Unbroken" that we re-recorded with Jon really struck a chord with choir members, mirroring their experiences both when deployed and back at home.  It was most moving to observe the lyrics being brought to life by these veterans and the importance that Jon gave to making sure that they were relevant for our choir - he even re-wrote some of his lyrics in conjunction with the choir."

Here's the original song ahead of the new version which is due to be released later this month.

On a personal note Elizabeth, who is also the musical director at Musical Theatre Salisbury, said it was a day she will never forget.

"You can't beat a hug from Jon Bon Jovi and a big grin from Prince Harry - playing Hey Jude on the piano used by Paul McCartney for that very same song was pretty epic too!"

Jon Bon Jovi Liz Weager
Jon Bon Jovi was a huge hit with all of the choir.

Elizabeth praised the rock legend for his generosity. 

"Jon Bon Jovi is a really inspirational chap - so cool! He was completely genuine in his concern for the choir members and he was so generous with his time and expertise."

Elizabeth first got involved with the Invictus Games Choir in 2016 after she was contacted completely out of the blue and asked if she might be able to play the piano for a choir!

After two days working with the choir at the recovery centre Tedworth House in Tidworth she was then invited to be the Assistant Musical Director and Acccompanist for the choir 

When the then Musical Director, John Turrell, retired Elizabeth was appointed the role, one that she regards as an "immense honour and privilege"

"It is inspiring to see wounded, injured and sick veterans and serving personnel from all branches and different ranks of the UK Armed Forces coming together and using the power of music to aid their recovery."

The fifth Invictus Games is due take place in The Hague in May this year.

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