#TeamHannah Band and Singers support University of Winchester contestant on The Voice UK in charity video

25 Feb 2021

University of Winchester alumna and former creative director of the University Music Centre Hannah Williams, who is competing on ITV's The Voice UK television singing competition, has moved one step closer to the finals this week, winning a place in the semi-finals under the mentorship of Sir Tom Jones.

To celebrate, the University Music Centre has released a video featuring Hannah singing soul anthem Stay With Me Baby with current and former students on backing vocals and instruments. The #TeamHannah Band and Singers video aims to raise funds for Trinity Winchester, supporting their work with vulnerable people and those affected by homelessness.

Neil Valentine, creative director at the University Music Centre, said: "We are thrilled that Hannah is doing so well on The Voice UK. We're currently working on a second video with Hannah and are excited to confirm that her battle partner Sami Nathan is going to be part of that, as we perform our own version of their battle song Cry Me a River.

"To date we have raised nearly £700 for Trinity Winchester, and as Hannah's profile rises we hope this will continue to build as the videos reach more people. We are all delighted with how current students and alumni got involved in this and continue to be inspired by Hannah's journey."

Hannah is a soul singer who fronts Bristol-based soul band Hannah Williams and the Affirmations. In 2017, the title track of their album Late Nights and Heartbreak was sampled on Jay-Z's title track 4.44. Hannah is also a vocal consultant and vocal performance coach at the University of Winchester, from where she graduated in 2006 with a first class degree in Music Theatre.

Recently, speaking in an online interview with Neil Valentine, Hannah described her journey so far.

"There are some things that I'm not allowed to say, but the opportunity to do this became available back in Spring last year. I had a whole string of auditions on Zoom and meetings with producers. It's a long process, but it has been absolutely amazing. I can imagine it would normally be a bit more intense with face-to-face auditions in groups. But Covid pushed the process to Zoom. It is a more private and detached encounter," she said.

"A singing competition on TV is not something that I would usually even consider. But I thought, you know what, it's 2020, the apocalypse has happened, what the hell else is there to do? I am so pleased I made that choice, because it's been a wonderful experience," she added.

Professor Elizabeth Stuart, First Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, said: "The University of Winchester is delighted and very proud to see Hannah on The Voice UK.

"We have enjoyed her amazing voice over many years and we are delighted to share it now with Sir Tom Jones and the nation through the programme. We are rooting for her all the way."

The University is asking anyone who has enjoyed the #TeamHannah Band and Singers video to consider donating to support the work of Trinity Winchester at the following link: https://bit.ly/TeamHannahDonate

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