A retired schoolteacher from Solihull has teamed up with Birmingham Conservatoire, as they join the race for the Christmas number one, while highlighting the particular struggles faced by those affected by dementia over the Festive period. Birmingham-born Alan Stott has written big band hit ‘What Are We Gonna Do For Christmas?’ with an arrangement by Birmingham Conservatoire fourth year BMus Jazz student, Josh Tagg. Jazz students from across all years of study also perform on the track.

The song was officially released on Tuesday 22 November and has already risen to the number one slot in the Official UK iTunes Top 40 Jazz Chart.

The track is accompanied by an evocative video, which has been released today (Tuesday 13 December). Depicting an elderly gentleman reminiscing of times gone by with his wife, the video was filmed in Leamington Spa’s art-deco The Assembly.

16 pupils from Haslucks Green Junior School in Shirley, West Midlands – where Alan taught for eight years – also feature on the song. Together, they are known as the Giving Is Easy Big Band and they hope to raise £25,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Recorded and produced at Birmingham Conservatoire by Matthew O’Malley, with support from technician Minos Koutedakis, ‘What Are We Gonna Do For Christmas?’ boasts vocals from professional singers Simon Dorey and Michelle Lawson.

Songwriter Alan Stott, said:

“Several years ago, I watched, helpless, like so many of us, as my mother slipped into Alzheimer’s and dementia. Not only is Christmas when I most miss her, my mother’s passing brought back many sad memories of visiting other elderly relatives at Christmas, and remembering how they struggled so much while everybody else was celebrating and having a good time.

“I knew then that I wanted to do something poignant, not only to raise money to help dementia sufferers like my mother, but also to raise awareness of the thousands up and down the country who don’t see Christmas with the same joy as the rest of us because of their condition.”