Hiring a funeral singer
When nobody else feels like singing, a professional funeral soloist can lift the spirits with great music, beautifully sung, says Kirsty Young of Singers for Funerals.
Live singing can add so much to a funeral service, by celebrating a life in music, and giving time for reflection during the service itself. By hiring a professional funeral singer, you can bring live music to a church, crematorium or burial service without the pressure of family members trying to sing at such an emotional time.
A professional funeral soloist will be happy to sing as much or as little as you wish. They will perform either with the resident organist or pianist, or sometimes with their own recorded accompaniment, and can also join any resident church choir.
In your church or crematorium service, they would normally lead the hymn singing. They know the right tunes and the words, sometimes a problem for non-church relatives.
Apart from hymns, you can also include a solo or two (service times permitting), one of which is usually performed at communion in church, or at the committal at a cremation service.
Many families also request a sung item at the exit so that those attending leave with a song in their heart, rather than quiet organ music.
My Last Song has lists of farewell music. and most good funeral singers have a list of suggested songs they sing on their website.
Discuss your choice of secular songs with the minister if you are having a religious service, as some may not be suitable.
Our advice is to select straightforward songs as often a simple song well sung can touch the heart. A solo voice singing wonderful music is often cited as the most memorable moment for those attending a funeral.
Most classical singers in a church or chapel would not require a microphone to be heard, and if they provide their own accompaniments, should provide their own discreet PA system to play it through.
However if you love a particular singer rather than a particular song (Frank Sinatra, not My Way), then we always suggest you play a recording by that singer. Many things your professional funeral singer might be, but Freddie Mercury, Robbie Williams, Frank Sinatra or Dolly Parton they are not.