The Who to lead Christmas Carol Service for Nordoff Robbins


The legendary Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey will perform an acoustic set for Nordoff Robbins on Tuesday 13 December at St Luke’s Church in London

Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity, is delighted to announce that legendary rock band The Who will be leading its annual Christmas carol service. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey will delight the audience with an acoustic set. The magical evening of traditional Christmas carols, superstar performances and festive readings from a host of celebrities will take place at 7pm on Tuesday 13 December in the stunning setting of St Luke’s Church, Chelsea.

The Who, considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, have sold over 100 million records worldwide, and are long-standing supporters of Nordoff Robbins. The band won the charity’s first ever Silver Clef Award back in 1976 and again in 2005 for the music award ceremony’s 30th anniversary. Since 1976, the Silver Clef Awards have raised nearly £12 million for Nordoff Robbins and honoured some of the greatest names in music.

Sponsored by Hipgnosis Songs, the star-studded event will raise money for the charity, helping it to continue to break down barriers through the power of music, creating space for some of the UK’s most vulnerable people to express themselves and find connection in society.

The Nordoff Robbins Carol Service showcases a glistening line up with global superstar headliners The Who providing an unforgettable experience in the church’s intimate and beautiful setting. Other talented artists, from classical stars to up and coming young talent, will support the music giants, yet to be announced. The evening will also feature a host of celebrities* giving festive readings. Previous performers at the service include Sir Rod Stewart, Nile Rodgers and Robbie Williams.

Tickets are available from, priced at £55 and donations are encouraged throughout the special festive evening. Mince pies, mulled wine and a lot of singing are included in the ticket price, and some of Nordoff Robbins’ music therapists will also be performing outside the church to entertain the audience and raise additional funds.

Money raised will help Nordoff Robbins’ dedicated music therapists to support those who need it most to experience the power of music therapy, often the only way some people can experience real connection and the means to communicate.

Nordoff Robbins’ trained music therapists work with children and adults with extreme life challenges, including injuries, disabilities and terminal illness. In 2021, Nordoff Robbins music therapists reached 8,713 individuals throughout the year, holding 35,500 therapy sessions. The charity also worked with 318 partner organisations such as schools, care homes and hospices to provide much needed music therapy.

Roger Daltrey: “What Nordoff Robbins does with music makes such a positive change to people’s lives – which is why we’re supporting them at this very special Christmas service. Music is our shared language and is incredibly powerful, and music therapy can reconnect people who may otherwise feel isolated or disconnected from the world – whether a young person with autism, a person living with dementia, or somebody rebuilding their lives after an accident.”

Pete Townshend: “For a while I must admit I didn’t really understand what Roger and I might be expected to do at a Carol Concert. But I now understand that our presence and support is more valuable than whether I can still manage a descant on ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’.

The Who family have been supporters of Nordoff-Robbins’ work since the beginning when our manager Bill Curbishley first hooked us up for charity events in the UK and USA. I had done research on the early work of music therapy when writing Tommy back in 1967, and continued to research and learn about how it works, when it works, and accepting that it does in fact sometimes  – often – work miracles.

Very glad to help out.”

Sandra Schembri, CEO of Nordoff Robbins: “Music and the festive season go hand in hand, and here at Nordoff Robbins, people and music are at the heart of everything we do. Thanks to the money raised through this wonderful annual concert, we can deliver music therapy to more clients across the UK, including some of the most vulnerable people in society. We believe that music is a superpower. Imagine if music was the only way you were able to communicate. Now imagine a world with no music – it’s unthinkable. Music can offer people true inclusion and belonging, and access to it must be a human right.

That’s why we’re so thankful to The Who, their manager Bill Curbishley and all the artists involved, and to our sponsor, Merck Mercuriadis and his Hipgnosis Songs, who are helping us to celebrate the festive season with an incredible opportunity to join such a shining line up of stars in a spectacular setting.”

Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy is delighted to have Hipgnosis Songs as a sponsor for the third year. Hipgnosis Songs is the first UK investment company offering investors a pure-play exposure to songs and associated musical intellectual property rights. Its focus is building a diversified portfolio, acquiring catalogues that are built around proven hit songs of cultural importance by some of the most talented and important songwriters globally.

About Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity (

As the UK’s largest music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins stands for music and believes in the value of music for all people in society. In particular, it uses the power of music to enrich the lives of people affected by life-limiting physical and mental illness, disabilities or feelings of isolation. The charity provides a range of different sessions for children and adults of all ages in its centres in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Scotland – from specialised one-to-one music therapy to shared sessions for groups of different sizes and formats. Nordoff Robbins works in partnership with over 280 organisations to bring music therapy to as many vulnerable people who could benefit from it as possible. These include schools, care homes, hospices, hospitals, mental health services and brain injury units.

Music Therapy is a recognised health and therapeutic intervention. Therapists are highly skilled musicians and are trained to an exceptional standard. They work with people to engage their own unique musicality, to support their development, recovery, health, potential and wellbeing. It is particularly impactful for those living with significant challenges. Training in the Nordoff Robbins’ approach to music therapy formally began in 1974 and is now delivered under Goldsmith’s University and is registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

2 thoughts on “The Who to lead Christmas Carol Service for Nordoff Robbins”

  1. Richard says:

    Just bought my ticket. What a wonderful start to Christmas. So different. And for a great cause too. See you there, lads.

  2. Nick Wren says:

    If Roger plays Tiny Tim can Pete play Mr Scrooge and immerse himself in the full wonder of Christmas?

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