Sometimes, after watching a video on YouTube, I let autoplay take me where it will. Often, it takes me to videos of cats (obviously), or to makeup tutorials, or clips from Monty Python or Stephen Colbert. It plays me live music performances and dance classes and cooking shows and cartoons. Sometimes, however, it will drop in something so arresting that I have to sit up and take notice. This was one of those times.
This week, autoplay delivered a 2017 Britain’s Got Talent audition different from any other. It was a choir, primarily comprised of older people, singing a ballad. We’ve all seen those before, but what made this group stand out for me was the fact that they were all there for a single, heartbreaking reason. Known as the Missing People Choir, each of the singers had experienced the disappearance of a loved one.
As they sang, the photos of their missing family members appeared behind them, along with the year they were last seen. And do you know what happened? The watching world found a couple of them! One unidentified 13-year-old runaway picked up the phone and called his mother when he saw his picture flash on the screen (the little jerk), and a lead came in from another source which led to the location of the body of one of the missing young women. That’s one productive ballad!
The choir’s purpose is two-fold. First, they perform to raise awareness about missing persons in the U.K. in the hopes of finding clues about the missing, but more than that, they are together to support each other. They seem a very close-knit group, and it makes me happy that they’ve found each other. I can’t imagine the pain it would cause for someone you love to wink out of existence, and I’m sure these poor people can use all the help they can get.
You can learn more about the Missing People Choir on their website, which also includes resources for runaways, for missing adults, and for the families of the missing.