Oxford-based a cappella group The Oxford Belles have released a new music video for their rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s iconic ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun(damental Rights)’, for International Women’s Day. The video features a range of female academics from across Oxford University, including Principal Alice Prochaska.
The new clip is aiming to help Oxfordshire Rape Crisis, The Malala Fund, and Forward, three brilliant charities that support women’s rights. The track is now available to stream on the group’s YouTube channel.
Since their formation, The Oxford Belle’s have had a strong affiliation with the College. This year, four of the thirteen members are Somervillians. Their current President is English undergraduate, Jess Bollands (2015) and their former president and active member, Emily Albery (2014), is a choral scholar and Experimental Psychology undergraduate. The Somerville JCR’s Welfare Officer and English undergraduate, Teresa Rendell (2015), is the group’s Musical Director. We also have one alumni in the group, Alex Worrell (2013), who graduated with a degree in English last year and is now doing her Master’s at Lincoln College.
Additionally, The Belles’ recent successes at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as the recording and mastering of their EP was made possible by funds raised through the Somerville College crowdfunding platform.
Comprised solely of students from the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, The Oxford Belles were formed in 1995 to empower the women of the Oxford music scene, and have continued to do so ever since. It therefore felt fitting for the group’s first ever fully produced music video to celebrate some brilliant women and their achievements.
‘We wanted to choose a song that represented us as a group, was universally loved, and could also provide a powerful message, and [Girls Just Want To Have Fun] certainly fit the bill’, said the Belles’ President, Jess Bollands, who thought the group’s unique sound and sassy personalities would work perfectly with the classic pop anthem.
As the group’s first big video release, The Belles are very excited to see the reactions it receives. According to Bollands, they are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that the empowering messages within the video strike a chord with audiences.
‘We really hope that with the attention the video receives, the charities that we are supporting will receive vital funds to help support women’s rights, safety and education – that would be the greatest achievement we could dream of’, says Jess.
Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre (OSARCC) are a collective of women committed to supporting survivors of sexual abuse, rape, domestic abuse, and harassment. For more information, go to https://www.oxfordrapecrisis.net
The Malala Fund: Inspired and led by Malala’s example, the Malala Fund works to secure girls’ right to a minimum of 12 years of quality education, particularly in the global south. For more information, go to https://www.malala.org
FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development) is committed to gender equality and safeguarding the rights of African girls and women. For more information, go to http://forwarduk.org.uk
To read more on the Oxford Belles, please visit their website.