Choir of the year logo
The BBC Singers

Develop skills

Last November Choir of the Year teamed up with the BBC Singers and their Chief Conductor David Hill to offer free conducting workshops to the leaders of all choirs competing in Choir of the Year 2010.

More than 60 choir leaders came to the workshops held in the BBC Maida Vale Studios (22 November and BBC Studio 7 Manchester (29 November).  The BBC Singers is the UK’s only full-time professional choir and holds a unique position in British musical life. Performing everything from Byrd to Birtwistle, Tallis to Takemitsu, the versatility of this 24-voice ensemble is second to none. Equally at home on the concert platform as in the recording studio, this world-class ensemble is committed to sharing its enthusiasm and creative expertise through its nationwide outreach programme. This includes regular collaborations with schoolchildren, youth choirs and the amateur choral community, as well as with the professional composers, singers and conductors of tomorrow.

The workshops were designed to cater for a range of abilities and gave conductors the opportunity to:
  1. Develop their conducting skills and understanding of the voice
  2. Learn tips and techniques from David Hill
  3. Sing alongside the 24-voice BBC Singers, the UK’s only full-time professional choir
  4. Participate in a conducting master-class
  5. Observe a short BBC Singers rehearsal
  6. Take part in specialised break-out session on children’s voices, composing and vocal technique, led by members of the BBC Singers

BBC Singers alto Rebecca Lodge got everyone off to a great start with some warms-ups and later on worked with the children’s choir leaders, sharing her knowledge and experience of young, developing voices. In the afternoon, eight brave choir leaders took the floor in a master-class and conducted a piece of music of their own choice with the BBC Singers. Resident experts David Hill and Neil McKenzie gave constructive feedback on technique and interpretation, with valuable tips and comments thrown in from the Singers themselves.

We hope to offer more workshops with the BBC Singers in future, so don’t worry if you missed out last time!

For more information about the BBC Singers and their forthcoming programme visit

What you told us


“Watching David Hill was an education in itself. It was an honour to stand in front of the BBC Singers… it was a bit like taking someone else’s Rolls Royce for a spin – sorry I took it off-road!”

“Today’s choral conducting training has been massively beneficial and given me skills which I can confidently take back to our choir.”

“The most valuable advice today has been from David Hill on removing anxiety techniques associated with conducting “too much” in front of a choir, usually young people. I came away with renewed enthusiasm.”

“A fantastic day that has filled me with confidence to go for it!”

Click here to go to Kallaway website
Click here to go to Kallaway website