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Take your choral skills to the next level at the new Choir of the Year ‘Choral Academy’ at Warwick Arts Centre on 10 May

  • UK’s national amateur choir competition announces a programme of vocal workshops at Warwick Arts Centre, Saturday 10 May
  • Experts including Mary King (TV’s Operatunity, Musicality) and Robert Hollingworth (director of award-winning ensemble I Fagiolini) will take work with singers and conductors to hone their skills
  • Singers of all levels and ages can take part in a Big Big Sing workshop  - experience music from across the Commonwealth and get ready to celebrate the Glasgow 2014 Games
  • Local choirs will fill the foyer with a day-long celebration of singing
  • Hear some of the country’s best choirs battle it out at the Choir of the Year auditions including former finalists Warwick County Choristers acclaimed showchoir Rainbow Connection Singers.

Choir of the Year, the national competition for UK amateur choirs, is inviting choral singers and conductors to attend its new Choral Academy, a day of expert led workshop aimed at those who want to develop existing skills or try something new.

The workshops are free of charge with a ticket to the Choir of the Year Auditions that run throughout the day in the Butterworth Hall. Audition tickets cost just £5 (booking fees may apply) and are available from the Warwick Arts Centre Box office http://bit.ly/1lQn15p.

The scheduled workshops are:

You can sing… but can you swing?! with Joanna Forbes-L’Estrange
Singer and vocal coach Joanna Forbes-L’Estrange will lead her ever-popular workshop – with accompanying jazz warm-ups – aimed at conductors and singers who are keen to add non-classical repertoire to their concerts programmes and perform “lighter” styles idiomatically.

Renaissance Music: is it ‘different’? with Robert Hollingworth
Robert Hollingworth, director of innovative specialist Renaissance vocal ensemble I Fagiolini, gets to grips with the fundamentals of tackling extremely varied Renaissance choral repertoire and asks whether we need to approach it differently from any other type of choral music.

Share your problems at our Vocal Surgery with Mary King
Come along with your questions on vocal care and technique and voice expert Mary King will offer her useful advices. Singers, teachers, conductors and general observers are all welcome.

Tools for tip-top singing with children’s choirs with Val Whitlock
Vocal consultant and children’s choral expert Val Whitlock will lead this session for choral directors and leaders looking to take their children’s choirs to the next level through healthy vocal technique, connection to the text, and performance skills. This session will include a practical demonstration with a children’s choir.

All are welcome to attend these sessions. Places can be reserved in advance at http://www.choiroftheyear.com/education-resources.htm

Additional Opportunities on the day:

Join the Big Big Sing
This year Choir of the Year is joining forces with Big Big Sing - a nationwide celebration of singing - to mark the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Members of the public can sign up to join in a workshop with an inspirational choirmaster who will get everyone singing Commonwealth style with brilliant sounds from South Africa, the Caribbean, Samoa, Canada and elsewhere.

Big Big Sing workshops will take place at 10.00 and 14.30. You don’t need any singing experience and you don’t need to read music – just come along, join in and sing up. The Big Big Sing workshops cost £5 and include free entry to the Choir of the Year Auditions too.

Foyer performances – final places available!
Alongside the Choral Academy and auditions, Choir of the Year is welcoming local choirs to help create a festival atmosphere by taking to the stage in the foyer of the Warwick Arts Centre. Choirs already signed up include ladies’ show choir The Belles of Three Spires and Coventry and Warwickshire Gospel Choir – and any singing group is welcome to join the celebration! Email info@choiroftheyear.com to register your interest.

Lucy Griffiths, Deputy Director of Music at the University of Warwick and Choir of the Year Presenter, said:
‘ I am thrilled that Choir of the Year is using Warwick Arts Centre as the debut location of its new Choral Academy. The workshops add a welcome new element to what are already exciting audition days. The chance to get individual advice from experts such as these doesn’t come around too often and so it’s not an opportunity to be missed.

Choir of the Year has always been more than a competition – it’s about celebrating singing of all kinds. Having community choirs entertain passers-by in the foyer will really help reinforce the festival atmosphere that Choir of the Day brings. I can’t wait to see it all come together. ’

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Notes to editors

Workshop information
Entry to Choral Academy events is included with a ticket to a Choir of the Year Audition (£5) but require pre- registration at:
http://www.choiroftheyear.com/education-resources.htm

Ticket Information
Tickets for Choir of the Year Auditions and Big Big Sing are available from Warwick Arts Centre:
http://bit.ly/1lQn15p or call 024 7652 4524

Morning Choir of the Year event 9.30am – 1.30pm
Morning Big Big Sing workshop 10.00am – 11.30pm

Afternoon Choir of the Year event 2.30pm – 6.30pm
Afternoon Big Big Sing workshop 2.30pm – 4.00pm

Tickets per audition session: £5
Big Big Sing workshops ticket: £5*

*Big Big Sing workshop tickets include access to one Choir of the Year audition session during the day

Press information
George Eddy george.eddy@kallaway.com 020 7221 7883
Helen Price Helen@choiroftheyear.com 020 7313 6273

Twitter @ChoiroftheYear
Hashtag #choiroftheyear
Facebook www.facebook.com/choiroftheyear
Email info@choiroftheyear.com
Telephone 020 7221 7883

For further information please visit www.choiroftheyear.com

Choirs competing in Warwick are as follows:

Choir Category Choir home base

Wellbeing Community Choir

Adult

Birmingham

Jewel Tones

Youth

Reading

Four Oaks Cluster Choir

Children

Sutton Coldfield

The Howling Wolves Chamber Choir

Open

Walsall

Warwickshire County Choristers

Children

Warwick

SWAGG

Adult

Flintshire

Charvil Voices

Adult

Reading

Warwickshire County Male Voices

Youth

Warwick

St Jude’s Catholic Primary School Choir

Children

Birmingham

The Accidentals

Open

Sutton Coldfield

Cantabile Youth Choir

Youth

Nuneaton

Nota Bella

Youth

Kenilworth

Warwickshire County Girls’ Choir

Youth

Kenilworth

Rainbow Connection Singers

Open

Doncaster

Cantare

Adult

Southend-on-Sea

Vocal Generation

Open

Leamington Spa

Up for Arts

Adult

Liverpool

Friday Voices

Adult

Tutbury

Cor Meibion Rhosllnerchrugog

Adult

Wrexham

Cantorum Choir

Adult

Cookham

Voices Choir

Open

Derby

About Choir of the Year  (www.choiroftheyear.com)
Choir of the Year is the UK’s national amateur group singing competition and the most prestigious event of its kind – winning the competition is the ultimate achievement for any UK choir.

Since 1984 more than 130,000 singers of all ages have taken part in this biennial festival of singing, performing in a vast array of styles including pop, gospel, barbershop, classical and World music. Choirs perform to a live audience and have expert judges provide live feedback and written guidance notes following their performance.

Choir of the Year is more than a competition and helps choirs to become the best they can, providing the opportunity for singers of all ages and backgrounds to meet and exchange ideas, it raises the aspirations of thousands of singers by promoting teamwork, dedication and a passion for singing.

Choir of the Year is supported by the Peter Sowerby Foundation and the National Lottery through Arts Council England.



About the Big Big Sing (www.bigbigsing.com)
An initiative of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music, Big Big Sing is set to be one of the highlights of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme. It is funded by Spirit of 2012 Trust, Glasgow 2014, Creative Scotland, and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music. Today’s announcement reveals details of its UK-wide programme to promote singing in the run up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, including the first in a series of Big Big Sing Days, the launch of the Big Big Commonwealth Songbook, and a Schools’ Songwriting Competition.

A series of Big Big Sing Days will be held across the country between February and July, welcoming participants of all ages and abilities to discover the joy of singing in some of the UK’s top music venues – no previous experience is required, singers can simply go along and enjoy a fun filled day packed with singing, workshops and a huge variety of music from across the Commonwealth.
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Events kick off with Big Big Sing Days in Scotland’s largest cities before spreading across the UK. Choir of the Year will host Big Big Sing workshops as part of its 2014 audition days. 

 

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