August 25, 2018
  • 09:00 Exhibition Opens
  • 09:20 Gathering Voices 1 Lecture Theatre B

    Start the day with a massed vocal warm-up, guaranteed to lift the spirits in collective song. Led by Em Whitfield Brooks

  • 09:30 Session 2: Plenary - encouraging diversity in choirs Lecture Theatre B

    Choirs and cultural diversity: How do our choirs address (or contribute to) the lack of cultural diversity in choral music? What should we be asking ourselves? What are the problems and how can we help to solve them? With questions from delegates, we look at the state of cultural diversity in choral music and discuss how choral directors and choirs can make a positive contribution. This plenary session panel includes Manvinder Rattan, Chief Executive Officer and Head of Conductor Training at Sing for Pleasure, Churchill Fellow and conductor Luzili Mulindi-King, performance poet Michelle Scally Clarke, conductor and York University Professor of Tuba Shaun Matthew, and Kevin Hylton, Professor of Equality and Diversity in Sport, Leisure and Education at Leeds Beckett University. To propose questions for the panel, please get in touch with us.

  • 10:45 Making Music Orchestral Workshop - Discussion Session G03 in Caedmon Hall
  • 10:45 Session 3a: Working with young voices Lecture Theatre B

    With Jenevora Williams. As a leading exponent in the field of vocal health and singing teaching, Jenevora asks: are you giving your young singers the best tools for strong, healthy singing? She outlines the vocal possibilities and limitations throughout young singers' development - in particular the vital issue of adolescent voice change in girls and boys.

  • 10:45 Session 3b: Signed Song Lecture Theatre D

    Profoundly deaf from birth, Paul Whittaker OBE nevertheless studied music at Oxford and the RNCM before founding "Music and the Deaf" in 1988. His session introduces signed song; you can have a go at signing something yourself and enjoy the fun & challenges of signing different styles of music.

  • 10:45 Session 3c: Arranging Pop & Rock Music For Your Choir Lecture Theatre C

    Senior Lecturer, Popular Music Degree course, Leeds College of Music, Craig Lees explores fresh approaches to teaching, arranging and performing contemporary Rock & Pop Music. Topics include repertoire choice, style, arrangement techniques, song interpretation and incorporating movement into performance.

  • 10:45 Session 3d: Repertoire reading session Acre Room

    Music for SATB voices with Tom Leech. A Convention highlight for many, these brilliant sessions introduce you to new music for all kinds of voice combinations, some published by the composers themselves. Your key to fresh music for your concerts next year.

  • 10:45 Session 3e: Choral & orchestral conducting masterclass Jubilee Room

    A rare opportunity to conduct a choir and orchestra in a workshop setting, led by Opera North's Chorus Masters, Oliver Rundell, with members of a local orchestra. In association with Making Music.

  • 11:45 Exhibition (tea and coffee)
  • 12:15 Session 4a: Opera for youth and community Lecture Theatre D

    Through the education work done by Opera North, the company has extensive experience in the practice of how best to introduce opera to young people and amateur singers. During the session, James Bingham and Jacqui Cameron talk delegates through some of their projects, share suitable operatic repertoire for amateurs and young people, and look at tried and tested methods in how best to engage newcomers to the world of opera.

  • 12:15 Session 4b: Meet the composer, Vytautas Miškinis Acre Room

    Convention is honoured to welcome this amazingly prolific Lithuanian composer, with over 800 religious and secular works to his name, together with innumerable choral-competition prizes. As a highly-experienced conductor he knows how to make music practical as well as beautiful: his session gives an insight into how he achieves this.

  • 12:15 Session 4c: Fake views confuse Lecture Theatre B

    With Jenevora Williams. If you've ever told singers: "Support the voice"; "Find more space"; "Stand up straight"; "Place the sound"; you're ambiguous at best, at worst misleading! Misconceptions and alternative facts can confuse singers. Following a brief exploration of the singing voice, we should consider re-evaluating what we say to them and how we say it.

  • 12:15 Session 4d: Singing rock and pop Lecture Theatre C

    With Craig Lees. Enjoy a quick tour around rock and pop choral singing, with fresh ideas to inspire your choir. Learn new songs, explore new techniques in style and blend. In this highly interactive workshop you'll be encouraged to sing and learn from Craig throughout.

  • 12:15 Session 4e: Choral and orchestral conducting masterclass Jubilee Room


  • 13:15 Lunch and Exhibition
  • 14:30 Making Music Orchestral Workshop Jubilee Room

    with Justin Fu

  • 14:50 Gathering Voices II Lecture Theatre D

    Prepare your voice and rediscover your energy in a short, fun, creative harmony session led by Em Whitfield Brooks.

  • 15:00 Session 5a: The uplift of singing Lecture Theatre B

    The Diocese of Leeds has the largest church programme of choral music for young people in the UK, reaching over 3500 children weekly: over 100 groups in 53 schools in some of the most deprived parts of Yorkshire. In this practical and informative session find out from the people who run it the colossal difference their inspiring work makes to children's morale, confidence and self-belief, and how the programme ensures opportunity is sustained as children move through school. Led by Choral Directors Charlotte Kitson and Alex Kyle.

  • 15:00 Session 5b: Vocalise, vocal ease, quality keys for inclusive choirs Lecture Theatre D

    With Em Whitfield Brooks. If your choir or group includes diverse singers with greatly differing levels of ability and experience, but you're not sure how to bring the best out of them - this workshop is for you. Em's practical session offers ways in, warm-ups, tips & exercises, rooted in a physical approach to the voice, which will improve singers' technique, enhance their collective sound, increase their confidence and ensure their enjoyment.

  • 15:00 Session 5c: You want me to sing WHAT? Lecture Theatre C

    The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) has long been used to transcribe foreign texts into symbols which have one, and only one, sound. Can choirs use it to achieve better blend, more lovely colour and improved intonation? Based on his work as a singer and teacher, James Meaders, DCINY Associate Artistic Director and Conductor, has long been an advocate of IPA for choirs and seen how dramatically it improves their unification of tone. His interactive session focuses on the IPA's vowel and diphthong symbols and how to introduce them to your choir.

  • 15:00 Session 5d: Repertoire reading session Acre Room

    Music by exhibitor composers. A Convention highlight for many, these brilliant sessions introduce you to new music for all kinds of voice combinations. Here, our exhibitor composers introduce their own music - the ideal opportunity to hear first hand how their music should be performed.

  • 15:00 Session 5e: Young Conductors' Course G03 in Caedmon Hall
  • 16:00 Exhibition (tea and coffee)
  • 16:30 Session 6a: Conducting masterclass Lecture Theatre B

    With a choir of young singers in Years 7-13 from the Diocese of Leeds Singing Programme. Three conductors will receive 15-20 minutes' individual tuition, along with observer delegates, led by Susan Hollingworth. A wonderful chance to get first-hand tips from one of the UK's most experienced leader of young singers. To receive more details, email Rachel Greaves. A panel will choose those fortunate enough to take part.

  • 16:30 Session 6b: Repertoire reading session Acre Room

    Music by female composers, with Amy Bebbington. A Convention highlight for many, these brilliant sessions introduce you to new music for all kinds of voice combinations, some published by the composers themselves. Your key to fresh music for your concerts next year.

  • 16:30 Session 6c: Choral core components Lecture Theatre D

    Award-winning singer and vocal coach Charles MacDougall will give you a full vocal work out addressing the core and satellite components of good singing technique. Jam-packed with technical advice, this session will increase your awareness of the voice as an instrument, providing tools for vocal development of the individual singer and ideas for effective vocal warm-ups for choirs and singers of all abilities. Charles will show that everyone can get to grips with the key elements behind classical training and improve their individual sound and the overall sound of their choirs.

  • 16:30 Session 6d: Exploring voices - beyond the written note Lecture Theatre C

    With Janet Oates. A practical workshop will exploring the possibility of introducing experimental vocal music to choirs including community and youth groups. Such music, which might include unconventional and graphic notation, text instruction, improvisation or free pitches, can seem unsuitable or even terrifying to choral singers - but it can also be challenging, stimulating, and fun!

  • 17:30 Exhibition
  • 18:00 Dinner
  • 18:00 Exhibition closes
  • 19:00 Coaches leave for gala concert
  • 19:45 Gala Concert

    At Leeds Cathedral and featuring the New Dublin Voices (conductor Bernie Sherlock), NYCGB Boys' Choir (conductors Lucy Joy Morris and Robbie Jacobs) and the Leeds Contemporary Singers (director Craig Lees)