Festival Day Two

Today marked the start of our full Festival and it’s been wonderful to welcome Festival delegates and Young Conductors to the Birmingham Conservatoire! Our exhibition is set up ready for perusing and there is the usual fabulous array of publishers, composers, tour companies and much more…See more about our exhibition here: https://convention.abcd.org.uk/exhibition

Delegates registered and picked up their goody bags and abcd notebooks, which are new for this year’s Festival, from Leslie and Jan on our Registration Desk. Don’t forget to pick yours up over the weekend!

Our inspirational opening session was led by Mark De Lisser, who has been a vocal coach on TV programmes such as The Voice, Pitch Battle and My Dementia Choir. His opening session asked conductors to question how to make music accessible to everyone, especially those who struggle to engage in choral singing but for whom it would have an enormous benefits i.e. those with dementia. The session finished with delegates performing his arrangement of ‘Stand by Me’ from My Dementia Choir.

Composer Paul Mealor then presented a keynote session looking at music from established and emerging American composers who form part of the new ‘transcendental school’.

Before dinner we were then treated to a stunning recital from our visiting European choir, the National Youth Choir of Hungary, who will also be involved in a workshop on Friday and our gala concert on Saturday.

This evening, Leslie East, chair of abcd welcomed delegates at the Chair’s Reception and also presented one of our annual bursaries. Kevin Boushel received this year’s OUP Andrew Potter Bursary, awarded in memory of founding member of abcd Andrew Potter.

Jan Spooner Swabey, Andrew’s partner, presenting Kevin Boushel with the OUP Andrew Potter Bursary

To conclude our day, there was a fantastic post dinner sing led by John Rutter. With repertoire ranging from Rossini to Tarik O’Regan, Rutter, Chilcott and Haydn, delegates were treated to a sublime and unique collection of choral music chosen by Rutter himself. What an inspiring day – we can’t wait for tomorrow!