Saturday at the Festival!

In our opening plenary panel, Richard Jeffries, Anna Tabbush, Hannah Brine and Craig McLeish shared their experiences of setting up and running their community choirs. These valuable insights from the panel and questions from the floor made for a really interesting and informative session to set us up for the day!

Morning workshops included Alan Bullard’s session leading delegates through his ‘Flexible Songs for Choirs’ book, ABRSM’s presentation on their exciting new Music Theatre syllabus, Craig McLeish discussing versatile community choir arrangements, and Peter Broadbent & Jeremy Haneman’s session on the importance of teaching pronunciation to singers. It was a wonderful, varied morning of inspiration for all!

Before lunch, Jordan Travis delivered a brilliant workshop considering how conductors can make their leadership more collaborative and engaging and why this benefits our choirs, and more broadly builds our communities.

It’s also been beautiful weather today so delegates then enjoyed their lunch outside the Conservatoire before we were treated to a great post lunch recital by Lutley Community Voices, led by abcd member Margaret Jones.

This afternoon, some of our delegates had the wonderful opportunity to take a trip out of Birmingham to visit Elgar’s birthplace, The Firs in nearby Lower Broadheath, Worcestershire! As well as a bespoke guided tour of The Firs, these delegates will then come together to sing some of Elgar’s choral music whilst at the birthplace. What a memorable experience it will be.

Meanwhile back at the Conservatoire, delegates have been exploring the trade exhibition and attending a brilliant recital by Dynamic Voices from the Singing Community of Choirs (Artistic Director: Richard Jeffries). David Lawrence has also delivered a fantastic session on tried and tested ways to deliver classic repertoire to community choirs, learning either from music or by rote.

Tonight we’re looking forward to what promises to be a spectacular Gala Concert, with performances from the National Youth Choir of Hungary, Town Hall Gospel Choir and the Chamber Choir of London!