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Tickets go on sale as choirs get set to raise the roof of St John’s Smith Square competing to become National Choir of the Year!

  • Auditions at St John’s Smith Square in London on 11 May
  • TICKETS £5 on sale now: http://bit.ly/1g6IjEs or call 020 7222 1061
  • Watch local choirs including Westminster Boys’ Choir and Tell It Community Choir as well as top groups from across London and beyond
  • See expert judges David Lawrence (Conductor for BBC Songs of Praise) and Stuart Barr (Musical Director to Shirley Bassey and West End singing coach)
  • Audience members can release their inner divas and get singing with leading conductor and broadcaster Greg Beardsell
  • Big Big Sing workshops - sing to celebrate the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

St John’s Smith Square will be alive with song on Sunday 11 May as the best singing groups from across the capital take part in the prestigious National Choir of the Year competition. Tickets cost only £5 and give the public the chance to hear some of the best amateur music-makers in the country battle it out in one of the city’s most celebrated concert venues. They can be bought online now at http://bit.ly/1g6IjEs or by calling 020 7222 1061.

Twenty-one talented singing groups with singers aged from five to 75 years old will be performing classical and contemporary choral music, pop arrangements and songs from around the world in an action-packed day. They are competing for the accolade of Choir of the Day and the chance to move a step closer to the coveted title of ‘National Choir of the Year 2014’.

Audiences also have the opportunity to sing along with conductor Greg Beardsell as he leads them through material from the Big Big Sing – a nationwide singing initiative launched in celebration of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Taking place at the end of each audition session, these fun and accessible workshops will give competitors and members of the public the chance to try their hand at singing songs from across the Commonwealth, from Canada to the Caribbean and Samoa to South Africa.

The National Choir of the Year competition is the largest and most celebrated of its kind in the UK and this year the very best singing groups will compete for the accolade. The auditions are held at venues across the UK with only the very best choirs making it through to the next round, the Category Finals, at London’s Festival Hall on Sunday 19 October. After that, just six choirs will make it through to the Grand Final at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on Sunday 7 December. The competition is recorded and will be broadcast by the BBC in special National Choir of the Year programmes on BBC FOUR and BBC Radio 3.

Ken Burton, National Choir of the Year 2014 Judge, said:

Since 1994, when my own choir won the competition, I have been proud to be a regular judge for what is now the National Choir of the Year competition. It’s one of the few competitions that allows those of all ages and music styles to compete, whilst retaining a level of excellence across all of the participating groups. I am always struck by the versatility of the choirs, not knowing beforehand which musical genre they have adapted and arranged. The audition round is full of trepidation for both the judges and the choirs, and I cannot wait to see what happens!'

Svend Brown, Director of Big Big Sing, said:
‘At Big Big Sing our aim is to get as many people as possible singing and enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits of singing in 2014. The Big Big Sing workshops at the National Choir of the Year auditions are a fantastic way for us to connect with talented choirs across the country and we can’t wait to work with the National Choir of the Year and all the participants in this year’s competition over the next few months.’

For more information about the National Choir of the Year visit www.choiroftheyear.com.

To buy tickets for auditions at St John’s Smith Square on 11 May visit http://bit.ly/1g6IjEs or call 020 7222 1061

To find out more about Big Big Sing visit www.bigbigsing.org

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Notes to editors

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

Event Information
Morning Choir of the Year event:             9.30am – 1.30pm
Afternoon Choir of the Year event:          2.30pm – 6.00pm

Tickets per audition session: £5

Press information
George Eddy george.eddy@kallaway.com 020 7221 7883
Dominic Stockbridge dominic.stockbridge@choiroftheyear.com 020 7221 7883

Choirs competing in St John’s Smith Square are as follows:

Choir Category Choir home base

Schola Cantorum, The Cardinal Vaughan
Memorial School

Youth

London

The Holles Singers

Open

Hampton

Haberdasher’s Aske’s Hatcham College
Vocal Consort

Youth

London

Soundbytes

Adult

Ashtead, Surrey

Amersham A Cappella

Open

Amersham

Westminster Boys’ Choir

Children

Westminster

Voices of Lions

Youth

Hampton

Southmead Primary Choir

Children

Wandsworth

Jackie Palmer Girls’ School

Youth

High Wycombe

Tell It Community Choir

Open

London

VoxChoir

Open

Fleet

Port Regis Schola Cantorum

Children

Motcombe, Dorset

Funky Little Choir

Adult

Bournemouth

Holbeach School Choir

Children

Lewisham

Chicken Soup Choir

Adult

Bournemouth

Encore Women’s Choir

Adult

Great Horkesley, Essex

New Forest Children’s Choir

Children

Christchurch, Dorset

Funky Little Youth Choir

Youth

Bournemouth

JuSSt Voices

Open

Worthing

London Ghana SDA Youth Choir

Open

Canning Town

New Forest Chamber Choir

Open

Christchurch, Dorset

About the National Choir of the Year  (www.choiroftheyear.com)
 
The National 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.

The National 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.

The National Choir of the Year is supported by the Peter Sowerby Foundation and by 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. Big Big Sing are running a 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.

Events kick off with Big Big Sing Days in Scotland’s largest cities before spreading across the UK. The National Choir of the Year will use extracts from the Big Big Sing songbook in audience workshops as part of its audition days.

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