Sunday 6th April, Leeds Town Hall

Apr 06, 2014


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What an impressive town hall! This is certainly a town hall on a grand-scale. Myself and Alice arrive early, unload brochures and start speaking to choirs who arrive in their droves.

As we were running up and down the street with brochures and laptops tucked under our arms, we were about to witness a very special moment and one that would certainly slow our pace. As one of the adult choirs arrived by coach (you know who you are!), they proceeded to host an impromptu rehearsal and performance on the pavement outside the town hall! Now come on, that’s the way to present your choir and make people stop in their steps. For now I’m going to refer to that as a #spinetinglingmoment! One of many already experienced on this Choir of the Year journey.

“This is what it’s all about, bringing people together with a shared passion.”

Margaret Haynes, Bracknell Choral Society

I happened to stop and talk to some choristers who were part of the biggest community ensemble I’ve seen perform at Choir of the Year to date. Just hearing the bubbling enthusiasm from some of their older members was contagious. “We just feel so wonderfully lucky. Our musical director is one special lady and inspirational in every way. We got into the choir through my son and youngest grandchild’s involvement. We love it.” This lovely married couple continued to hug each other before proceeding to invite me to their next concert, made up of 70+ members from their local community in Wakefield. I know I will see them again! This is what it’s all about, bringing people together with a shared passion. Thankfully this community were also quite taken on the idea of touring…why wouldn’t they be?

At the next break our very own Alice negotiated the opportunity to play the Leeds Town Hall Steinway piano. It’s very special when you get to witness first-hand just how talented our team are. This is when I experienced my defining moment in our Choir of the Year journey to date. You have to bear in mind that by this point I had now attended three singing workshops, had been presented with a Greg Beardsell mug by my team, had spoken to numerous choirs about the prospect of performing on a concert tour, was beginning to feel that I was starting to hold something that resembled a tune and was in awe of Alice’s singing and playing talents…

“Alice, what do you think to launching a Rayburn Choir – you could lead it? I was considering looking for a choir for people who couldn’t sing, so why not start our own?”

Leeds look at the effect you’ve had on us!

Watch this space for the launch of the Rayburn Choir!