Top tips for choirs from leading industry professionals

May 10, 2019

The first UK Choir Festival event of 2019 in Manchester may seem like a distant memory, but as we gear up for the next event in York in just a couple of weeks, we reminisce…

Hundreds of choristers eagerly bounding into the venue to hear what some of the industry’s experts had to say. From ‘a cappella orchestras’ to ‘gospel choirs’, there was something to develop, teach and engage everyone!

With some wonderful and inspirational industry figures in our midst, we couldn’t let the day pass by without asking them just one simple question that would give us something to share with you:

“What’s your top tip for choirs?”


Emily Dickens, internationally established soprano and conductor, and a full-time member of the critically acclaimed British vocal ensemble VOCES8:

“Be experimental and creative with the voice to find all the different sounds possible and listen for the dead air between beats.”


Mat Wright, teacher, conductor, composer and founder of the award-winning Barnsley Youth Choir:

“Audiences will always forgive a wrong note but never a lack of energy, commitment and passion. Communicate the story of a piece by creating a personal image and allow yourself the freedom to express this whilst also striving for technical accuracy.”


Dominic Ellis-Peckham, Chorus Director, conductor, presenter and educator:

“Listening is everything… leave everything else at the door!”



Carla Jane, award-winning vocalist, choir director and workshop leader for gospel choirs and church vocal groups:

“Don’t be afraid to have fun, and to be expressive. Listeners love to be ‘moved’ by a choral performance and we have to find the best ways to do this with clarity and passion as we communicate the story within the song.”


We’re ready and raring to go in York in just a few weeks! Will you be there? If not, don’t worry, we’ll be sharing more top tips from workshop leaders with you after the event. So keep your eyes peeled on our Twitter feed for all the live updates!