Town Hall Gospel Choir
In 2007 set out to recruit a group of singers from Birmingham’s gospel communities to form a choir to participate in the re-opening concert of the newly refurbished Town Hall, featuring a performance of Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration- a gospel and soul reworking of Handel’s Messiah.
The choir was initially recruited, auditioned and trained by Black Voices (Town Hall Associate Artists and the UK’s leading female black a capella group), with Ken Burton (Director of the London Adventist Chorale and one of the UK’s leading choral conductors) taking over towards the final stages.
The original intention had been to recruit a community choir – a group of amateurs, perhaps with more enthusiasm than ability. However, it soon became apparent that a significant pool of talent had been found, and that at the heart of the choir were singers of considerate ability.
At the re-opening concerts, the choir stole the show and it became clear that we had created something special that deserved to be continued. We launched a recruitment drive in January which received an unexpectedly high level of interest, and the choir’s ranks have now grown to nearly 40 members, with a considerable number also on a waiting list for future auditions.
Past projects have included a performance with Sir Willard White, a joint Christmas concert with Black Voices in 2009, and a spectacular concert with the CBSO and South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela at Symphony Hall in May 2010.
The choir is now under the permanent directorship of Colin Anderson, and has recently been awarded funding from the Arts Council and the Roughley Charitable Trust to ensure it can continue to develop and inspire audiences.
Recent and upcoming performances include a Rush Hour Blues performance on 18 May and in the free outdoor production The Voyage from 21-24 June in Victoria Square. Current Town Hall Gospel Choir events.
Interested in joining the choir?
Town Hall Gospel Choir rehearses regularly on either Sunday afternoon or Tuesday evening, and performs in at least three major concerts a year. Rehearsals take place at various venues in the city centre, including Town Hall, Symphony Hall and Birmingham Conservatoire.
Membership is by audition, and potential members should have experience of choral or gospel singing. The ability to read music is an advantage but not essential. Auditions are held by the choir’s director Colin Anderson and one other person, and are very friendly and informal.
For more information or to join the audition waiting list, please contact Emily Jones.