Sunday, December 03, 2006

Choirs are becoming cool!

Welcome to my new blog!

This is a space for me to share views, thoughts and questions that arise from leading two community choirs weekly.

It seems to me that choirs and singing are becoming the new aerobics! First we had the Can’t Sing Singers on BBC TV in December 2004, then The Singing Estate on Channel 5 in June of this year, the recent series The Choir on BBC2 followed by the 2006 BBC Choir of the Year Competition and on Channel 4 a documentary about the amazing Young@Heart Chorus) from the USA (

All these events were covered widely in the press and on TV and have generated much comment on the internet. For example, Ivor Setterfield (the conductor in The Singing Estate) wrote an article in The Guardian on choirs in general, and the BBC2 series The Choir in particular. There was also an article in The Times pointing out that the plethora of reality TV choir programmes has spawned a mini industry creating choir CDs for the Christmas market.

Of course this exposure can only be a good thing and show that choirs can be cool and fun and are not all stuffy old people. I do wish though they would stop promoting the angle that “even plebs can learn to appreciate classical music”!

We’ve also had the fascinating series Howard Goodall’s “How music works” on Channel 4 which gave excellent insights into the areas of harmony, rhythm, melody and bass.

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Chris Rowbury


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