Archive: abcd convention comes to Leeds

Archived: appeared on the Making Music website in August 2012.

If you are involved in leading a choir, one of the most significant events of the year has to be the annual convention of the Association of British Choral Directors (abcd). abcd is already known and well respected for the workshop opportunities they provide, such as the Sing Jubilee event held in Durham this year.

This year’s convention runs from 24-26 August at Leeds Metropolitan University. The abcd’s General Secretary Rachel Greaves is enthusiastic about the programme. ‘Our Annual Convention is our biggest event of the year and we’re delighted to be holding it in Leeds for the first time. We have put together the best of Yorkshire as well as presenters from around the UK and as far away as the USA and Sweden, so there is something for leaders of all types of choirs, and plenty of opportunities for singing too.’

The conference itself starts on the Friday with workshops by Paul Mealor and Richard Frostick. A highlight of the opening day will certainly be the ‘Sheffield pub carols’ with real Yorkshire ale as the natural accompaniment.

Topics covered on Saturday include children’s singing, vocal health, community choirs, managing the young treble voice, a presentation by Rock Up & Sing’s Rhiannon Gayle, and a chance to discover new editions from the major music publishers.

The White Rosettes, currently UK and European ladies’ barbershop champions and a member of Making Music, will be performing over lunchtime. This is a great opportunity to discover what barbershop techniques can bring to your choir.

The Gala Concert on Saturday evening is open to the general public and includes a performance by Making Music members the Chapter House Choir, a 34-voice chamber choir from York. There is also a performance from the community choir formed at the morning workshop in the Town Hall. The workshop, led by gospel conductor Ken Burton starts at 10am and anyone enthusiastic about singing is welcome to participate.

The programme for the closing day is just as intense and includes a workshop on inner-city school choirs, dealing with choirs close to failure, and the story and principles behind Cambiata, the regional ‘changing voice choir’ for boys.

An extensive music trade exhibition runs throughout the weekend and includes a stall from Making Music.

For more information on this fascinating event, visit the ABCD website.

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