The Rainbow Connection Singers
(Open Category Winner 2010)
“Without doubt having the title ‘Open Choir of The Year' has made a difference - people know that if you have achieved this, you are a motivated choir who want to make things happen! In our case I think it has also given us more credibility as a choir. As a result of taking part the Youth members of the Choir were awarded a 'Super Kids' award for best inspirational group by the Doncaster Free Press in December 2010 and we have been offered financial support from Doncaster Youth Bank to make a CD. We now have a meeting in the diary with the head of Doncaster Music Services, to see how we can use the Choir’s success to encourage more young people to get involved with some joint projects.
We have been amazed by the number of other choirs who have watched us on Youtube, and have added positive comments. When we first competed in Choir of the Year in 2008, we felt very conspicuous in our black cocktail dresses and heels. Now when we go to choral competitions, all the youth choirs look great! The long A- line skirts are a thing of the past, the material they are singing is more diverse, and there are more of them! Other Choirs watch Choir of the Year and take from it ideas to inspire their own choirs, in choral terms it sets the standard for everyone.”
Debbie Mellors, choir co-founder and vocal coach
Warwickshire County Boys’ Choir
(‘Wildcard’ winner, 2010)
“Taking part in Choir of the Year in 2010 raised our profile a great deal and expectations have been high ever since. Last Christmas we appeared on Local radio and TV and BBC breakfast, as well as the televised Grand Final itself. We were also invited to various engagements including singing outside 10 Downing Street! The boys are very proud of their achievement and know they have to work very hard to keep up the standard - very helpful in all respects. The choir has always had a huge commitment from the boys’ parents but after our success in Choir of the Year there is now an understanding that we need to establish a lasting organisation and structure so that boys’ singing continues to flourish in Warwickshire. Despite severe cuts to County Music service funding, the reputation we have gained will without doubt enable us to seek sponsorship and other backing and without such exposure I doubt the boys’ choir could have survived as a large open access group”
Garry Jones, Musical Director
Wellensian Consort (Winner,
Choir of the Year 2010)
“I cannot begin to fully quantify the effect that participating in Choir of the Year 2010 has had on the Wellensian Consort. From the outset it provided us with renewed focus and a determination to improve as a choir and tackle more challenging repertoire. All of the stages of the competition provided us with the invaluable experience of receiving advice from many of the country’s leading musical figures, whilst also sharing ideas on all forms of choral singing with the other conductors and singers. It is an utterly inspirational environment that has provided us with a whole series of amazing opportunities. As a result, we have been able to perform in some of the greatest venues in the UK, been able to share our music with a massive audience on BBC Radio 3, have broadened our base of support both locally and nationally through hugely raised media exposure and have received invitations from top concert promoters. We’ve also had the opportunity to record a commercial CD with a leading record label. Our success has allowed us to give back to the local community in a host of different ways - from educational projects to charity concerts.
Choir of the Year has enabled the Wellensian Consort to establish a national reputation and has changed the opportunities available almost overnight. Above all, the members of the choir speak of success in this hugely prestigious competition as the proudest moment of their entire lives.”
Christopher Finch, Musical Director