Pupils join elite professional choir for Cambridge festival

Niamh Howley, Tia George and Anthony Beckwith

Three pupils from St. Mary's Menston, all members of Bradford Catholic Youth Choir, took part in the internationally renowned Gabrieli Consort’s youth choir programme, Gabrieli Roar, in Cambridge last weekend.  BCYC, together with another five of the UK’s finest young choirs, joined the prestigious scheme in September and have already performed in London with the Gabrielis.  Last weekend they visited Cambridge, rehearsing under the direction of consort director and Grammy-nominated conductor Paul McCreesh, singing alongside the consort’s elite professional singers.

This culminated in a spectacular concert on Monday 3 July in Ely Cathedral as part of the Cambridge Summer Music Festival.  Members of BCYC then stayed for an extra day, visiting Cambridge, taking in the sights of the University and singing in the famous Chapel of King’s College, punting on the River Cam, and visiting Downing College to sing in the chapel before lunch in the college’s hall, a tour of the college and some well-deserved free time!  

“It’s been a wonderful and enriching trip for our young singers – working alongside other young choirs and performing to professional standards has a huge positive impact on their confidence and aspirations. To have the opportunity to sing in King’s College Chapel, the most famous venue in the world for choral music, was an amazing experience and visiting two of the University’s colleges can only help broaden the singers’ horizons.’ Gabrieli Artistic Director Paul McCreesh says of the project ‘I am a great believer in the talents of young people. My firm belief that the higher one sets the bar, the higher young people jump has been entirely substantiated by the incredible achievements made by the young singers participating in our projects.

They have demonstrated that the barrier between young and old, professional and amateur is indeed a largely artificial one.”
— The choir’s Musical Director, Tom Leech

This comes at the end of a year including two national BBC broadcasts and a performance of Mahler’s 8th Symphony in Leeds Town Hall with the Orchestra of Opera North.  The choirs have also sung for a number of Masses in Bradford and Keighley and given a termly concert.  Their summer concert is at St. Bede’s and St. Joseph’s Catholic College, Cunliffe Road, Bradford, BD8 7AP on Sunday 10 July at 3.30pm.

For more information about the choir please visit dioceseofleedsmusic.org.uk 

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