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Berkshire County Youth Choirs

Head of Voice Louise McGahon

Artistic Director Christopher Hann

County & Academy Coordinator Non-orchestral Emily Freeman

Berkshire County Youth Choirs bring together young singers from across the county to enjoy singing whilst learning interesting repertoire and developing important techniques. They perform in several concerts a year, some in high profile venues and some in partnership with other musical organisations. The county choirs are selective and entry is by audition only, but the emphasis is upon finding singers with potential who love making music with others.

Berkshire Children’s Choir (equivalent to the Intermediate level of our Academy) is for children in years 4-7, Berkshire Young Voices (equivalent to the Advanced level of our Academy) is for learners in years 7-9 and Berkshire Youth Choir is for students in years 9-13. The Debut level of our Choral Academy is provided through the young singers choirs at our music centres.


Berkshire Youth Choir

Musical Director Christopher Hann

Accompanist Andrew McKenna

Coached by Louise McGahon, Sally DeFrates, Katie Minien and Mark Bassett

Berkshire Youth Choir is the county’s premier choir for young people in schools years 9 - 13 and is amongst the top youth choirs in the country. The choir attracts members from across Berkshire and surrounding counties. They perform a wide ranging repertoire from 16th Century to the modern day, from Victoria and Mozart to Pentatonix and Coldplay!

The singers have the opportunity to perform in a wide variety of venues and benefit from the professional tuition of high quality conductors, vocal tutors and choral ensembles. The choir undertakes regular tours and have performed in many renowned venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, St George’s Chapel Windsor, Cologne Cathedral, Beijing Concert Hall and Shanghai Oriental Arts Center. In 2016 acclaimed composer Bob Chilcott conducted the choir in a concert of his own work The Voyage and described their performance as “inspiring and accomplished”.

Recent highlights for the choir have included recording the two choral items for the BBC Ten Pieces III project with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a hugely successful tour to China in July 2016 and performing the closing concert of the 2017 Windsor Festival at St George’s Chapel with soprano soloist and alumnus of the choir, Mary Bevan.  This season the choir will be performing at Reading Town Hall and Reading Minster, as well as Dorchester Abbey where they will be joined by the BYC alumni choir and Camerata for a performance of Handel’s great masterpiece Dixit Dominus. All this in addition to performing at the BBC Berkshire Carol Service and the small matter of a Summer tour to Madrid and Northern Spain!

The choir is an excellent and hugely enjoyable training ground from which vocal students can further their singing at a higher level. BYC is increasingly seeing its students achieve places in prestigious choirs around the county; many singers have also obtained choral scholarships at university. 

We are very happy to welcome new members.  

Please contact voice@berkshiremaestros.org.uk for further information.


Berkshire Young Voices

Musical Director Christopher Hann

Accompanist Andrew McKenna

Coached by Louise McGahon and Theodora Sharp

Part of the Academy@Maestros scheme, Berkshire Young Voices is the county training choir and is equivalent to the Advanced level of our Academy. This is an auditioned group open to boys and girls in school years 7-9 who love singing, show positive potential and are looking to a receive a high standard of choral training.

Just as in Berkshire Children’s Choir, the emphasis in rehearsals and performances is on the enjoyment of singing, as well as improving singing technique and establishing good choral practice in preparation for joining Berkshire Youth Choir in the future. The repertoire covered is wide-ranging, from choral classics by composers such as Tallis, Mozart and Rutter to arrangements of gospel numbers, songs from musicals and pop songs.

The choir has opportunities to sing in incredible venues and for prestigious events across the county and beyond. This has included performances at the Royal Albert Hall, King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, the Royal Northern College of Music and The Church of La Madeleine in Paris. They have performed live to great acclaim on BBC Radio 3 and performed at the inaugural GAP Festival in Goring and Streatley.

Recent highlights for the choir have included recording the two choral items for the BBC Ten Pieces 3 project with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a concert at Eton College Chapel with BYC and Eton College Chapel Choir and a performance at Douai Abbey.  This year the choir has already appeared at Reading Town Hall, will shortly be making a return visit to Eton College and will be singing at Reading Minster later in the year.

BYV rehearses on alternate Saturday afternoons at Reading Music Centre from 2.30 – 4.30pm and regularly welcomes new members.

Please contact voice@berkshiremaestros.org.uk for more information.


Berkshire Children's Choir

Musical Director Katie Minien

Accompanist Susan Holmes

Coached by Mark Bassett and Louise McGahon

Berkshire Children’s Choir, the most junior choir of the Berkshire County Youth Choirs set up, is a recently established choir specifically for younger children in school years 4 – 7 and is equivalent to the Intermediate level of our Academy.

Berkshire Children’s Choir is a hugely exciting addition to the Berkshire County Youth Choirs family. Having run a number of primary school workshops in Berkshire last year, it was clear that there was an appetite for a new younger choir.

The emphasis in rehearsals and performances is on the enjoyment of singing, as well as improving singing technique and establishing good choral practice. The repertoire covered is wide-ranging, from choral classics to arrangements of songs from musicals and modern pop songs. It is a selective choir and children will have to audition to join; we are most looking for potential and a love of singing rather than an already refined singing voice.

This choir is now in its second year and in just this short time they have performed at Reading Town Hall, Douai Abbey and at Eton College with Berkshire Maestros flagship choir Berkshire Youth Choir and the choir of Eton College Chapel.  This year the choir has already appeared at Reading Town Hall, will shortly be making a return visit to Eton College and will be singing at Reading Minster later in the year.

To find out more about BCC and to ask about auditions, please contact voice@berkshiremaestros.org.uk.

 


 

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Count Choirs Logo

County Choirs

 

BYC Logo

BYC Shanghai

 

Berkshire Youth Choir

 

Youth Choir 2

 

BYV Logo

Choir

Young Voices

Young Voices 2

BCC Logo

Choir on stairs

Children Choir

Entry to all three choirs is by audition only.

Find out about auditions or contact us for further information on 0118 901 2375 or email voice@berkshiremaestros.org.uk

Download the performance and rehearsal schedule for 2017/18

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