Convention 2014 takes us over the border to Wales and the brand new buildings of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, which will be our venue for both the Convention and the Gala Concert. Artistic Director Neil Ferris and his team have put together an inspiring programme.
Amongst a wide range of topics, strands this year include repertoire, conducting skills and community choirs. We've again expanded our repertoire sessions to cover an even wider range of music and we're pleased to be welcoming several composers to talk about their work. Masterclasses will offer hands-on advice for Intermediate and Advanced level conductors and there will also be conducting sessions for those less-experienced or wanting a quick refresher. There are sessions on male voice repertoire, working with young singers, and new ideas from here and abroad on getting the best from your singers, whatever their age.
Directed by their founder for over 50 years, the Kyoto Echo Choir is one of Japan's most accomplished choral ensembles, amassing innumerable awards nationally and internationally. They have performed with such well-known orchestras and conductors as the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Semyon Bychkov and the New Japan Philharmonic under Seiji Ozawa. Between 1980 and 1999 the choir won the Gold Prize 20 years running in the JCA (Japan Choral Association) National Choral Competition. Since then, it has performed at international symposiums such as the Asia South Pacific Symposium on Choral Music (Singapore), 7th World Symposium on Choral Music (Kyoto), and is currently engaged in a constant schedule of performances, receiving invitations from all over Japan. The choir has an ongoing relationship with last year's Convention Artistic Director Bob Chilcott since Keiichi Asai met Bob at a JCA National Choral Workshop and it is as a result of that that they are in the UK especially for Convention, giving you a unique opportunity to hear them in concert.
Côr y Wiber is a vibrant, young female choir from Newcastle Emlyn in West Wales.The name of the choir derives from the myth of 'Gwiber Emlyn' - a dragon/serpent (gwiber) that attacked the town of Newcastle Emlyn centuries ago. According to the tale, the gwiber was killed and its blood and venom seeped into the river Teifi. Since the choir's formation in 2010 it has achieved considerable success, winning the Ladies Choir category at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 2012, and the choral category for a choir of up to 35 voices at the festival the following year. In 2013 the choir were the winners of the television choral competition, Côr Cymru (Choir of Wales).
This practical course looks at rehearsal and conducting techniques for leaders of all kinds of choir - no minimum experience is required. Delegates can either participate as conductors or attend as observers; a repertoire list is sent in advance. For those conductors with more experience or who have already attended previous abcd courses, individual tuition will be available during the course. Click here for more details.
Open to all aged 18-25 who do not currently earn their living from conducting, this course runs parallel with Convention, giving students the opportunity to attend some Convention events as well as taking part in conducting-technique sessions. Amy gives individual and group tuition in the basics of choir training and conducting and works on rehearsal and performance technique. This is a practical, hands-on, course, with the emphasis on informality and tutoring in a small group. Bursaries available - contact Penny Homer for details.
Click here to download Therees Tkach Hibbard's handout from Let the body sing.
With thanks to John Butterworth, One Cam Video Production
With thanks to Fergus Meiklejohn from RedRoof Production. Click here to find out more about their work.