Association Of British Choral Directors

33rd Annual Convention, 24-26 August 2018

Join us at Leeds Beckett University for a weekend of workshops, performances, trade exhibition, conducting and singing technique and much more. The Headingley Campus, where we held Convention in 2012, is within easy reach of the city centre, and has modern accommodation and parking on site.

Click to book online now! Or download a brochure here and book by post or phone.

See our dedicated convention website for all the latest information

This year's themes

Access and community

A first at Convention, a plenary panel session on diversity in choirs. How do we encourage a wider community to take part? Paul Whittaker OBE, founder of Music and the Deaf, and Community choir expert Em Whitfield Brooks show how singers of all experience levels can improve their choral confidence.

Knowledge bank

Knowledge of the ever more complex nuts and bolts of running a choir is as useful for conductors as for committees. Topics include PRS, people management and team building in a choral context. Staff from fellow choral organisation Making Music share their expertise.

Repertoire and style

Our unfailingly popular repertoire-reading session features the latest publications from our exhibitor publishers and composers.Lithuanian composer Vytautas Miškinis takes delegates through some of his own compositions, and Chorus Master of Opera North, Oliver Rundell, looks at opera for choirs.


Masterclasses and hands-on advice for conductors: watch real conductors work with real choirs! Leeds College of Music lecturer and singer Craig Lees demystifies teaching choirs to perform contemporary rock and pop. Popular US presenter Jonathan Griffith promises to help you bring sanity back into your rehearsals, while Charles MacDougall looks at warming-up your choir - effectively!

Young choirs

Sessions led by Opera North Education and the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme, both with huge experience of working with young people. Leading vocal health exponent Jenevora Williams leads a session on the vital issue of working with young voices, plus sessions on new resources for youth choirs and expert guidance on how to deliver them.

New - orchestral-conducting masterclasses!

In association with Making Music. Yes, you CAN conduct an orchestra. To prove it, try it! We welcome a local Leeds ensemble for you to conduct in masterclasses focusing on music for choir and orchestra, led by Opera North's Chorus Master Oliver Rundell.

Making Music Orchestral Conductors' Day

A day of talks and workshops especially aimed at conductors and music directors of Making Music member orchestras. Click here for more details.

This year's choirs

Our choirs include:

Click here for more details about each.

Aged 18 - 25? Find out more about our Young Conductor Course and associated bursaries here!

Convention Gala Concert, 25 August

To book tickets for the concert only, click here.

Click here for details of sessions