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.

This year's topics

This year's Convention programme has been divided into five strands, covering every aspect of choral leadership. Here are just a few highlights:

Young choirs

Including sessions led by Opera North Education and the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme, who between them have a wealth of experience of working with young people. Leading vocal health exponent Jenevora Williams leads a session on working with young voices and the vital area of adolescent voice change in both girls and boys, plus sessions on new resources for youth choirs and expert guidance on how to deliver them.

Access and community

For the first time at Convention, a plenary panel session on diversity in choirs. How do we encourage a wider community to take part? Founder of Music and the Deaf, Paul Whittaker OBE is a profoundly deaf musician who is an inspirational speaker and workshop leader, educating people of all ages about music and deafness. Community choir expert Em Whitfield Brooks is known for her non-traditional approach to increasing confidence for singers of all experience and finding new approaches to developing and improving the collective sound.


Our regular and popular masterclasses take place once again, with hands-on advice for conductors and the opportunity to watch conductors work with real choirs. Leeds College of Music lecturer and singer Craig Lees demystifies teaching and performing contemporary rock and pop with your choir. Popular US presenter Jonathan Griffith promises to help you bring sanity back into your rehearsals and Charles MacDougall looks at establishing an effective model for warming-up your choir.

Repertoire and style

Always high on the list of sessions to attend, our reading repertoire session take place once again, with 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.

Knowledge bank

Knowledge of the ever-growing nuts and bolts of running a choir is as useful to conductors as to their committees. Topics include PRS, copyright, people management and team building in a choral context, with staff from fellow choral organisation Making Music.

This year's choirs

Our choirs include:

Watch this space for more details over the coming weeks!