The abcd Choral Leaders' Festival

34th Annual Convention, 22-25 August 2019

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Book online now! Early Bird rates still available until 5 July.

Join us in the heart of Birmingham for our new Festival to celebrate everything choral, with presenters and choirs from the UK, Denmark and Hungary.

Activity promoted by the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat

There are three conducting courses to choose from, concerts by top choirs, mini-performances, workshops, lectures, our large exhibition and much more.

Come for a day or as long as you like! There are lots of flexible booking options - click here to see all our delegate rates. Our Classic Convention option covers the traditional Friday to Sunday, or why not stay for the Full Festival and come Thursday to Sunday?

Repertoire for all

Enjoy singing sessions with John Rutter and David Lawrence, discover music from Hungary, meet today's top composers and explore new music for young voices, female voices, SATB and more.

Singing in the community

Insights for all those who lead open access community choirs into how to establish and develop community choirs, non-conventional leadership skills, plus lots of road-tested, useful repertoire and performances from local community choirs.

A shared language - Europe's choral music

Workshops with Jim Daus Hjernøe and Astrid Vang-Pedersen from Denmark, the National Youth Choir of Hungary and their conductors László Nemes and Péter Erdei. Alongside is the 'best of British', with sessions from Paul Mealor, Jeffrey Skidmore, Paul Spicer and more.


A new initiative for abcd, with a keynote speech by Dr Katie Overy (Edinburgh University) and the opportunity to present papers, ahead of the launch of our new peer-reviewed academic research journal promoting research informed practice.


See more about our festival strands here and see a timetable here.

Conducting courses

Young Conductors' Course 22-25 August with Lucy Griffiths
For anyone aged 18-25, running in parallel with the Festival, group tuition on basic choir training and conducting. Bursaries available!

Festival Conducting Courses 21-22 August with Amy Bebbington and Julian Wilkins:
Leading from the front for anyone starting out in leading singing or with limited experience, particularly in schools and community choirs
Advanced choral leadership for anyone conducting their own choir to a high standard.