Following the success of last year's inaugural 'Music in the Community' prize - created to reward an outstanding individual in the voluntary music world, the Gramophone 2010 Awards were extended this year to include a new category: 'Music in The Community: The Choirmaster's Prize', which was given in association with abcd and The Times newspaper. This time, the search was to find a choral director who has inspired communities through song.
abcd was delighted to see so many of its own members within the five shortlisted nominees, drawn up by experts at abcd, Gramophone and The Times. The five nominees shortlisted were: Islington Music Centre's Richard Frostick, the National Youth Choir of Wales's David Lawrence, Cornwall Boys Choir's Angela Renshaw, Grenville Jones who founded the Golden Oldies, and the Scunthorpe Co-Op Junior Choir's Sue Hollingworth.
Readers of The Times were invited to read profiles of the contenders, watch online footage of them in performance with their choirs, and vote at Times Online for their favourite.
The winner, Sue Hollingworth, was presented with her prize at the Gramophone Awards at the beginning of October, in a star-studded ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel. Part of the prize was for the winner and her choir to be invited to work with Mike Brewer over the course of the next two years, in advance of the 2012 Queen's Diamond Jubilee, at which point they will be given the chance to perform at a high-profile abcd event, singing to celebrate the Jubilee.The Gramophone magazine will chart their progress periodically over this period.
Sue Hollingworth is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and now divides her time between being a music educator and a choral conductor. As well as being the musical director of the Scunthorpe Co-operative Junior Choir, she is musical director of the Sine Nomine International Touring Choir, which has given concerts all over Britain and abroad. 'What I love most about being part of the Scunthorpe Co-op Junior Choir', she said, 'is being able to give youngsters wonderful opportunities to grow in confidence, raise their aspirations and give them the chance to perform in some truly amazing venues around the world.'
Posted: Tue 04th January 2011