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Berkshire County Choirs

Head of Voice Louise McGahon

Artistic Director Christopher Hann

County & Academy Coordinator Non-orchestral Siobhan Goodchild

Berkshire County Youth Choirs bring together young singers from across the county to enjoy singing whilst learning interesting repertoire and developing important techniques. They perform in several concerts a year, some in high profile venues and some in partnership with other musical organisations. The county choirs are selective and entry is by audition only, but the emphasis is upon finding singers with potential who love making music with others.

Berkshire Children’s Choir is for children in years 4-7, Berkshire Young Voices is for learners in years 7-9 and Berkshire Youth Choir is for students in years 9-13.


Berkshire Youth Choir

Musical Director Christopher Hann

Accompanist Andrew McKenna

Coached by Louise McGahon, Sally DeFrates and Mark Bassett

Berkshire Youth Choir is the county’s premier choir for young people in schools years 9 - 13 and is amongst the top youth choirs in the country. The choir is part of the Academy@Maestros scheme for gifted and talented young people and attracts members from across Berkshire and surrounding counties. They perform a wide ranging repertoire from 16th Century to the modern day, from Palestrina and Mozart to Coldplay and Beyonce!

The singers have the opportunity to perform in a wide variety of venues and benefit from the professional tuition of high quality conductors, vocal tutors and choral ensembles. The choir undertakes regular tours and have performed in many renowned venues including London’s Wigmore Hall, Cologne Cathedral, St George’s Chapel Windsor and Camden Roundhouse. In July 2016 they participated in an outstanding tour to China, performing in magnificent venues in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. A 2016 performance of The Voyage, a piece which was written and conducted by the composer Bob Chilcott, was described as “inspiring and accomplished”.

2016-17 has been a hugely exciting year for Berkshire Maestros flagship choir. The highlight of the year has almost certainly been performing the closing concert of the Windsor Festival at St Georges Chapel with soprano soloist and alumnus of the choir, Mary Bevan. The other major highlight of the year has been the choir’s involvement in the BBC’s Ten Pieces project. BYC has recorded two of the pieces for this year’s project, which involved two trips to BBC Maida Vale studios to record with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in the world. Other concerts this year have included a joint concert with Eton College Chapel Choir at Eton College and will also see a performance at Douai Abbey in July. Next year the choir will be performing at BBC Radio Berkshire’s annual carol service, a performance of Handel’s great masterpiece Dixit Dominus with the BYC alumni choir & Camerata, all culminating with a tour in the summer to Spain!

The choir is an excellent and hugely enjoyable training ground from which vocal students can further their singing at a higher level. BYC is increasingly seeing its students achieve places in prestigious choirs around the county; many singers have also obtained choral scholarships at university.  

We are very happy to welcome new members.  

Please contact voice@berkshiremaestros.org.uk for further information.


Berkshire Young Voices

Musical Director Christopher Hann

Accompanist Andrew McKenna

Coached by Felicity Bott and Louise McGahon

Part of the Academy@Maestros Scheme, Berkshire Young Voices is the county training choir. This is an auditioned group open to boys and girls in school years 7 - 9 who love singing, show positive potential and are looking to a receive a high standard of choral training.

Just as in Berkshire Children’s Choir, the emphasis in rehearsals and performances is on the enjoyment of singing, as well as improving singing technique and establishing good choral practice in preparation for joining Berkshire Youth Choir in the future. The repertoire covered is wide-ranging, from choral classics by composers such as Tallis, Mozart and Rutter to arrangements of gospel numbers, songs from musicals and pop songs.

The choir has opportunities to sing in incredible venues and for prestigious events across the country and beyond. This has included performances at the Royal Albert Hall, King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, The Royal Northern College of Music, The Church of La Madeleine in Paris and Douai Abbey. They have performed live to great acclaim on BBC Radio 3 and performed at the inaugural GAP Festival in Goring and Steatley later this term in partnership with local schools.

2016-17 is been a hugely exciting year for BYV, in addition to performances at Eton College and Douai Abbey they joined forces with Berkshire Maestros senior choir Berkshire Youth Choir to record two tracks for the BBC Ten Pieces project. This involved two trips to BBC Maida Vale studios to record with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in the world. Next year there are already plans in place for a weekend residential and a workshop with The Royal Opera House.

BYV rehearse on alternate Saturday afternoons at Stoneham Court in Reading from 2.30 – 4.30pm and regularly welcomes new members. 

Please contact voice@berkshiremaestros.org.uk for more information.


Berkshire Children's Choir

Musical Director Katie Minien

Accompanist Ming Liu

Coached by Mark Bassett and Louise McGahon

Berkshire Children’s Choir, the most junior choir of the Berkshire County Youth Choirs set up, is a newly established choir specifically for younger children in school years 4 - 7.

Berkshire Children’s Choir is a hugely exciting addition to the Berkshire County Youth Choirs family. Having run a number of primary school workshops in Berkshire last year, it was clear that there was an appetite for a new younger choir.

The emphasis in rehearsals and performances is on the enjoyment of singing, as well as improving singing technique and establishing good choral practice. The repertoire covered is wide-ranging, from choral classics to arrangements of songs from musicals and modern pop songs. It is a selective choir and children will have to audition to join; we are most looking for potential and a love of singing rather than an already refined singing voice.

This choir may only be in its first year but they have already performed at Eton College with Berkshire Maestros flagship choir Berkshire Youth Choir and the choir of Eton College Chapel, and will soon be performing at Douai Abbey. Next year there are already plans in place for a weekend residential and a workshop with The Royal Opera House.

To find out more about BCC and to ask about auditions, please contact voice@berkshiremaestros.org.uk.

 


 

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Count Choirs Logo

County Choirs

 

BYC Logo

BYC Shanghai

 

Berkshire Youth Choir

 

Youth Choir 2

 

BYV Logo

Choir

Young Voices

Young Voices 2

BCC Logo

Choir on stairs

Children Choir

 

Entry to all three choirs is by audition only.

Find out about auditions or contact us for further information on 0118 901 2386 or email voice@berkshiremaestros.org.uk

Download the performance and rehearsal schedule for 2016/17

Download the performance and rehearsal schedule for 2017/18

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