LEEDS’ MUSICAL HISTORY
From 1858 to 1985, Leeds was host to one of the most successful
and renowned choral festivals in the world.
The Leeds’ Triennial Choral Festival attracted some of the greatest performers and composers of the day and inspired musical commissions by up and coming stars like Elgar, Holst and Vaughan Williams. Many musical masterpieces were commissioned for the Festival that are still popular with audiences throughout the world today.
By 1985, the popularity of choral music and choirs had started to wane. But, fast forward thirty years and add a heavy dose of Gareth Malone and a generous pinch of prime-time television and things have changed. Choral music and choirs have been reignited with new audiences and new choir members and are enjoying a resurgence of popularity and acceptance in all corners of society.
THE BIG IDEA
The Yorkshire College of Music and Drama is going to put Yorkshire back on the world’s musical and choral map with a 21st century version of the Triennial Choral Festival.
Re-branded “Voices Yorkshire” the festival will be a biennial event, launching in 2019.
Together with our region’s choirs, the YCM&D will be putting Yorkshire back on the world’s musical and choral map with a 21st century version of the original Leeds Triennial Choral Festival.
It will give a respectful nod to the legacy of the old festival, by continuing the tradition of commissioning a new piece of music to be performed at the grand finale. At the same time, it will be a very modern choral festival and will attract choirs and audiences from a large cross section of society.
Ultimately, the YCM&D’s brand-new choral festival will reflect modern day society and our diverse Yorkshire communities, both in the choirs and performances it promotes and the audiences it attracts.
- The YCM&D is relaunching the Triennial Choral Festival under a new, modern brand entitled Voices Yorkshire.
- Voices Yorkshire will be a biennial choral festival that celebrates the diversity and excellence of choral music and choirs throughout Yorkshire.
- The Yorkshire College of Music & Drama will organise, host and promote a large calendar of events at a variety of venues across Yorkshire.
- The festival will culminate in a number of grand finale performances at Leeds Town Hall on the 14th September 2019.
- A piece of music will be commissioned especially for the festival and will be performed at the grand finale on the 14th September 2019.
- All events, large and small will be promoted under the Voices Yorkshire brand and supported by the Yorkshire College of Music & Drama.
- Communities will be encouraged to join in and support their local choirs.
- Local and regional media coverage will help to increase the Voices Yorkshire profile.
- Suzi Digby (Lady Eatwell OBE), described as a “Choral Wizard” and “Mother of all music” by The Telegraph has agreed to be Patron of Voices Yorkshire.
- A carefully planned and implemented marketing strategy will include local and regional PR, radio and TV coverage, as well as offline and online marketing for each individual event.
- All marketing communication will focus on increasing the awareness of music and access to music in local communities, the importance of music and the positive impact music can have on everyone.
INTRODUCING OUR PATRON – SUZI DIGBY
The Yorkshire College of Music and Drama is delighted to announce that Voices Yorkshire has attracted the support of a
very high-profile choral conductor, Suzi Digby.
As a world-renowned British choral conductor and music educator, Suzi has dedicated over twenty years to the revival of singing in schools and the community. She is also well known for her work in radio and television, being a judge on the BBC’s Last Choir Standing and BBC Cardiff’s Singer of the World Competition.
We are thrilled that Suzi will be part of the Voices Yorkshire team. Her experience, talent and achievements, combined with the best of our region’s choirs, will make for a hugely exciting and successful choral festival in 2019.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
We are asking all Yorkshire based choirs, large or small, amateur or professional, to sign up to supporting the Voices Yorkshire campaign.
What that means is that all concerts and performances during 2019 will mention Voices Yorkshire.
This will be the inclusion of the logo along with the line “We support Voices Yorkshire” on posters, websites, Facebook pages, tickets, flyers etc. This will not cost the choirs anything, but it will help in the build-up to the grand finale on 14th September 2019.
In return, your involvement and support will generate a great deal of media coverage that will, in turn, help your choir’s profile. The Voices Yorkshire team will also publicise and promote all choirs who are supporting the campaign, so we are expecting a great deal of actual and digital conversation about choirs throughout Yorkshire.