gerontius newsletter - February 2012

Dear choral music lover,

I hope you will find this newsletter interesting. Do feel free to forward it on to friends and others in your choir, or just send them the link to the newsletter on-line:

Do let us know if you'd like us to feature your choir in a future newsletter.

Newsletter contents
1. Choir of the Year 2012 – the UK's biggest Choral Competition
2. A Choir Tour for all seasons with Rayburn Tours
3. National Association of Choirs Conference
4. Music Summer Schools 2012
5. Gerontius Site Sponsors
6. Next gerontius newsletter - March

Choir of the Year 2012 – the UK's biggest Choral Competition

Choir of the Year

Choir of the Year is the largest and most prestigious group singing competition in the UK. Auditions for Choir of the Year 2012 are now underway with 150 amateur choirs from around the country competing for a place in the BBC televised Grand Final. These exciting events are open to the public and reflect the range and depth of music making in communities across the UK, from classical to pop, jazz to gospel.

Tickets are available from £7 in all theatre box offices.

The Anvil Arts Centre, Basingstoke

Saturday 4th February 2012

Milton Keynes Theatre

Sunday 5th February 2012

Warwick Arts Centre

Saturday 25th February 2012

Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Sunday 4th March 2012

Ulster Hall, Belfast

Sunday 11th March 2012

Exeter University Great Hall

Saturday 17th March 2012

More than 6,000 singers of all ages will take the stage over the next six weeks in an attempt to impress a panel of expert judges and be voted through to the Category Finals in October.

There is also plenty of opportunity for audience members to exercise their vocal cords, with workshops led by renowned choral conductors Greg Beardsell and David Lawrence.

A list of competing choirs and ticket information is available at

A Choir Tour for all seasons with Rayburn Tours

Rayburn Tours

At Rayburn Tours, we specialise in operating memorable Choir Tours. Our Concert Tour Consultants are experts in finding your perfect destination based on your style of choir and the time of year you wish to travel. Whether it's soaking up the Tuscan sun, enjoying sangria during a balmy evening on the Costa Brava or stocking-up at the Christmas markets in the Rhineland, we have it all.

One of our team's favourite destinations is Prague. Here, bustling squares and medieval streets combine with a varied selection of activities and venues making it a great destination - no matter what time of year it is. In summer, the city comes to life with street entertainers and packed outdoor cafes whilst, in winter, you can join the rosy-cheeked tourists on the look out for some hearty Czech cuisine.

Performance venues in and around Prague are vast in both quantity and variety. For sacred choirs, the beautiful baroque church of St. Nicholas, located in the Old Town Square, benefits from an endless stream of tourists and locals, whilst the iconic St. Vitus' Cathedral, whose spires protrude from within Prague castle, offers a spine tingling performance. For a more informal setting and for choirs of a secular repertoire, we highly recommend the Czech Museum of Music. After walking through the museums selection of musical instruments, the grand and luxuriously decorated atrium is a perfect location for a concert.

If your choir has already performed in Prague and wants to try somewhere different, give Budapest a try. The picturesque city, with the majestic Danube River, presents both city centre venues and smaller locations in its surrounding regions.

Whatever time of year your choir wants to travel, our Concert Tours team can find the perfect destination. Visit our website, call 01332 347828 or email, to start your Choir Tour plans.

National Association of Choirs Conference

National Assocation of Choirs Conference

The National Association of Choirs National Conference will be in the Lake District at the Belsfield Hotel, overlooking Lake Windermere and is the ideal place for a relaxing retreat in the Lake District and is the perfect location for the Conference.

Headlining Conference is the internationally renowned David Lawrence, one of the UK's most versatile conductors, working with orchestras, symphony choruses and national youth choirs. His positive and engaging manner makes him a popular speaker, and he is an experienced and respected trainer of choral conductors and choirs. He teaches regularly and delivers training through the media of singing and conducting working with the London Philharmonic Choir, the Hallé Choir, the CBSO Chorus and the national youth choirs of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. David adjudicates at international festivals including the BBC Choir of the Year and Young Musician of the Year; he conducts for BBC Television's 'Songs of Praise' and directed 'The People's Chorus' for BBC Four. During the Conference weekend David will lead three jam packed sessions and will pass on his knowledge and expertise to those attending willingly!!

Also presenting will be Dr. Liz Garnett, her teaching experience is varied covering Musical Philosophies, practical workshops, one-to-one tutorials and Professional Development for Musicians. She is one of the UK's most prominent arrangers and performance coaches, having coached and/or arranged for many of the UK's top choruses and quartets and has adjudicated in both barbershop and 'mainstream' choral classes at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and the Sligo International Choral Festival.

A full and packed Conference awaits, consisting of Trade Stands (especially chosen for the expertise and understanding of the Choral World) offering products and services required to help and assist all choirs as well workshops and seminars covering a whole host of subjects and themes.

Music Summer Schools 2012

Summer Schools

Have you ever considered taking part in a music summer school?

The UK is home to a wealth of summer music schools which offer music courses that cater for every imaginable age group, ability and discipline. From individual instrumental courses, to ensembles, conducting and composition courses; music summer schools really do offer something for everyone. Often in the most beautiful and captivating of settings, summer music schools provide a service and experience that go beyond the duration of the course bringing you the opportunity to develop your musical skills and gain recognised certifications whilst connecting with like-minded people and making lasting friendships along the way. Many who undertake music summer school courses will return time and time again and this is testament to quality of the experience that music summer schools offer.

With so many music summer schools to choose from, it's hard to know where to start. Our summer schools directory is the leading online directory of its kind listing a broad range of UK (and some abroad!) music summer schools in one convenient place. If you are interested finding out what music schools and courses are available for you, a family member or friend, visit to search or browse at your leisure. The site offers an effective search facility and is intuitively arranged into general and sub categories where you may find the perfect music course. Each listing will contain web address and/or contact details for specific summer music schools and will give you an idea of what's on offer, so why not get searching?

Gerontius Site Sponsors

Many thanks to the following:


Chameleon Arts Orchestras and soloists

Rayburn Tours

Note Perfect

School Travel - Music & Concert groups - Travelbound

Chorum Records - Choral recordings

Chameleon Wedding Music

Alberon - web design

Next gerontius newsletter - March

The next gerontius newsletter will be sent in March and will feature music summer schools. If you have an item you would like to include, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reserve you a space.

For further details and previous newsletters please see:

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best wishes
Tim Ault

Gerontius website

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