The Joseph Rowntree Theatre’s “York Community Choir Festival 2017” has been shortlisted in the Best Community Project or Event Award in the York Culture Awards 2017. The awards celebrate excellence in the city’s arts and culture sector, and this particular award, sponsored by York St John University, recognises a community project or event in 2016/17 that has made an impact on the cultural life of the city and has brought the people of York together. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in York Minster on November 23rd.

About to enter its third year, the York Community Choir Festival began in 2016 with the intention of bringing many different choirs together to perform in the wonderful art deco venue of the Joseph Rowntree Theatre. The 2017 festival comprised 5 concerts, 20 choirs, and 450 voices.  More than 1,400 people of all ages attended the event, making it a truly community-based project.

Graham Mitchell, fundraising and events director of the Joseph Rowntree Theatre says, “The event is intended to give wider exposure of community choirs to the general public, and to allow choirs to perform in a full scale theatrical environment instead of in the smaller venues such as village halls etc. that are common to many.”  He goes on to explain that exposure to a range of different music styles has widened the horizons of those attending and participating.  All generations are represented and, with around 50 singing groups and choirs in York itself, the theatre provides one central outlet for all of them. Feedback from both audience members and participants alike has been hugely positive, and bodes well for the continued success of the event.

As the choirs are unauditioned, there is no barrier to entry, and choirs of all abilities and experience are welcome to enter. Some of the choirs have toured and won awards both nationally and internationally, and other choirs sing purely for the joy of it. Planning is already well underway for next year’s festival, which runs from 7 – 10 March 2018, and tickets will go on sale on 1st November from or from the theatre’s box office on 01904 501935.

Graham Mitchell - 07761 683440