City choir celebrate TV success

Town Hall Gospel Choir win BBC competition in front of their home crowd.

Millions of viewers tuned in to BBC One last night to see Birmingham’s Town Hall Gospel Choir crowned the winners of a prestigious national singing competition.

The 30-strong choir were announced as the Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year, after beating five church and community choirs from across the UK to the title. Success for the city singers was even sweeter as both broadcasts of the two part programme were filmed on home turf – Birmingham’s Grade I listed Town Hall.

The choir were originally formed to perform at the reopening of the historic landmark building in 2007, have gone on to perform at venues, hospices, radio stations and festivals in their home city over the past six years.

Matthew Napier, programme producer for Songs of Praise, said, “The Town Hall Gospel Choir were worthy winners. They looked so professional, sounded faultless and as their fantastic Musical Director said they added a little bit of a twist which helped their performance stand out. We recently invited the choir to appear as our guests on The Big Sing sharing a bill with the likes of Michael Ball and Russell Watson at the Royal Albert Hall. I knew they’d be amazing again – they are dedicated, well drilled and blessed with talent: a winning combination.”

To date, the choir have been involved in the 50th Anniversary of Jamaican Independence celebrations and London 2012 outdoor dance spectacular The Voyage, as well as performing at the Town Hall and Symphony Hall with internationally acclaimed artists Sir Willard White, Hugh Masekela and Muyiwa/Riversongz.

Town Hall Gospel Choir is under the permanent directorship of Colin Anderson, and has been awarded funding from the Arts Council and the Roughley Charitable Trust to ensure it can continue to develop and inspire audiences.

Colin Anderson, Town Hall Gospel Choir Musical Director, said, “This wonderful achievement has come about thanks to the hard work, passion and talent that each choir member brings to both rehearsals and concerts. We look forward to celebrating this accolade with family, friends and fans, and to taking the next step forward in what has been an incredible journey so far.”

Town Hall Gospel Choir perform at Birmingham Town Hall on Wednesday 23rd October as part of Soul Caribbean, feature in Songs of Praise – The Big Sing on BBC One, Sunday 27th October and present Christmas with the Town Hall Gospel Choir at The Drum, Birmingham on Sunday 15th December.