Wednesday, 06 July 2022

TV music judge encourages singers to let themselves go

TV music judge encourages singers to let themselves go

A TV classical music judge gave tips to members of Henley Choral Society.

Ken Burton, who has appeared on the BBC’s Choir of the Year and Channel 4’s Gospel Singer of the Year, led a workshop at the d:two Centre in Market Place on Saturday.

After leading warm-up activities, he encouraged the choir to sing gospel and African tribal music while moving around the room, high-fiving them as they did so. The choir also sang sheet music including I Feel Better Now and Total Praise.

Burton said: “I’m bringing some of the technique and joy of gospel to the choir with the hope that they can connect the act of singing with the act of being open and free and wearing their heart on their sleeve. The classical focus on music and performance is correct but not necessarily moving, so I’m getting them used to connecting their heart and soul with their voice.”

Emma Beesley, the society’s publicity manager, said: “It was a really technical, demanding and emotional session. He worked us hard and we were harmonising really well.

“The main thing we will take away was that he encouraged us to be ourselves and express our emotions in the music. A few of the members, including me, were moved to tears. There’s something about what he does that touched us. We have had a few guests like this now and it helps us to explore new ways of singing and takes us out of our comfort zones.”

The society’s Christmas concert will be held at St Mary’s Church on Saturday, December 9, starting at 7pm.

It will feature brass ensemble Onyx Brass and organist Daniel Moult and will be conducted by Peter Asprey. The compositions will include Magnificat by Gerald Finzi and there will be Christmas carols which the audience can sing along to.

Tickets cost £12 to £15 (£5 for under-18s) and are available from Gorvett & Stone in Duke Street or call (01491) 572795.

A family concert featuring the Henley Youth Choirs will be held at 2pm that day.

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