As part of our Festival’s 21st anniversary celebrations, we will be hosting the inaugural
Sussex Small Choirs Competition to be held in Uckfield on Saturday 18th July 2020. This competition will be open to any type of choir (or section of choir) performing with 8-24 members of any age.
If you and your choir are interested in participating, please read the following information and reply with some information about yourselves as soon as possible to Bernard Tagliavini at firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be a maximum of 12 choirs selected for the competition. We hope to attract as wide a range of choral groups from different musical genres as possible. If selected, an entry form will be sent out to you, to be returned to us by no later than Thursday April 30th 2020.
- As already stated, each choir must perform with between 8-24 singers. They can be the whole choir membership, or a section of, or representatives of a larger choir.
- All types of choir will be considered, and we hope to attract singers from church, gospel, barbershop, community, rock, early music, chamber and school choirs, etc. from anywhere.
- Each choir will need to present a programme of its own choice of between 12-14 minutes duration. However, at least one item must be in English and one item must be in a recognised language other than English. At least one item must also be unaccompanied. The programme can be performed wholly unaccompanied or the remainder with piano, keyboard or other instruments. Choirs may perform from memory or with music. Pre-recorded backing tracks/accompaniment may not be used.
- The adjudicating panel of experienced, professional musicians will represent a similar cross-section of musical genres. Emphasis will be placed on overall musical and entertainment quality. Marks out of 25 will be awarded for each of the following, resulting in an overall percentage score from each judge:
Musicianship, tuning, balance & musical accuracy.
Interesting & varied choice of programme.
Interpretation of the various elements of the programme.
Overall presentation and entertainment.
- Together with the completed entry form, each choir will be required to submit a non-returnable payment of £1 per singer. (Not required for conductor or accompanist/s.)
- Each choir needs to submit its competition programme, together with a copy of the printed music for each item, one calendar month prior to the competition date, i.e. by June 18th to the address at the end of this information document.
- Timings for the day are to be confirmed but are likely to be as follows.
10.30am – 5.00pm – The competition will take place within the Weald Hall in Uckfield (with lunch at 1.00-2.15pm). Each choir will be allocated a warm up period followed by a performance time slot at approximately 20 minute intervals. It is imperative all choirs adhere to the timings. Choir supporters and members of the general public are welcome and encouraged to attend the adjudicating part of the competition, free of charge, in the Weald Hall. Members of competing choirs are also welcome to sit in whenever they are not required for their own warm up or performance.
5.30pm – The six highest scoring choirs will be announced (in no particular order) and will be required to perform again, with between 5 and 8 minutes of their original competition programme, in the early evening concert.
7pm – The evening concert. The six highest scoring choirs will be announced in reverse order, together with scores and feedback from the judges. Each choir will then perform again immediately after their position is announced, leaving the top two choirs to be named last towards the end of the concert. These two choirs will each perform their full competition programme again when they are announced. The concert is likely to end around 9.30pm. Audience admission to the evening concert will be £8 per person. (Ticket price TBC.)
- There will be prizes for the top two choirs. The runner-up will receive £150. The winning choir will receive £500 plus a trophy. (Depending on sponsorship, it is possible the prize money may alter and/or additional prizes may be added.)
The competition adjudicators will include three highly skilled and experienced singers and musicians. They are:
STEPHEN BROWN – is an acclaimed tenor and musical director of The Allegri Singers. He studied at Trinity College London and the Benjamin Britten International Opera School at the Royal College of Music. His career has led him to roles with most of the major UK opera companies, touring domestically and across Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand. Amongst his many operatic performances, roles have included Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore (Donizetti), Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola (Rossini), Ernesto in Don Pasquale (Donizetti), Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky), and Spoletta in Tosca (Puccini). Stephen’s affinity with the works of Gilbert & Sullivan has also led him to perform leading roles internationally, such as Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance, Nanki Poo in The Mikado, and Ralph Rackshaw in HMS Pinafore.
Stephen is also an experienced concert artist, with highlights including Handel’s Messiah in Romania, Rossini’s Stabat Mater in Norway, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at The Barbican, London, and Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista in Jerusalem.
KAREN O’CONNOR – has been a singing teacher for twenty seven years and a vocal coach at InChoir for ten. To make her living entirely through music is something that she considers an absolute privilege. Karen’s love of choral singing started at secondary school where as one of Professor Patrick Allen’s first students, she acquired through him, a keen understanding of the power of song and the force of harmony. She credits her whole career to this inspirational man.
InChoir has this year reached its tenth anniversary and boasts, through its 12 rehearsal bases spread across Surrey, Sussex and Kent, eleven hundred singers. Working alongside creator Mark Heppell, has been a joy. The choir regularly performs at home and abroad, including France, America, South Africa and even inside the Arctic Circle, often working and performing with local indigenous choral groups. Karen also performs and arranges pieces for Motown group Atlantic and also Glitterboots. Her newest venture is her The Soul of a Woman show which celebrates inspirational woman in music across several decades.
MICHAEL WITHERS – has had a passion for conducting for as long as he can remember. He conducted his first concerts while still at school and hasn’t stopped since. Over the years he has been privileged to work with a wide range of amateur and semi-professional ensembles, and with many singers who have subsequently enjoyed careers in the profession.
He is currently the musical director of Heber Opera, based in Sussex and is also Director of Music of The Band of the Surrey Yeomanry and conductor of Tempo, a Cranbrook-based community choir.
In opera he has conducted a wide repertoire, ranging from Purcell (King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas) to Britten (Rape of Lucretia). His interest in bringing new life to rarely performed works has led him to conduct works such as Dvorak’s The Devil and Kate, Holst’s The Perfect Fool, Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and Lampe’s The Dragon of Wantley.
For further information and to request an entry form, contact:
Bernard Tagliavini – The Uckfield Festival Association
c/o 27 Campbell Close, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 1DR
01825 765142 / 07958 460616 e: email@example.com