Royal Greenwich and Blackheath Halls Youth Choir
Founding Patron: Matthew Rose
Patron: Nardus Williams
Blackheath Halls is privileged to run the Royal Greenwich and Blackheath Halls Youth Choir, a classical choir for 60 young people aged 8 to 14 with a gift for music from across our local area.
We strongly believe that continued, in-depth access to high level music making has a huge and lasting impact on young people’s lives and will make a real and long-lasting difference to them as they grow older.
We also believe that all talented young musicians, regardless of their circumstances, should be able to have access to this group free of charge in order to really celebrate the diversity of our local borough.
Blackheath Halls is at the heart of national discussions to promote diversity in the classical music world through the National Opera Studio’s initiative, Diverse Voices. We have already seen young people from our choir gain access to prestigious opportunities as a result of being choir members. Most notably, 8 choir members have been taken on by the Royal Opera House Youth Company, 1 member is now a member of the English National Opera Youth Company and another member is now studying voice at Junior Trinity.
The group of 60 singers is split into senior and junior choirs and rehearses weekly in term time. The choir is a flagship for Royal Greenwich and has performed at a huge variety of venues including The South Bank Centre as well as teaming up with English Touring Opera and the London Philharmonic Orchestra for performances.
With support of Arts Council England, in March 2019 we delivered choir recruitment workshops in specifically selected hard-to-reach schools. Choir members from these schools are supported by community volunteers with their travel to and from their schools for choir sessions.
In April 2019, 40 members of the choir attended a performance of The Magic Flute at London’s Coliseum taking up English National Opera’s offer of free tickets for Under 18s. They loved the performance and were particularly excited to meet Tamino, Pamina and Papageno at the end of the show. Senior choir members worked with opera director, Louise Bakker, to present a scene from The Magic Flute at Blackheath Halls’ Opera Gala Night in March 2019.
Choir members have had the opportunity to be involved in all Blackheath Halls Operas since its launch.
The choir has been running since November 2015 and we are now urgently seeking funds to continue this important work.
Choir Manager: Caroline Foulkes
Choir leaders: Helen Brookes and Tom Floyd
With grateful thanks to Arts Council England, Royal Greenwich Music Hub, Royal Greenwich Community Arts Fund, The Hearn Foundation, D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and many individual donors for their support for this group since its inception.
Contact Rose Ballantyne on 020 8305 3890 or [email protected]