Pitch perfect: the UK children’s choirs finding ways to connect in lockdown

From encouraging kids to be ‘singing ambassadors’ to putting on giant online concerts, choirs have overhauled their approach

By Amelia Hill

Bristol Beacon is one of the biggest children’s choirs in the UK, engaging with 5,000 children across the city every year. Instead of responding to lockdown by simply replicating live rehearsals online, David Ogden, head of the Choral Centre at Bristol Beacon, said the choir has treated the crisis as the positive inspiration for a whole new future direction.

Our plan is to use the necessity for innovation due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic as a springboard for training in the future,” he said.

“The model of singing ambassadors has been developed so that they can teach songs to younger singers in the future, training them to have the confidence as they progress through the choir to become the ‘singing workshop leaders’ of the future in schools and in choirs,” said Ogden. “These skills can also feed into such schemes as the Duke of Edinburgh award where leadership skills are assessed.”

Bristol Beacon isn’t alone in mounting a positive reinvention of itself in the face of pandemic-shaped adversity: the National Youth Choirs of Scotland (NYCOS) have also developed ingenious techniques to keep their young singers engaged.

Source: The Guardian News and Media