Music Masterclasses with Daniel Ludford-Thomas

From 22 to 23 February, we were lucky enough to welcome ex-student Daniel Ludford-Thomas back to Durham, where as an undergraduate he sung as a Cathedral scholar alongside studying for his degree in music. Since leaving Durham, he has gone on to enjoy great success and now has a busy schedule as a conductor, chorus master and singing teacher in London. Among other things, he has recently been Chorus Master for the Choir of Enlightenment, preparing them for numerous performances under the baton of Marin Alsop at the BBC Proms and in the Royal Festival Hall. Daniel has also worked behind the scenes for BBC2’s The Choir: Sing While You Work with Gareth Malone.

Daniel’s recent trip to Durham gave groups and individuals both across university staff and students the chance to receive some invaluable musical advice and direction. Durham University Gospel Choir in particular gained a significant amount from Daniel’s visit, with a dedicated 2-hour masterclass on Saturday afternoon ahead of the University Gospel Choir of the Year 2019 finals. The session gave the group a fantastic opportunity to work on their sound and cohesiveness in preparation for the competition, and they are now feeling even more excited and better equipped to achieve their absolute best as a choir.

Gospel Choir will compete against 8 other university gospel choirs at Oasis House, London, on 6 April, where the winners will be crowned UGCY 2019 Champions.

The Saturday afternoon masterclass with Gospel Choir was preceded on Friday by individual sessions, allowing two student singers to work with Daniel on a one-to-one basis on their chosen repertoire. University staff were also lucky enough to benefit from Daniel’s visit; he was an exciting special guest in what turned out to be a unique Staff Choir rehearsal. Staff Choir was originally set up last May, providing a relaxed opportunity for music-lovers to come together to sing on a weekly basis. In December, they gave their first informal public performance to staff and students within the university. Working together with their student director, Daniel was able to give this small but flourishing choir some further tips and guidance on singing to take forward for their rehearsals and any future performances.

Overall, it was an exciting weekend for music in Durham. All those involved, whether that be individual musicians, student groups, or indeed staff groups, would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to Daniel for sharing his experience and expertise.

International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella 2019: UK Final

Saturday 9 March  

Venue: Venue: New Wimbledon Theatre, 93 The Broadway, London, SW19 1QG

After placing first in the regional competition in January (for the third year running), Northern Lights are excited to be competing in the UK final in London, with the winners of this section advancing to the international final in New York.

The Northern Lights are a mixed a cappella group made up of talented, diverse and passionate performers who seek to thrill their audiences through the power of the human voice, and some carefully crafted choreography. Last summer they put on sold-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the group now has a significant back catalogue of music to listen to, including their latest EP Castles in the Sky, now on Spotify.

Event details

University Gospel Choir of the Year 2019

Saturday 6 April

Venue: Oasis House, 5-9 Peall Road, London, CR0 3EX

Durham University Gospel Choir was established in 2011 as a society wanting to bring something different to the University music scene. From humble beginnings with just five singers and a drum, the choir now boasts over 35 regular members. Although their members come from all areas of the University, they all share a common goal: to maintain a high quality of musical performance in a fun and lively choir setting. The choir aims to reach a diverse range of venues in order to share their love of gospel music. Their performances have spanned the length of Durham, from busking in the market place to performances at the DICCU Cathedral Carol Service and the Durham Nativity, not to mention a number of summer balls. DU Gospel Choir are very excited to be taking their passion to a national audience at the UGCY 2019 finals!

Event details

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