CLASSICAL MUSIC / Upbeat: All together now

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The Independent Culture
PEOPLE have been pointing for some years to a decline in choral singing, especially at school level. The British Federation of Young Choirs has been one of the few bodies to apply itself energetically, not just to complaining, but to doing something practical. Its Singing Days, in which large combined choirs rehearse together and perform one of the repertoire blockbusters, have become an inspirational feature of the regional music scene.

Now the federation is setting up collaborations with other groups that share the same concerns. Earlier this month, in association with the National Federation of Music Societies, it joined up with the London Symphony Chorus for the first time to give young singers a taste of top-level experience. The day included coaching and advice sessions as well as work on Elijah and the Chichester Psalms.

Next month it spreads its wings into the development of conducting skills in a shared Nottingham session with the Sing for Pleasure movement, and holds a primary teachers' course at Quorn Hall in Leicestershire. On the horizon are a national BT-sponsored choral conducting award and a support scheme for practising and student teachers called 'Finding a Voice'. Details from 37 Frederick St, Loughborough, LE11 3BH.

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