Hillmorton choir enjoys premiere booking - The Rugby Observer
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12th Aug, 2022

Hillmorton choir enjoys premiere booking

Rugby Editorial 17th Jun, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

THIS group of singers normally meet in the modest surroundings of Paddox Methodist Church.

But last weekend 40 members of Hillmorton Community Choir were on stage at Millennium Point in Birmingham to sing the world premiere of a piece of music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang under the conductorship of Simon Halsey, the chorus director of the City of Birmingham and London choirs.

They were among 1,000 voices from 20 choirs to feature in Crowd Out that was commissioned by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

Mr Lang’s aim was for people with little or no singing experience or tuition to participate in the choral piece inspired by his visit to an Arsenal football match in 1994 when, having never been to a game before, he was impressed by the fans active participation in singing and chanting.

He designed the score that encompassed various forms such as football chanting, whispering, murmuring and shouting, and expresses the emotion experienced as an individual to be part of a crowd including isolation, panic, stress, confidence and calmness.

There will now be performances in London, Berlin and New York.

In Birmingham last weekend it attracted world wide publicity and saw Hillmorton’s conductor Ami Boyd interviewed on BBC Radio 3. She described it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“This has been an amazing experience for all of us taking part, very different from anything we have done before, and has introduced us to new ideas and opportunities,” Ami told us.

“When we formed two years ago, we never imagined we would have the opportunity to work with international musicians or be part of such a large choir. We are hoping we will be invited to take part in other events.

“It is not possible to perform it again as a concert piece but there is a suggestion we might reprise it in the footpath tunnel near St John the Baptist Church as the acoustics would be pretty amazing.”

For now the choir will continue their weekly rehearsals at Paddox Methodist Church at 7pm on Wednesdays.

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