MusicWeb International's Worldwide Concert and Opera Reviews

 Clicking Google advertisements helps keep MusicWeb subscription-free.

Other Links

Editorial Board

  • Editor - Bill Kenny
    Assistant Webmaster -Stan Metzger
  • Founder - Len Mullenger

Google Site Search


Internet MusicWeb




Gathering Voices Festival of Song 16 - 24 October 2010: Declaring Bristol as the UK's premier 'City of Song' (BK)


Gathering Voices Festival of Song 16 - 24 October 2010 - is Bristol’s first inclusive 10 day gathering of singers, choirs, ensembles, vocal artists and groups - a chance to participate, join in or simply to be there. The Arts charity ‘Gathering Voices’ are the instigators, facilitators and co-creators of a strategic vision to establish Bristol as the UK’s first 'City of Song.' With over 50 choirs and vocal ensembles and over 2,500 people singing regularly, not including school children, Bristol can rightfully call itself a singing city.

Festival organiser and Gathering Voices Director Hannah Klewin says - ‘As we surveyed the singing landscape of Bristol we felt strongly that the extraordinary range and abundance of vocal styles and groups that already exist here, allows us to declare Bristol as the UK’s first 'City of Song'  and we believe the festival will underpin this proud claim.’

The festival will feature a range of genres and styles of music including classical, contemporary, gospel, world, roots and sacred, not to mention sea shanties.  Taking part are choirs such as Exultate Singers, Bristol Choral Society, Renewal Gospel Choir, Gasworks, Gurt Lush, New Harmony Ladies Choir, Western Opera Players, The Barefooters, The Silver Singers, Red Notes Choir, WorldRoots Voice, St. Mungo’s Community Choir, VoxBox Rocks!, Durga Ramakrishnan, Chloe Goodchild, Claudia Aurora and others.

The Gathering Voices Festival of Song is a celebration of singers and singing which will be held in different venues and locations during the 10 day period. It has 8 linked strands which give the opportunity for groups to programme their own performances and rehearsals to coincide with the overall programme. The workshops allow people to take part if they wish, which may open up new opportunities and inspire in you a life-long love of singing.

The Festival's 8 linked stands are:

1.Bristol Song Trail: 
Organised and run by individual choirs/choral groups within their own communities, who will open their doors to their regular rehearsals &

workshops for members of the public to visit, listen or join in.

2. Voice in the Hall - Foyer Concerts: A programme of over 20 vocal groups performing from the many levels of the Colston Hall foyer before the main programme, each weekday evening between 5.00 - 7.30pm.

3. SongLines Educational Programme:  Building upon the huge success of Sing Up in Bristol’s schools, teachers will be encouraged to involve their pupils in and out of school across the 10 days of the festival.

4. Ticketed Performances: In a number of high profile city centre venues including St. George’s, Circomedia at St. Paul’s, All Saints Clifton and SoundWorks in Southville.

5. Lunchtime Concerts: In the City centre including: Bristol Cathedral on College Green, the parish churches of St. Stephen’s, Christ Church, St. Ewen, John Wesley Chapel and the Lord Mayor’s chapel on Park Street

6. Workshop Weekend:  A range of open access workshops across the City to kick the festival off.

7. Sounding Boards Discussions:  At Colston Hall and SoundWorks covering topics including the new Bristol Music Trust, the legacy for Sing Up in Bristol and Vocal Health with two of Bristol’s most experienced voice practitioners, Christina Shewell and Chloe Goodchild. A chance to have your say.

8. The Secret Ingredient:  To take place in locations across the City on 23rd & 24th. When you hear it you will know! (Hannah Klewin of Gathering Voices will tell you if you contact her - but Mum’s definitely the word!)

The festival web site is at

Bill Kenny

Back to Top                                                 Cumulative Index Page