Last Sunday the magnificent sound of Bradford Catholic Youth Choir and the professional singers and instrumentalists of the world-famous Gabrieli Consort echoed around St Joseph's Church, Bradford. BCYC is supported by St Bede's and St Joseph's, rehearsing at the IGNIS site every week and with most of its members coming from the school and members of the Junior Choirs coming from across the primary schools in the Bradford and Keighley Catholic Schools Partnership. They are the only Northern choir taking part in the Gabrieli's youth choir scheme, Gabrieli Roar, and joined the consort to perform Christmas music by Praetorius and his contemporaries. Following their Radio 4 broadcast in November, BCYC worked very hard on the 17th Century music, with preparation including two workshops given by renowned vocal coach Charles MacDougall. They learnt much of the music in the original German, and their efforts resulted in a truly spectacular performance. Directed by Gabrieli Artistic Director Paul McCreesh, the concert featured 10 singers from Gabrieli and 19 orchestral players, all of whom were playing 17th Century instruments, including the extraordinary Contra-Bass Shawm! A day earlier BCYC joined other young choirs from the David Ross Educational Trust schools to perform the same programme in Hull Minster. Choir members were very inspired by the opportunity and were thrilled that Bishop Marcus was able to attend the Bradford concert.
Paul McCreesh said 'Gabrieli Roar stems from a very strong personal feeling about the importance of culture to young people in our increasingly fragmented world. The Diocese of Leeds music programme has a similar vision, so it’s a natural partnership, and I am delighted to help support, and salute, your own dedication and hard work with the young people.'