When I was young, Church was an old stone building with a high corrugated iron roof. I wondered many times why any roof had to be that high, but you can sort of imagine what that did for the acoustics inside! Magically, all the voices always seemed to blend and gel together into this one floating great sound. In retrospect, it was truly ‘it’. That’s why to this day, the unified sound of a great choir still holds a special appeal for me, So you can imagine my delight that it was once again that time of the year when the University Gospel Choirs showcase their thing.
This was my second year attending the University Gospel Choir of The Year and I’ll admit – this is fast becoming my personal favourite event of the year. There were 8 announced finalists (below) plus a wild card Portsmouth University.
UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM(REVIVAL GOSPEL CHOIR)
UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER(LEICESTER UNIVERSITY VOICES)
KINGSTON UNIVERSITY GOSPEL CHOIR
COVENTRY UNIVERSITY(COVENTRY GOSPEL RHYTHMS)
DE MONTFORT (DMU STUDENT CHOIR)
IMPERIAL COLLEGE(IMPERIAL COLLEGE GOSPELCHOIR)
UNIVERSITY OF SURREY(SURREY UNIVERSITY GOSPELCHOIR)
QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY(QMUL UNITE CHOIR)
The competition was judged by John Fisher (founder and director of IDMC), Andrea Encinas (Arts management consultant), Mark De-Lisser (ACM Gospel Choir) & Stephanie Oyerinde. All accomplished and respect individuals. This was hosted by MOBO award winner Rachel Kerr – who looked radiant in white!
All the choirs brought their A game, the 2014 winners UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM (REVIVAL GOSPEL CHOIR) started off the choir line up. This choir just captured the moment and set the scene for what was going to be an amazing evening.
The winners and a definite highlight were University of Leicester. Dressed in colourful print, the choir’s arrangement left the judges on their feet at the end. The arrangement was energetic and effortlessly delivered. Watch the footage below:
My personal favourite were Kingston University – I enjoyed the heart they showed but all the finalists were winners – It was clear they worked hard, put their hearts into it and understood and conveyed what they were singing about.
The night deservedly belonged to Leicester, the runners up were Portsmouth and Coventry. UGCY 2015 was truly a great event and a great way to bring hundreds of people together through the universal medium of music and great music at that! You can re-live the event by getting a copy of the DVD of the event here.
Well done to the founder Lorraine Wright and all the UGCY team – looking forward to ’16!