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Leys choir's in good voice for Dreamcoat
IF YOU thought Blackbird Leys choir had been quiet of late, think again.
Eight years old this month the group, which formed as part of a TV show, is about to put on its biggest local show to date.
The choir will belt out show tunes in a Leys production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat next month.
And director Trevor Davies said the choir was looking to move into musical theatre and put on shows around Oxford.
The Leys Community Development Initiative put in a bid to fund the production. As well as members of the choir Joseph will feature performers from Pegasus Primary School in Blackbird Leys.
It is the latest step in a remarkable journey for the Blackbird Leys collective which was founded in 2006 for Five TV’s The Singing Estate.
Conductor Ivor Setterfield picked 40 out of 140 residents to form a classical choir, and the series culminated in a televised performance at the Royal Albert Hall. They also performed for The Queen, said to be a fan of the show, at Buckingham Palace.
Not content with that, the group toured Oxfordshire for 14 months performing Vivaldi’s Gloria.
Mr Davies, 64, from Chipping Norton, said: “The choir will keep going and this project will give it a new lease of life. We’ve done so much in the community over the past few years, and people do come and go, so to get stuck into something like this can give everyone a huge lift.
“It’s just getting people to realise how great singing is and how wonderful singing is with groups of people.
“We aren’t celebrating our eighth birthday as such but we are putting together this production and Joseph will help us move forward.
“We are looking at moving into more musical productions and shows.
“This new direction will not only keep us going, it will help the choir blossom.
“Its history is quite special when you look back to how it started.
“There is also the dads’ choir in Blackbird Leys now too, and every time I see those rehearsals there is a new face, so it is a remarkable thing to watch.”
“There are three groups working together on this production and it promises to be very special indeed.”
The choir, which currently has about 20 members, is also looking to team up with the Oxford Theatre Guild and hopes to tour Oxfordshire again putting on musical theatrical performances.
Last year it took part in the Tree of Light show, an arts project which brought about 40 diverse community groups from the Thames Valley together, and featured a light show, drama, dancing and music composed by Orlando Gough. The first performance was at South Park, Oxford, in conjunction with the Olympic Torch relay.
The Joseph shows are scheduled to run from February 8 to 10 at the Holy Family Church in Cuddesdon Way, Blackbird Leys.
- Tickets are available from The Barn in Nightingale Avenue and wegottickets.com
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