Simply put, Town Hall Gospel Choir is a group, no, family of individuals from all walks and backgrounds of life who have come together in one accord, and with one unifying passion. Singing.
Winners of the first ever Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year, Town Hall Gospel Choir share a passion for singing with people from all walks of life.
The 30-strong choir were declared the winners of the prestigious title, after beating five church and community choirs from across the UK to the post in a closely contested final.
Success for the city singers was even sweeter as both broadcasts of the two episodes were filmed at Town Hall, a building with a great choral tradition.
In 2007 Town Hall and Symphony Hall recruited singers from Birmingham’s gospel communities to form a choir to participate in the re-opening concert of the newly refurbished Town Hall, featuringHandel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration . This uplifting gospel and soul reworking of Handel’s Messiah performed alongside the likes of Soweto Kinch, Ruby Turner and Town Hall Associate Artists Black Voices.
The choir was initially auditioned and trained by Black Voices and Director of the London Adventist Chorale and one of the UK’s leading choral conductors Ken Burton.
From the opening concert it was obvious that something special had been created which deserved to be continued. A recruitment drive was therefore launched which received an unexpectedly high level of interest, and the choir’s ranks have now grown to nearly 40 members, with a considerable number also on a waiting list for future auditions.
Other notable projects that Town Hall Gospel Choir have been involved in include Equinox: Cultures in Harmony a celebration of the Olympic spirit of achievement, endeavour and friendship. A huge, emotive sound was created by the choir alongside some 400 choral and percussion performers reflecting the cultural diversity of young people and adults living in Birmingham. The programme included the world premiere of Equinox, a specially commissioned ground-breaking work by award winning Midlands’ composer Christopher Long.
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jamaican Independence, Town Hall Gospel Choir joined Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Urban Soul Orchestra, and lead vocalist of Aswad, Brinsley Forde, to perform a sensational orchestral interpretation of *Bob Marley and The Wailers*’ ground-breaking and iconic album Catch a Fire.
The choir were also part of The Voyage which saw Town Hall transformed by spectacular projected imagery for one of the opening events of the London 2012 Festival.
Projections featured an enormous ship sailing into Victoria Square and docking itself beside Town Hall. Thousands gathered as the choir performed alongside a brass band while dancers and aerialists appeared in the ship’s rigging in an incredible production created by Motionhouse in collaboration with Legs On The Wall and produced by The Hipodrome.
Other projects have included a performance with Sir Willard White, a spectacular concert with theCBSO and South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela at Symphony Hall, and an uplifting Christmas concert with Muyiwa/Riversongz.
Trained as a classical pianist, Colin Anderson began singing in established choirs in the 1970s and his first choir appointment as a conductor of a local London church youth choir was in 1981. In those early years Colin sang with many and varied choirs, including The All London Male Voice Praise and the renowned 1995 Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year – The London Adventist Chorale.
In 2007 further extending his passion to bring gospel singing to more diverse communities, Colin teamed-up with his wife Celia Wickham Anderson operating under the name of their music company Ethno Vox to deliver a 6-month project in the London Borough of Camden. Ethno Vox played a key role in promoting the London-wide drive to get the Capital singing in “Sing London” with Colin as the main feature in the launch video and also interviews with prominent individuals such as David Lammy MP.
As conductor and director of music, Colin has specialised in bringing together choristers and choirs for various services, conventions and projects across the UK and until 2004 he was Music Director for a large church and conductor for the choir at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Balham, South London.