A choral history of Britain is a four part Radio 4 series, commencing on Sept 20. The presenter is Roderick Williams, the baritone of international renown. We are proud to let you know that Roderick has family connections with a member of Denbigh and District Male Voice Choir.
In the first of four programmes, called ‘Singing for Solidarity’, Williams explores how singing together is at the heart of being human.
He says “when we sing together, our hearts beat together. We sing for love, for sorrow and for joy. We summon communities and change the world”.
And the popularity of choral singing is still positive. There is scientific evidence to suggest it is beneficial. Over 2 million people turn up every week for choir practice.
Gareth Malone also reinforced the advent of the ‘workplace choir’ with his successful television series.
The in demand Roderick Williams is the nephew of our baritone Peter Davies. Rich voices clearly are a family trait. Roderick received the OBE for services to music in June 2017.
Some say they can’t sing. This notion is also put to the test. Graded vocal exercises prove that ‘If you can speak, you can sing.’
Not to mention the exhilaration of choral singing. One chorister states:
“You get swept along with it, you put your note down and get carried along, becoming one voice.”
The programme also features other examples of ‘singing for solidarity.’ From protest songs, football chants to national anthems.
Then Roderick Williams himself put the feeling of solidarity to the test. Throughout his career he has always performed as a solo artist. He wanted to experience the overwhelming power of choral singing.
He joined the Choir of the Royal Academy of Music at the Royal Festival Hall to take part in the last movement of Mahler’s Second symphony.
Furthermore, Williams describes this spectacular and exhilarating musical climax.
“Feeling the air vibrate around me, I was blown away by the experience.”
A Choral History of Britain Continues
Moreover, the next programme in A Choral History of Britain ‘Singing for Pleasure’ is on Radio 4, Wednesday, September 27 at 9am.
Of course, you can listen again on the BBC iPlayer.