We want to thank everyone who turned up to this wonderful event!
Experience the show by the team chosen to represent BYC in the World Choir Games 2020 in Flanders, Belgium.
20 years after the foundation of the World Choir Games, labelled by many as the Choir Olympics, in Austria (2000) the international choral world will once again celebrate the world’s largest international choir competition in the heart of Europe.
Antwerp and Ghent are the main hosts for the World Choir Games 2020 and promise top-class venues, fantastic choir concerts and unforgettable experiences. With three official languages and a wealth of local dialects, Belgium is a great crossroad of cultures and thus a perfect host for the largest international choir competition in the world. Thousands of international participants will be warmly welcomed and immediately feel at home when bringing their music and cultures to Flanders in summer 2020.
Barnsley Youth Choir will compete alongside around 550 of the very best choirs in the world in the biggest and most challenging choral competition in history. Never before has such a large number of international choirs been involved in such an event and it has attracted the world’s elite choirs.
The competition will be fierce and BYC has entered 2 of the Champions Category Competitions (the highest level of competition) that take place in the second week of competitions. We will take part in the Pop and Gospel Categories as well as taking time out to watch some of the finest choirs in the world and learn from them.
We also hope to take part in friendship concerts with other choirs, make connections and develop relationships that will provide opportunities for the whole of BYC in the future. Our good friends, Tuks Camerata from Pretoria, will be also competing, although in different competition categories, and we will spend some time with them and hope to perform in a joint concert with them in one of the world class venues that these stunning cities boast.
Taking part in competitions has never been about winning for BYC. It has always been seen as a vehicle for development and improvement. The opportunities that our young people had in 2014 in Riga, 2015 in Magdeburg and 2017 Riga were life changing. Professor Thomas Caplin from Norway said to me in 2014 that I would bring a different choir home to Barnsley after the 2014 World Choir Games. He was right – the difference that this made to the choir and the organisation as a whole was tangible. The success in these competitions has helped provide further opportunities for all of our choirs at BYC too.
The contrasts will be stark. We will take a choir of young people, many of whom have never performed in a competition before, some who are as young as 11 or 12 years old with little formal training, led and run by a team of volunteers, who remain very inclusive and who rehearse once a week for 2 hours. We will compete against affluent choirs from all over the world, many who are adult choirs, who rehearse up to twice a day, are highly selective and have seemingly unlimited resources that enables them to have full time paid staff whose only focus is the choir.
We will travel undaunted and excited about the possibility to perform and represent Great Britain on the international stage once more. It is a mouth-watering prospect and one that I know our singers will absolutely love. Clearly all of this is dependent on providing the financial support that will enable us to make this happen for them and we hope that the local and wider communities will get behind the project recognising the difference it will make to their lives. We can’t wait to prepare for the biggest event in BYC’s history!