Originally planned for May 2020, the choir found its planned Lancashire Tour delayed by the pandemic and was forced to continue to rehearse online via Zoom.
Like many other choirs unable to meet, Leeds Male Voice Choir maintained its rehearsal schedule online and has adapted the approach to rehearsal significantly since spring 2020.
Under the direction of Tim Knight since 2014, Leeds Male Voice Choir has defied the traditions of the male voice choir genre, putting aside blazers and Welsh hymns, in favour of a modern approach with sharp suits and a diverse repertoire, drawing influences from North America, Scandinavia and the Baltic. Mixing pop, sacred, folk, Broadway and classical music as part of an eclectic repertoire, the choir has been making high-quality music since 1916.
With restrictions lifted, the choir returned to socially-distanced live rehearsals in July 2021 is now back on track for concerts in October in Lancashire as it heads over the Pennines.
Tim said: “As a choral director, it was a strange experience watching the choir on screen, but also not being able to hear them, as they work individually on notes and with backing tracks.
“I have been very impressed with how the sound is coming together after more than 18 months apart, with the individual choir members clearly having put in a lot of work during our online rehearsal period.”
Robert Butler, who has been a singer with Leeds Male Voice Choir since 2012 said: “We have always enjoyed touring and were delighted that we were able to reschedule the tour for October and return to performing for audiences.
“Lancaster Priory has long been a venue we wanted to perform in and when we met the team at Morecambe Winter Gardens and saw the amazing theatre and restoration work being undertaken, we knew we wanted to be part of the story of a venue with such a rich choral past.” The concerts will feature sacred, classical music, pop, show tunes and even a sea shanty or two with music from composers, including Rodgers and Hammerstein, Anton Dvorak, Vaughan Williams and even a special composition by its own director Tim Knight, as well as songs made popular by the Mamas and Papas, Rod Stewart and Nat King Cole.
The concerts look set to be fun- filled affairs for the whole family as Tim said: “The men take their music making seriously, and have been working hard since returning to rehearsals and are sounding great. It’s going to be a very special weekend.”
Leeds Male Voice Choir in Concerts take place at Lancaster Priory on Friday, October 8 at 7.30pm and Morecambe Winter Gardens on Saturday, October 9 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available via www.leedsmalevoicechoir.co.uk or via Lancaster and Morecambe Tourist Information Centres.