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News release - Issued by Joseph Rowntree Theatre

York Choir Festival Almost Doubles in Size for 2017

York Community Choir Festival 2017, 29 March – 1 April 2017
Joseph Rowntree Theatre, Haxby Road, York

The inaugural York Community Choir Festival in 2016 was so popular that it will almost double in size this year, showcasing performances by 20 choirs and over 450 voices with concerts running over four days from 29 March to 1 April at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, organisers have announced today.

The series of four evening and one matinee concerts dedicated to the joy of choral singing will help raise much-needed funds for the community-run venue on York’s Haxby Road. The expanded programme comes following an excellent reception to the first festival, hosted in 2016 which saw 11 choirs perform over three evenings.

Graham Mitchell, Joseph Rowntree Theatre’s fundraising director says, “We were completely bowled over by the number of requests we received from choirs all over North Yorkshire and we have had to restrict entry. There are already choirs on the waiting list for 2018!”

The programme for the concerts will see a wide range of choirs and music genres presented, from show tunes, standards, pop, jazz, G & S, light classical, world music, sacred, barbershop, traditional and folk. David Stainton, who volunteers to co-ordinate the festival, comments, “We’ve not only got a wide range of singing styles and genres, but also choirs from a far wider area, with groups from York, Boston Spa, Tadcaster, Boroughbridge & Easingwold performing. Some groups have as few as eight members, others over 40, so this will be a fantastic celebration of vocal skills and performance.” Graham adds “The age range involved is from a precocious 6 to a venerable 89; the music content comes from all over the world and throughout the ages. We have everything from an Early English madrigal to Pharrel Williams “Happy” via medleys from musicals and a barbershop version of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, truly something for everyone”.

The festival runs from March 29 to April 1 at Joseph Rowntree Theatre and details are available online at Tickets can be booked on-line, priced at £9.00 for adults and £7.00 for under 16s. Tickets can also be purchased directly from the theatre or by telephone 01904 501935. Box Office opening hours are on the website.

All funds raised will be used to help maintain the entirely voluntary run, Grade 2 listed, Joseph Rowntree Theatre as a community theatre and meeting place that is used by theatre groups, music societies, dance schools, bands and, of course, choirs.

Any choir wanting to get involved in the March 2018 festival should contact Graham by email using


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