Page 3 - 16389 BYC Aurin Concert Program 2023
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This massed choir of around 100 children aged 11-16 years old was the start of a mission to bring really good quality singing to children across Barnsley.
We organised blue polo shirts with the words Barnsley Youth Choir on them. I’m not sure that any of these still exist but I think that they would be collectors’ items! The children wore them and, for the first time, looked like a proper team. It was a great moment, and one that I’ll never forget. We worked on joint pieces with the mesmerising Aurin Choir and I tried to instil confidence in our young people, despite their jaws hitting the floor when the Aurin Choir first sang to them. László was mesmerising to watch, carefully explaining and encouraging our young people and demonstrating what excellence can really look like. The Barnsley children could only sing in unison, perhaps 2 parts at a pinch and my conducting was done from the safety of sitting behind a piano.
I was terrified and felt so out of my depth, but it was my job to reassure the Barnsley children and exude confidence. The children could have easily been overwhelmed and not returned to the concert after the rehearsal, but they chose to come back and sang with such joy and passion. They were elevated by what they had experienced, and the singing that they had not just heard but ‘felt’. It’s difficult to describe the purity of sound that this choir creates. Their intonation is impeccable and as you close your eyes when listening to them it is impossible to know how many you are listening to. László chose a piece to share with the Barnsley children to really show off the choir’s
skill. It was something really simple in unison; and it was perfect. It would have been easy to show off a competition piece and blow us away (he did that later in the weekend!) but he wanted to show us the beauty of singing together, as one. The tone, intonation and ensemble of the choir were
as close as I’ve ever heard to perfection.
It was this moment of realisation that has led us to where we are today.
We owe the Aurin Choir and
László so much. All of our
warm-ups are directly taken
from the work he shared
with us nearly 20 years ago,
and his words of wisdom remain the cornerstones of our pedagogy and approach today. Our long and protracted discussions,
often over a glass of wine, provided me with an insight and understanding that led us to take part in the 2014 World Choir Games, and he even listened to the choir before the 2015 European Choir Games to provide precise feedback to us about our competition pieces in a special workshop.
Since 2005 there have been a number of visits, facilitated by Barbara Jenkinson who has worked so hard to enable their tours to happen. Their appearance at the BYC 10th Anniversary Celebrations in 2019 was their last visit, because of the pandemic. This is a very special occasion and marks a relationship that is now 18 years old between László, his choirs and Barnsley. We hope that they have a wonderful visit and that they leave with fond memories of working with our young people. I feel so much gratitude towards László, and hope that he sees how much the choir is developing and can take pride in the flame that he ignited back
in 2005.
As we reflect on the rest of the season there is so much to be proud of. We have recruited so many
new members and our young people took part in 4 superb Christmas Concerts as well as an
‘Unplugged’ Charity Concert at St. Mary’s that, for me, is the highest level that BYC has ever sung. We took the Senior Choir
for a tour to Dublin and worked with the wonderful Dublin Youth Choir with performances at 1 Windmill Lane (of U2 fame) and at the iconic Trinity College
Tygerberg Children’s Choir
Chapel – perhaps the best acoustic we have ever sung in.
We have had Spring Concerts, a stunning Gala Dinner,
the visit of the highest ranked children’s choir in the world –
Tygerberg children’s Choir from Cape Town South Africa and we also played
an important and exciting role in the
inaugural Hull International Choir Competition.
   Barnsley Youth Choir 2005

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