Top conductor leads school warm-up for classical concert - with video
A Shropshire school welcomed singers from across the Midlands to an ambitious Come and Sing Day, led by one of the UK's leading choral conductors.
Wrekin College opened its chapel's ornate doors to people of all ages and abilities ahead of a major concert due to be staged in April.
On Saturday April 28, a massive community choir and 90-strong orchestra will join together for the performance of classical favourite Carmina Burana.
As part of the countdown to that event Adrian Lucas, head of choral studies at the Royal School of Church Music, directed a 140-strong crowd of performers at the open Come and Sing Day on Saturday.
Taking time out of his schedule with the RSCM, Adrian conducted novices and experienced singers alike with gusto in the atmospheric surroundings of the college's chapel.
Simon Platford MBE is the director of music at the college, and conductor of the Wrekin College Community Choir.
He said: "It was wonderful to see so many singers take the opportunity to learn and sing through Carl Orff’s famous work with the guidance of such a leading expert as Adrian Lucas.
"We were also delighted to welcome the baritone soloist Themba Mvula to the afternoon’s events. Singing is very good for you and the health benefits of playing music and singing are well documented and this was a wonderful precursor to our major concert of the year."
Themba Mvula is a former singing teacher at Wrekin College, now an operatic baritone soloist who performs across the UK.
Observing the warmups before the main event, he said: "I taught here for five years so there is a sense of coming back and seeing some familiar faces.
"It's really impressive how they have taken to it. Carmina Burana is a great piece for choirs because there's an energy and intensity."
Of Adrian's conducting, Themba said: "You can tell he is enthusiastic. It's important to have someone at the front who is positive and clear and energetic.
"It really instils some confidence and belief."
The singers were also impressed by Adrian's leadership.
Estella Morris is a member of the Wrekin College Community Choir, and she said: "He's very good, a bit of humour helps you not feel like as much of a wally if you make a mistake.
"There are good conductors and bad conductors, and Adrian is definitely a good one.
"It's nice to see so many people singing, it's a very social activity.
"The concert in April will really be something, with a full orchestra and everything."
Mr Platford said rehearsals for the forthcoming concert had been going extremely well with singers and musicians working hard to bring to life a collection of famous works.
The community choir boasts members aged from 20 to 80 years.
For further information and tickets for the event in April, contact firstname.lastname@example.org