The Blackbird Leys Choir, founded in 2006, has made an extraordinary journey from a group of aspiring singers on the Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys estates in Oxford, to an acclaimed choir of national repute whose performances have included a private audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Today the choir can still be seen performing in venues in and around Oxford, from small local churches to Dorchester Abbey; from the Blackbird Leys Clock House to the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building in central Oxford.
The choir’s highlight of 2009 was a visit to Oxford’s twin city Leiden (the Netherlands) on August bank holiday weekend to take part in a music festival. 2010 began with a couple of guest appearances and then a concert at home in the centre of Blackbird Leys featuring our first ever public performance of the full Gloria by Vivaldi — and ended with another ambitious work, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, at our conductor’s home church in Great Rollright. And to celebrate the fifth birthday of the choir’s formation, the choir got 2011 off to a glorious start by putting on an extra special concert in Oxford’s Jacqueline du Pré Music Building.
The Blackbird Leys Choir is the re-formed Ivor’s Choir featured in the Singing Estate series of programmes broadcast by Five as part of Fivearts Cities, an initiative aimed to encourage people to participate in and enjoy the arts. The Singing Estate project involved the transformation of a group of 40 local residents into a classical choir in three months, resulting in a televised performance at the Royal Albert Hall.
The choir would like to thank the following for their support.