Gareth Malone and the Military Wives have helped to fuel a boom in British choirs.
According to a the National Association of Choirs, thousands of new members have signed up in the last two years since the conductor started his The Choir TV series, which most recently starred the wives and partners of soldiers.
A spokesman from the Association said that there are around 27,000 singers in more than 500 choirs in the UK, with an eight to ten per cent rise in the last two years.
”The increase is partly down to the publicity from Gareth Malone and actually another BBC show a few years back called Last Choir Standing,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
Another trend is the increased interest in choral singing among young people, which has also been put down to the Gareth Malone effect.
‘There was a very large generation gap but that is now looking like it has been filled and the publicity on national television has been very helpful,” the spokesman said.
Last year, Malone encouraged young people, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, to take part in a community opera at Glyndebourne.
On hearing that the Military Wives achieved the Christmas number one spot, Malone said that it is a “boom time for choirs”.
”We are a nation of singers and we have one of the proudest traditions of choral singing in the world and I’m really delighted that some of that has crept over in the mainstream with the single and that people are getting out to buy it.”
The single, Wherever You Are, which was composed specially for the women by Paul Mealor, topped the singles chart after 556,000 copies were sold in its first week of release.
This was more than the rest of the top 12 combined, according to the Official Charts Company.
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