The development of choral singing in Gibraltar
Christian Santos reports about the choral scene and the TV program called “Project Choir”
The members of the World Choir Council meet regularly and report about choral topic. A new member of the Council, Christian Santos, reports on the flourishing choral life in Gibraltar and a new TV programme.
His report at the Council Talk:
"Choral singing has always been a part of our culture in Gibraltar. We are a small community with a population of 29,000 so there are not that many choirs around though. There has been a re-surgence in choral music with the younger generation. A decade ago it was exclusively a school activity or an adult extra-curricular activity but with more and more people taking music more seriously as a career opportunity, the importance of ensemble singing has finally been recognised. My input in this field has been to make choral music more mainstream. We have a strong history of sacred music choirs and church choirs but Pop and Gospel choirs were not part of our heritage. With a strong background in musical theatre and popular music I started a youth choir for those wanting to try something new. After having taken part in several competitions and seeing my choir push themselves harder and harder in order to develop their skills and improve, it was obvious to me that choirs in Gibraltar could improve if taken more seriously. Locally choirs are a hobby and a social event with the aim of an end of season concert. A lot of these choirs have the potential and ability to develop that little bit further if they took choral singing to another level.
As a new member of the World Choir Council I have taken it upon myself to promoting choral singing in Gibraltar that little bit further and hopefully inspire more people to get involved in choral singing. I approached the local TV Station and we are currently working on a TV Programme called “Project Choir” in which I have been challenged to form a choir with a random group of strangers who walk in through the door on the first rehearsal, no matter what their singing ability is like. We have filmed the first few episodes that will be screened in the new-year. This programme will hopefully bring to the forefront the type of work that goes on behind a choir and also how enjoyable it can be. The aim is get more people interested in choral singing, the aim of the programme is to hold a Gala concert involving all local choirs and raising funds for local charities. I have also proposed that if the series is successful, we should aim to working towards an international competition, so fingers crossed the first season works out."