Sheffield Choir Shares in National Music Award Success

19th December 2013

A pioneering musical project which received a five-minute standing ovation when Sheffield's Bolsterstone Male Voice Voice Choir performed it in London last year in front of a 700-strong audience, has won a prestigious national award for its composer.

John Surman (spelt SURMAN), one of Europe's top leading jazz musicians, was commissioned to write the work, called 'Lifelines', by BBC Radio 3 and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and he chose the internationally-renowned Bolsterstone choir to provide the vocal backing after listening to a selection of their CDs. After months of intensive rehearsals, the choir performed the 75-minute choral work, featuring saxophonist Surman and pianist Howard Moody, at the Huddersfield Festival last November and also at the London Jazz Festival the following day. Now the work has won Surman the 2013 British Composer Award for Contemporary Jazz Composition. The BritishAcademy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) described 'Lifelines' as a -groundbreaking work marrying contemporary jazz with the traditional male voice choir. Choir chairman Roger Pont, who went to London to receive the award on behalf of Swedish-based Surman, said: -We are so proud to have had such a close association with this awards success because it was probably the choir's most ambitious project in its 80-year history. It was an incredible opportunity, and a tremendous privilege, to work with two such distinguished musicians as John Surman and Howard Moody and they were both delighted with the part the choir played in the work's overall success.

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