The Hallé are delighted to announce that the winning choir at the Hallé’s Workplace Choir Competition 2023 was the choir from accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO LLP.
The choir were conducted by Hallé choral conductor Joe Hearson and performed arrangements of River by Joni Mitchell and Say a Little Prayer by Burt Bacharach.
This year is the 10th anniversary of the Hallé’s Workplace Choir programme, which brings the Hallé’s rich choral heritage into the workplace. By tapping into a team of experienced and inspirational vocal leaders, the competition offers a unique approach to wellbeing and teambuilding by bringing together employees at all levels through an activity that builds trust, improves communication skills, and boosts staff morale.
On the 24th November 2023, eight organisations and businesses from across the North gathered at Hallé St Peter’s for the competition. Each choir competed for the chance to perform alongside the Hallé on The Bridgewater Hall stage at the 15th December at the Christmas Cracker concert.
Emelie Harding from the winning BDO choir, said: “We are thrilled to have won the competition! The afternoon itself was such a joy, giving us the chance to show what we’ve worked so hard on as well as getting to hear all the other wonderful choirs.
“Having a choir at BDO has allowed people across a number of teams get to know each other better and having the opportunity to step away from our desks for an hour in the middle of the week to do something so joyful is a real boost to our wellbeing. We are all now very excited that we get to perform together again at the Bridgewater Hall for the Christmas Cracker concert in just a few weeks.
To mark the 10th Anniversary of the competition, there was a new award introduced this year. The Siemens Audience Choice Award – named after the organisation who has been represented at every competition and Workplace Choir event in the last 10 years – was won by the BAE Systems Air Choir who performed an acapella arrangement of Starman by David Bowie and a song bringing together The Beatle’s Golden Slumbers and Silent Night.
Two other choirs received awards for their performances; the choir from The Nightingale Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital were commended for their quality of sound and joy in performance, and the choir from Siemens received an award to celebrate their accuracy, blend and approach to challenging repertoire. The judges also particularly wanted to commend their two soloists.
Rounding out this year’s competing choirs were The Subpranos from BAE Systems Maritime, BASF, The Bolton NHS Our Voices Choir and Stopchordians from Stockport Council.
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the competition, Hallé Choral conductor and composer Stuart Overington has written a song that all the choirs will join together to perform, alongside the Hallé, at the Christmas Cracker concert at The Bridgewater Hall on the 15th December. When We Sing is about the joy of singing, and how coming together to practice and perform can improve mood, even during the most difficult of days. It is a wonderfully uplifting and jubilant song, which will be sure to get audiences into the Christmas spirit.
Matthew Hamilton, Hallé Choral Director, said: ‘The competition is always fierce at the Workplace Choir Competition, however it is fair to say the standard this year was astonishingly high, and we had a very difficult decision on the day. This event is so wonderful for showcasing the talent across these choirs and it is lovely to see how each choir has a different personality and style.’
For more information about the programme, including how you can access a free taster session in your workplace, visit halle.co.uk/halle-workplace-choirs/