International Choir Festival launches in Brighton

Posted On 22 Jan 2020 at 9:56 pm
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Surrey Rainbow Choir (Surrey Music)

The United Kingdom today launches the prestigious Brighton International Festival of Choirs, an unmissable four-day celebration of singing and choral music taking place in September 2020 here in Brighton – choirs from across the world are invited to attend.

A full programme of performances and concerts will take place at historic churches and exciting venues around the city, running alongside an optional choral competition in which cash prizes can be won. Choral workshops and masterclasses will be led by several eminent choral conductors, including Dr Russell Robinson, Emeritus Professor of Music Education at the University of Florida, USA, and Ralph Allwood MBE DMus, Director of Chapel Music at Queen’s College, Cambridge, UK and Director of the only conservatoire chapel choir in the world, the Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Choir.Registration for the festival opened this week, and Festival Director Cliff van Tonder said that he believes that the addition of a choral festival will enhance Brighton’s already colourful festival calendar. “We are planning some amazing concerts and are working with a fantastic team of experts in the field of choral music. Brighton is ‘the happiest place in the UK’, and we invite choirs from all over the world to join our happy, friendly and inclusive festival! ”

Cliff van Tonder BCAa is the CEO and Founder of Surrey Music, a well-established community organisation comprising three large choirs which has raised in excess of £210,000 for charity.

The Spearhead

“Our festival will support local charity ‘Mind in Brighton and Hove’ and the fantastic services they provide to the community,” says Cliff. “Singing, and particularly singing together in a choir, has such a positive effect on well-being and we feel it is entirely fitting for us to support a mental health charity.”

Elmbridge Choir (Surrey Music)

The festival, which expects to play host to around 30 or more choirs, will open on Thursday 3rd September with an evening Parade of Choirs along the seafront from Hove Lawns to Brighton Palace Pier, and will close on the evening of Sunday 6th September with a Grand Finale Concert at the historic Brighton Dome concert hall.

The festival has the full backing of the local Tourist Information Service, VisitBrighton, and organisers are keen that local residents, students and businesses should have the opportunity to be involved. “We want the Brighton community to enjoy listening to some amazing and diverse choral music, and so all our concerts and performances, including the Finale Concert at Brighton Dome, will be free for the public to attend,” explains Festival Co-ordinator, Debbie Groves. “We will also be offering great opportunities through sponsorship, and invite any business or organisation who would like to come on board to take a look at the range of exciting sponsorship packages on our website. Our crowdfunding campaign launches on Wednesday 15th January and is an easy and fantastic way for individuals to become involved in this exciting piece of UK choral history!”

The full programme of events, a variety of festival accommodation packages, sponsorship packages, contact details and online registration can be found at

St Peter’s Church, Brighton

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