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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
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Amateur choirs needed to mark festival's 40th birthday
Tune up those vocal cords and get ready to sing, sing, sing! The search is on to find the inaugural Midlands Choir of the Year, with the competition being spread far and wide across the region. Lichfield Festival has launched the brand new competition with the winning vocal group in line to win a cash prize as well as the chance to perform live at the 40th Lichfield Festival in 2021. Choirs are being invited to enter from across Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire. The competition is open to amateur, adult singing groups, with organisers keen to hear from ensembles of all types and all musical genres – from gospel to barbershop, classical to jazz, and rock to a cappella.

Lichfield Festival, Lichfield Cathedral
Lichfield Cathedral hosting a previous Festival concert. Credit Redlock Photography


The semi-final and final rounds will be held live during this year's Festival, with the final itself taking place in the stunning surroundings of Lichfield Cathedral. The winning group will lift the first Midlands Choir of the Year trophy on July 12 and the victorious singers will then be offered a prestigious performance opportunity at the 40th Lichfield Festival in 2021. Choirs need to complete an online application and send their recorded entry ahead of the closing date of March 31. Full details of how to enter, plus full terms and conditions, are available on the Midlands Choir of the Year website www.mcoty.org

Lichfield Cathedral, Lichfield Festival
The interior of Lichfield Cathedral. Credit Redlock Photography


The competition is open to amateur choirs with a maximum of 50 members, consisting of singers who are aged 18 and over. Choirs and groups must be based and rehearse regularly in the counties listed above. The semi-final will be held on Saturday 11 July in St Michael's Church, Lichfield, with the final on Sunday 12 July within Lichfield Cathedral. Lichfield Festival is one of the leading cultural organisations in the West Midlands. Formed as a registered charity in 1981, the organisation promotes The Lichfield Festival – an annual multi-arts festival in July; Lichfield Literature – an annual literary event; ASPIRE – a learning and participation programme of education and community activities leading up to and culminating at each festival.
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Why? Midlands choirs urged to enter prestige competition
When: Mar 31 to July 12
Phone: 01543 306720
Website: www.mcoty.org
Where: Lichfield Festival, Donegal House, Bore Street, Lichfield, WS13 6NE
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