Choirs From The Shires

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From small 17th Century beginnings in after dinner singing at Stationers Hall in LONDON, the British choral society movement mushroomed to magnificence in the 1850s, when amateur choral singers from across Britain joined in the enormous Handel Festivals at Crystal Palace, their skills honed by the tonic solfa system of reading music and by cut-throat choral competitions.

Soprano Emma Kirkby brings alive the three hundred year history of these societies down to the present, when tens of thousands of singers still gather every week.

Along the way come visits to locations as diverse as Westminster Abbey and the Ebenezer Chapel in the Welsh village of Dunvant, and to such choirs as the mighty Huddersfield Choral Society.