New conductor joins growing Yorkshire choirs

A professional singer has joined one of Yorkshire’s leading community choirs as it strengthens its leadership team.

Aoife O’Connell, a soprano who has extensive experience of performing around the world, will support musical director Rhiannon Gayle at Rock Up and Sing!.

Born in Ireland, she has a masters in opera performance, a first class honours degree in music performance and an MPhil in theatre and performance. She now lives in and was recently seen taking part in a New Year’s gala concert with Sheffield Symphony Orchestra, as well as continuing to travel and perform around the world.

Since Rock Up and Sing! was founded in 2009, it has grown steadily and now has more than 400 members across four choirs in and Skipton, along with a youth choir for secondary students. They are currently led by Rhiannon and assistant director Andrew Matthews.

 

Rhiannon said: We have been looking for the right person to strengthen our team for some time, so it’s a pleasure to be able to welcome Aoife to the Rock Up and Sing! family.

Her background as a soprano is very similar to mine, so I already know we’ll work well together. She will bring invaluable experience to the choirs, helping them technically with their singing as well as with their performance skills.

 

Aoife O'Connell has been appointed as assistant director at Rock Up and Sing!, joining Rhiannon Gayle and Andrew Matthews in leading more than 400 choir members in Harrogate and Skipton
Aoife O’Connell has been appointed as assistant director at Rock Up and Sing!, joining Rhiannon Gayle and Andrew Matthews in leading more than 400 choir members in Harrogate and Skipton

The choirs are currently working towards one of their largest ever performances: a two-date spectacular at Leeds Town Hall on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16, when more than 320 singers will be taking part. The programme will feature rock hits made famous by bands including Metallica, Queen, David Bowie and Nirvana, as well as more recent songs by One Republic, John Legend and Rag n Bone Man.

 

Aoife said: Rock Up and Sing! has a fantastic reputation for brilliant performances and a great sense of fun, which really appealed to me.

I’m really looking forward to getting to know the choirs and helping them to develop even further. With a huge two-date concert just a few weeks away, I’m certainly going in at the deep end, but Rhiannon and Andrew have already made me feel very welcome.

 

Tickets are now on sale for the Leeds Town Hall concerts. Visit www.leeds.gov.uk/townhall or call 0113 224 3801.

 

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