Classical boy band seeks local choirs

Two Norfolk choirs are being offered the chance to share the stage with award-winning classical boy band Blake.

The four-strong group, who include tenor Humphrey Berney from Dereham, are heading to Cromer and Norwich next year.

And they are looking for local children's or adult choirs to join them at the shows.

It was an idea used during their autumn tour, which saw the Lynn Festival Chorus team up with them in King's Lynn, while at Lowestoft they were joined by the Wenhaston Girls Choir, whose spokesman Julie Liddard said the experience was 'a wonderful evening and something that the girls will remember for a long time to come'.

One choir will be chosen for each concert and will join the group on stage to perform some of Blake's well-known classic-pop renditions, including Hallelujah, Jerusalem and Nessun Dorma.

The classical foursome came up with the idea of adding a local choir to their concerts after they toured schools across the country giving performances and talks about the music industry.

'The schools tour was part of the 'campaign' for our 2nd Brit nomination, but it quickly became so much more than that to us,' explained baritone Jules Knight.

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'The kids really engaged with what we did and we were blown away by the talent and confidence of some of them in the mock X-Factor auditions that we held. With all that singing talent, we just couldn't understand why choirs weren't as popular as they used to be.'

Local man Mr Berney added: 'It's been inspirational to see so many choirs send in their material and a pleasure to perform with them all. We are looking forward to seeing more footage from choirs across the country and performing with them as part of the tour.'

Blake are at Cromer Pier Pavilion on March 10 and Norwich Theatre Royal on July 3.

The group members all found their love of music at a young age and sang with various groups and choirs, before reuniting through a social networking site in 2007 and, six months later, launching their first album which went to number one in the UK classical album chart.

Blake, who went on to win a Brit award, sing the England rugby world cup anthem and at the Wimbledon opening ceremony, are keen to showcase local singing talent through their concerts.

The offer is open to choirs of all types and ages from primary schools to adult community groups, who should send video footage of them performing or rehearsing to the band,

Choirs who would like the chance to join Blake on stage should send a YouTube video link of the choir performing to accompanied by a short description of the choir.

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