Newcomers BDO win the 2019 Hallé Corporate Choir Competition

14th January 2020

The Hallé are delighted to announce that the BDO choir, with their conductor Matthew Roughley, have been crowned winners of the 2019 Hallé Corporate Choir Competition following their debut performance of I Saw Three Ships and The Beatles’ Blackbird.

The annual Corporate Choir Competition brings the Hallé’s rich choral heritage into the workplace. By tapping into a team of experienced and inspirational vocal leaders, the competition offers a unique approach to wellbeing and teambuilding by bringing together employees at all levels through an activity that builds trust, improves communication skills, and boosts staff morale.

On the 29th November 2019, nine organisations and businesses from across the North gathered at the new Oglesby Centre at Hallé St Peter’s for the 7th iteration of the competition. Each choir prepared for weeks to compete for the chance to perform alongside the Hallé on The Bridgewater Hall stage at the 19th December Christmas Cracker concert.

The BDO choir was formed only just a few months ago as a means of supporting health and wellbeing amongst employees, and choir members are drawn from all across the firm. The hard work that each singer put in to the task was reflective in a magnificent competition performance.

Angela Cross, a member of the BDO choir said: ‘It feels amazing to have won, and very unexpected as we are a new choir and have only just come together. At BDO we’ve had a wellbeing initiative for the last 18 months, but this was an opportunity to do something really different, and to open it up to a wide variety of people across the office. We wanted people to come and have a really good time and that’s exactly what we’ve done.’

Two other choirs were commended for their performances during the competition, including the Siemens Choir which won the Sir Mark Elder Award for the second year running for their versatile sound, and the Nightingale Choir from Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust which won the Charles Hallé Award for being most improved.

Clare Keevil, a member of the Nightingale Choir said: ‘It is absolutely fantastic to have won the Charles Hallé Award – we have worked really hard as a choir, and really enjoy singing together so it is wonderful to be recognised with a trophy. The choir has been running for five years; we all have very busy jobs at the hospital and are working in different departments, but on a Tuesday night we all get together and sing! It is so positive for us, no matter how busy or tired we are we always have a fantastic time at rehearsals.’

Rounding out this year’s competing choirs were BAE Systems, DLA Piper, and PwC along with newcomers AJ Bell, BASF and RSM.

As winners, the BDO choir performed at The Bridgewater Hall in the Hallé Christmas Cracker concert on the 19th December to an audience of around 2,000 people.

Matthew Roughley, a member of the Hallé team who conducted the BDO Choir said of the evening: ‘For many in the choir this was the first time they have sung in such an amazing space, with an orchestra like the Hallé. This kind of experience never loses its shine!’