Here’s To The Heroes – What a weekend!

7 August 2012

What a weekend. Two huge audiences in Leeds and Newcastle, and two standing ovations for two amazing concerts. Moving and emotional songs, always with the thought of our wounded servicemen and women in our minds as we supported Help for Heroes.

Most choirs concentrate on one style. Gospel choirs for ‘I Believe I Can Fly’; Classical choral societies for ‘Conquering Hero/Jerusalem’; Pop Choirs for ‘You Raise Me Up’; Studio session singers for film scores ‘Here's to the Heroes’; Military choirs for ‘Battle Hymn’; Show Choirs for ‘Dare to Dream’. They all need specialist skills, but Inspiration can do it all. And do it to a very high standard too. They were Gospel-punchy for ‘I Believe I Can Fly’; clean and clear for ‘Conquering Hero’; smooth and classy for ‘Jerusalem’; inspiring in ‘You Raise Me Up’; epic in ‘Here's to the Heroes’; proud in ‘Battle Hymn’; theatrical in ‘Dare to Dream’. They do so much more than just sing what's on the page.

Here is a letter, printed in the Newcastle Journal:

‘Barbara Hodgson’s tribute to the Tom Jones concert on Saturday night was entitled ‘Hats off to a Great Performer’. I attended another musical feast on Saturday evening at The Sage Gateshead given by the Inspiration Choir, conducted by Gary Griffiths, with their pianist Mark Deeks and the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra.

I was attracted to this ‘Here’s to the Heroes’ concert after being transfixed and uplifted by a small section of the choir performing in Eldon Square two weeks ago.

Hall One was packed to hear 19 musical items including ‘O Fortuna’, ‘Hymn to the Fallen’ (beautifully narrated by Julia Partington) ‘Sing’, ‘Wherever You Are’ and traditional songs from the countries of the United Kingdom. The choir (257 voices) sang exuberantly and with perfect expression where necessary with no music in their hands. They had to look at the conductor… and did! Their enjoyment at singing was obvious. The concert ended with ‘You Raise Me Up’. You did, and I am sure I was not alone’

And here is an extract from a review in a local leeds newspaper:

‘There are few more life-enhancing musical experiences than Inspiration’s thrice-yearly concerts at Leeds Town Hall. Three hundred singers make up this awesome choir and every one of them is infused with an enjoyment of singing which reaches the heart of their devoted followers.

Liz Green’s narration rang round the auditorium; her reading of a letter from a soldier penned from the battlefields of the American Civil War was almost unbearably moving.

Inspiration get to do all this again in a couple of weeks when 250 of them take this concert to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, before they start work again in September on their fabulous Christmas Extravaganza, and also prepare for their November trip to sing at Disneyland Paris. And who knows where next?

And the running total so far raised for Help For Heroes? £5,000 and counting!

Inspiration Choir