Gareth Malone OBE

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English choirmaster and broadcaster best known for his TV show The Choir.

Gareth Malone studied at Bournemouth School, singing with the Symphony Chorus of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO). He studied drama at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, where he performed in the university choir and composed music for theatre productions. After graduating he gave private tuition and then applied for a postgraduate vocal studies course at the Royal Academy of Music, passing with distinction in 2005.

Until December 2009, Gareth worked for the London Symphony Orchestra at LSO St Luke’s where he ran their youth choir and community choir.

TV Work

He later entered television work when approached by 20/20, a production company which wanted to make a series about singing in schools. Without knowing who could front the programme, the company researched the term “community choirmasters”. They discovered Gareth Malone’s name. The Choir resulted and won two BAFTAs and a Broadcast award.

The series focussed on teaching choral singing to teenagers with no such experience. The first programme being set in Northolt High School. Subsequent programmes continued the theme by taking choral music to challenging situations. Boys Don’t Sing (2008) featured pupils at Lancaster School, Leicester, an all-boys school where there was reluctance to sing. Then the third series, entitled Unsung Town, featured the formation of a community choir in South Oxhey.

Then in 2010 Malone presented a children’s programme for CBBC, The Big Performance, in which ten keen, but extremely shy, young singers took the opportunity to overcome their fears. They sang for a larger audience each week, taking it in turns to be the soloist. Then in the final week they performed for BBC Proms in the Park. An additional second series was broadcast in 2011 with the final week taking the form of a performance of a choral arrangement of the song “Keep Holding On” for the BBC charity telethon Children in Need 2011. The ten singers led a live choir in the studio along with children’s choirs nationwide, linked by satellite.

In November 2014, Malone and a group of celebrities he had mentored reached the UK number 1 with their Children In Need charity single ‘Wake Me Up’.

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