EXCLUSIVE: Barnsley choir academy plans will put South Yorkshire “at the heart” of talent

Written by Lauren White

I am a trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield, Editor in Chief of nebeep.com and a proud Geordie.

Plans for the world famous Barnsley Youth Choir to have its own centre will put the region “at the heart” of vocal excellence, Dan Jarvis MP has told Sheffield Wire.

The Northern Academy for Vocal Excellence will also become a hub for singing not just in South Yorkshire, but across the nation.

Mr Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central, said: “The Northern Academy of Vocal Excellence will put South Yorkshire right at the heart of delivering vocal excellence for generations to come.

“I will be doing everything I can to support Mat Wright and all of the team at Barnsley Youth Choir to ensure that these exciting plans come to fruition.”

Barnsley Youth Choir is ranked third in the World Rankings and has won eight first-prizes in some of the biggest vocal competitions.

The choir’s Artistic Director, Mat Wright MBE, said: “We’ll be working with some of the greatest international experts, and it’s going to be a space for people of all ages to learn and train from the very best in the world.”

Barnsley Council has agreed to lease its former computer centre building on St Mary’s Place for the development of the Academy.

The council have promised  to provide significant funding to develop the building, which first opened in 1879.

Funding is expected to be matched by other organisations in the future and the choir will bid for further cash to pay for the plans.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Our borough is a place that fosters ambition. That’s why we’re supporting BYC in developing a permanent home to nurture the incredible talent of our young people.”

Full plans for the Northern Academy for Vocal Excellence can be viewed here.

Written by Lauren White

I am a trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield, Editor in Chief of nebeep.com and a proud Geordie.

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