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Choir's award nomination for positivity during Covid pandemic

A popular Lichfield choir has been nominated and shortlisted for a prestigious national award in recognition of its positive influence during the pandemic.

Lichfield Godspel Choir and its Musical Director Themba Mvula.
Lichfield Godspel Choir and its Musical Director Themba Mvula.

The Royal Philharmonic Society Inspiration Award was introduced last year for “those who inspired the nation in the first months of lockdown, commending professional and non-professional musicians alike.”

Lichfield Gospel Choir has a reputation for delivering "joyful, uplifting and engaging performances" and has, together with its Musical Director, Themba Mvula, been shortlisted for the award, the ceremony for which will take place at London’s Wigmore Hall on Monday November 1.

The winner will be decided by public vote and the closing date is Thursday September 30 at 11am.

A spokesman for the RPS said: "Led by charismatic, inspirational Musical Director Themba Mvula, Lichfield Gospel Choir seemed completely unphased by the constant setbacks and hurdles of lockdown.

"The choir were straight out the gate in the very first days, instigating online rehearsals that would continue every week throughout the last year.

"Driving the activity, Musical Director Themba Mvula, together with Assistant Musical Director Gabriella Liandu, produced multi-layered accompaniments and lovingly-detailed directions for new and old songs to learn, as well as backing materials to help choir members record parts for their vivid series of virtual performances.

"Wherever a safe opportunity presented itself, they were quick to find ways to re-emerge and sing in person once again, most recently adopting a temporary rehearsal home at a local barn, ensuring those who could not attend could still participate live via Zoom.

"It’s no surprise therefore that they have in fact increased their membership in the past year.

"The choir’s achievement is not just in what they managed to do this testing year: there is a captivating, infectious joy about them and a palpable sense of togetherness, belonging and purpose which is instantly evident in everything they have shared through the pandemic.”

Gerbo Huisman, Chair of Lichfield Gospel Choir, said: "We are overjoyed to have reached the shortlist for this prestigious award.

"It comes soon after our nomination of Themba for the Best Vocal Music Director in the Making Music Awards, run by the UK's principal organisation supporting leisure-time music-making, for which he’s also been shortlisted.

"It’s great to have such recognition of Themba’s brilliant work over the last 18 months, and indeed 11 years, and to celebrate the contribution of every single member of our 100-strong choir.”

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