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Choirmaster at the helm of cross channel ferries

By Graham Tutthill

Staff from P&O Ferries in Dover are among those coming under the baton of choirmaster Gareth Malone in his next series of The Choir: Sing While You Work, as he searches for the best workplace choir.

P&O Ferries’ choir features ships officers, chefs, stewards, warehouse and headquarters staff from both sides of the Channel and Gareth is on a mission to unite the business through song.

Choirmaster Gareth Malone
Choirmaster Gareth Malone

In a first for the series, he challenges the choir to perform in both French and English – a musical entente cordiale!

The contest is tougher than ever this year, with new musical challenges and a new line-up of world-class judges.

Other organisations represented in the competition include Birmingham City Council, Sainsbury’s, Citi the bank and Cheshire Fire Service.

“It’s been amazing to return to Britain’s workplaces for a second series of sing while you work,” said Gareth who has been to Dover and on the ferries to record scenes for the series.

“I’ve pushed the choirs even harder this year and the musical standard has been even higher, with some truly outstanding performances.”

In the first five episodes, to be screened this autumn, BBC2 television viewers will follow the choirs through their auditions and rehearsals to their first judged performance in front of hundreds of their work colleagues and bosses.

The last three episodes will comprise the quarter-final where the choirs sing classical for the first time, the semi-final, where gospel and soul provide a new challenge for the remaining four choirs and the grand final, where the last three choirs will sing for the trophy.

Judging the choirs this year will be composer to the royal family Paul Mealor, world-class soprano Sarah Fox and award-winning gospel conductor Ken Burton.

The final is being filmed in Ely Cathedral this weekend – but those attending are being sworn to secrecy as to which choirs are in the final and who wins.

The first series of The Choir: Sing While You Work, which is produced by Twenty Twenty Television, attracted audiences of up to 2.9 million people.

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