New conductor will help choirs grow

Aoife OConnell is looking forward to helping the choirs develop
Aoife OConnell is looking forward to helping the choirs develop

A professional singer has joined one of Yorkshire’s leading community choirs as it strengthens its leadership team.

Aoife O’Connell, a soprano who has extensive experience of performing around the world, will support musical director Rhiannon Gayle at Rock Up and Sing!

Born in Ireland, she has many performing qualifications and accolades and now lives in Leeds.

Since Rock Up and Sing! was founded in 2009, it has grown steadily and now has more than 400 members across four choirs in Harrogate and Skipton, along with a youth choir for secondary school students. They are currently led by Rhiannon and assistant director Andrew Matthews.

Rhiannon said: “We have been looking for the right person to strengthen our team for some time, so it’s a pleasure to be able to welcome Aoife to the Rock Up and Sing! family.”

The choirs are currently working towards one of their largest ever performances: a two-date spectacular at Leeds Town Hall on July 15 and 16, when more than 320 singers will be taking part. The programme will feature rock hits by bands including Metallica, Queen, David Bowie and Nirvana, as well as more recent songs by One Republic, John Legend and Rag n Bone Man.

Aoife said: “I’m really looking forward to getting to know the choirs and helping them to develop even further. With a huge two-date concert just a few weeks away, I’m certainly going in at the deep end, but Rhiannon and Andrew have already made me feel very welcome.”

For tickets visit www.leeds.gov.uk/townhall or call 0113 224 3801.