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Quarry Bank choir contributes to award win

Published: 1st November 2021

Quarry Bank choir recording in lockdownCongratulations to the Quarry Bank church choir whose lockdown recordings have helped Black Country Radio win Community Show of the Year in the annual Community Radio Awards.


Rector of the Brierley Hill Team, David Hoskin, writes: 

This time last year the choir at Christ Church, Quarry Bank were busy recording music for Christmas. The quality of these recordings, which were recorded in each member’s home then painstakingly mixed by Steve Ganner, was recognised by Black Country Radio.

The music along with a welcome & prayers and a Bible reading from the church became the centre-piece of a Festival of Carols and Readings broadcast on Christmas Day by the station.

Other contributions were made by Brierley Hill Primary School who played Good Wenceslas on handbells provided by St Michael’s Church. Mike Wood MP, the Deputy Mayor, read poems and readings. A ward councillor, also a practising Muslim, read a passage from the Qu’ran relating the birth of Jesus. Local flavour was provided by Billy Spakemon narrating ‘A Black Country Christmas’.

In all a two hour show which also featured music from other local choirs became a community centred event designed for an isolated, lock-down audience.

Black Country Radio entered the Christmas Day Radio Festival of Carols and Readings  in to the Community Radio Annual awards. The judges were sent 5 minutes of audio from the programme along with a 600 word submission which included these words:

The current pandemic lockdowns meant that the local communities were largely deprived of the Christmas traditional church services as congregations and choirs were not allowed to gather. Black Country Radio decided, therefore, to bring Christmas to the community.

Our studios are based in Brierley Hill so the logic was to draw content from within that community. So, the choir of local parish church, Christ Church Quarry Bank, contributed 11 carols, all specially recorded by them for the service using the Zoom facility. They ranged from the traditional to quite unusual. The resultant performances were of very high quality. Such was the commitment of the Director of Music and his partner was not only that they had learned new technical skills but that each carol had taken a minimum of 30 hours to produce. The Vicar and curate provided the introduction, prayers and final reading.

We knew at the beginning of October that the show was in a shortlist of five in the “Community Programme of the Year” section. The judges were particularly looking at the presentation and quality of entry, the identification of need and the target community, the engagement of the target community and its impact on the community along with presentation within the show.

Then at the awards presentation it was revealed that the show had been awarded Gold: the leading programme in its section.

Congratulations to Black Country Radio (102.5 FM & DAB) and to all at Christ Church whose contribution was so vital to the show.

Much of the choir’s Christmas music is available on our church's You Tube page and will be appearing on Facebook, but most of all, we look forward to them singing in-person this year!

Page last updated: Monday 1st November 2021 2:01 PM

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