Northampton's Royal & Derngate host a series of online singing masterclasses this summer

The exclusive masterclasses, hosted by big names in the music industry, will provide local singers the opportunity to join the Royal & Derngate's Community Choir

By Megan Hillery
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 5:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 5:52 pm
Ruby Turner MBE is in the Royal & Derngate's line-up of hosts for the online singing masterclasses.
Ruby Turner MBE is in the Royal & Derngate's line-up of hosts for the online singing masterclasses.

The Royal & Derngate theatre in Northampton is hosting a series of online singing masterclasses this summer as their Community Choir prepares to relaunch in September.

The singing masterclasses will feature three legends from the music industry including Ruby Turner MBE, Daniel Thomas and Bazil Meade MBE. Places for the masterclasses can be booked by members of the public and prospective new choir members along with current members.

Royal & Derngate community choir (RDCC) project manager, Janet Gordon, said: “After 18 months of being unable to meet together to sing in the theatre, we’re so excited to be working on plans for the choir to return in the autumn and restart our regular weekly singing sessions.

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"In advance of that, these exclusive masterclasses, led by some amazingly talented singers, will be a great opportunity to reunite our wonderful members and welcome potential new members as well.”

The summer of masterclasses commences on Thursday, July 29 with the first event led by Daniel Thomas, who has served as choir director of the London Community Gospel Choir and currently oversees Brighton Goes Gospel and The House Gospel Choir, among others.

Thursday August 5 sees singing sensation Ruby Turner MBE take part in an exclusive Q&A session. Ruby’s prolific career includes many appearances with Jools Holland and his R&B Orchestra.

Charismatic vocalist and pianist and leader of the London Community Gospel Choir, Bazil Meade MBE will then host a gospel singing masterclass on Thursday, August 12.

RDCC started life as a seven-week project to coincide with the theatre's redevelopment in 2005. From there, it evolved into a weekly activity for hundreds of individuals. Though their foundation was based in gospel music, their repertoire has widened to include soul, jazz, reggae and pop and opera.

The new look RDCC will continue to perform a vibrant annual concert as well as selected pre-show performances in the foyer and exciting new creative artistic opportunities are expected to be introduced.

Membership is diverse in terms of age and culture, made up of individuals from the local community who all share a passion for singing. New members will be very welcome and there is no audition required to join.

The summer singing masterclasses will be held on Zoom, at 7pm, on July 29, August 5 and August 12.

Places cost £10 for each masterclass (or £25 if booking all three) and can be booked online at or by calling the box office on 01604 624811.

For more information about the masterclasses or joining the choir, call RDCC project manager, Janet Gordon, on 07789 373989 or email [email protected]