Choir Scoops Prestigious Award

The West Midlands Inclusive Choir has won the ‘Excellence in SEND (Music and Drama)’ Award at the prestigious Music and Drama Education Awards 2023. The choir celebrates that everyone, no matter their abilities or disabilities, has their own way of sharing their voice. Disabled and non-Disabled young people come together, alongside their parents, carers, and siblings to create a musical community without barriers. 

Over 260 members in the West Midlands challenge the concept of a traditional choir by taking part in a variety of ways including signing, movement, using assistive technology, alongside singingThe choir has in-person, online, and hybrid rehearsals to allow everyone to join in equally, including those who zoom in from hospitals, hospices, or their homes.  

The Music and Drama Education Awards celebrate the extraordinary contribution made by charities, and other organisations to the lives of others through the performing arts. Winners are chosen by a prominent panel of expert judges and, as a national event, competition is fierce, making us even more proud that a West Midlands based programme won.

The choir is run as a partnership between Soundabout, Midlands Arts Centre and four local  Music Hubs: Services For Education, SIPS Music and Arts, Solihull Music, and Severn Arts. The choir is part of a national network of 14 Soundabout Choirs which all put inclusivity at the heart of the musical community. The choirs collaborate nationally to record songs while also putting on local performances across the country. 

The West Midlands Inclusive Choir has had a busy year with events at Symphony Hall, Midlands Arts Centre, Worcester Cathedral, and performing as special guests at the National Association of Special Educational Needs awards in the Grand Hotel Birmingham. The success of the West Midlands Inclusive Choir was also recognised at the Youth Music Awards in late 2022, with choir finishing as a finalist for the ‘Outstanding Project’ Award.

Holly Radford-James, CEO of Soundabout said “We are absolutely thrilled that the West Midlands Inclusive Choir has been recognised with such a distinguished award. It’s a testament to the incredible partners, families, and volunteers involved. The choirs are mini musical examples of how inclusive communities can thrive when you work equitably – aexample for wider society!”  

The choir continues to welcome new young people and their families. 

Find out more about the awards here.