Albion choir leader Fraser Wilson is ready to shout out again about excellent Sheffield music

Albion Choir with Fraser Wilson inthe  foreground
Albion Choir with Fraser Wilson inthe foreground

Albion, the Sheffield-based choral group who built up an enviable reputation for innovative music and staging, are back with a concert at Bradfield on Saturday.

The choir’s founder, leader and music arranger and composer Fraser Wilson was excited for the chance to return to the concert stage after a break of two years with an appearance at the opening night of Bradfield Festival of Music.

Fraser said: “It’s such a great opportunity for us to really shout about the brilliant music that Sheffield has to offer.

“Bradfield Festival is a nationally significant festival and they have Sheku Kanneh-Mason this year and they don’t get any bigger than that.

“Here we are, as Albion, sharing in the platform, and it is so exciting. It’s not some nod to Sheffield musicians, we’re there because we deserve to be there.

“Sheffield often doesn’t shout about what it does and what it can achieve.

“Any chance we get to show the energy, creativity and passion of our city, bring it on!”

Fraser said: “What we’ve got after a period of lying dormant is that we are two years older, wiser and more reflective.

“Two years on, here we are bringing back what people found so beautiful, with some new music and new people.

“It feels like a chance to remember something very special but actually to make it alive and afresh.”

Fraser said that the voice is the most direct form of human communication and loves ot make that connection with people.

He added: “What people always loved about Albion was the music and the way it was presented, not in a ‘sit down and listen’ way, but collaboratively, with everybody contributing to the experience.

“It’s a shared evening of going on a journey. At the heart of it still is the music and experience.”

First time round, Albion recorded four CDs and were featured on Radio Three.

They performed in unusual venues such as the Peak Cavern in Castleton and the Devonshire Cat pub, where they celebrated having an ale named after them by Abbeydale Brewery.

Fraser said that future plans were still being put together but they are bound to be imaginative, judging on past form.

He said: “It’s very much about space and place and Sheffield has so many places and places that have such atmosphere.”

Highlights at Saturday’s concert will will include Albion’s popular arrangements of Jerusalem, The Skye Boat Song and Greensleeves, plus a number of items devised especially by Fraser, working as part of the group’s unique collective creative process.

Albion will also be sharing the programme with this year’s Sheffield Music Hub award winners.

Fraser, who works as the learning and participation manager for Music in the Round, said: “This year I felt that it would be a privilege to give them a platform to perform solo but for us to share the stage with them.

“It’s something that is a personal passion of mine but also something that Sheffield does well.”

Bradfield Festival of Music runs from Saturday to June 30 at High Bradfield, Sheffield.

To see the full programme, go to www.bradfiestivalofmusic.co.uk