York City Gospel Choir to perform at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Saturday 31 January 2015, 7.30pm

The uplifting and inspiring music of York City Gospel Choir are set to raise the art deco roof at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre on Haxby Road, York, on Saturday 31 January 2015 – a major event in the volunteer-run theatre’s fundraising calendar.

The concert will feature gospel favourites such as ‘O Happy Day’, a special arrangement of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ and songs by gospel greats such as Kirk Franklin, Richard Smallwood and others.

A key part of the choir's ethos is to support charity and community organisations in York, and we do this by offering our services free of charge to these organisations. The Joseph Rowntree Theatre offers a fantastic high quality resource for the community, and as an artistic group, as well as being residents, we are keen to offer our support in ensuring the long term sustainability of the great service they provide,” says Musical Director, Kofi Mensah.

The Joseph Rowntree Theatre has been run by a charity, staffed entirely by volunteers, for the last 15 years, and has done so very successfully without requiring council or government funding – no mean feat for a provincial arts organisation.

“We’re absolutely delighted that the York City Gospel Choir will be helping us to raise funds to keep the theatre running, and hope that many local people turn out to support this wonderful group of York-based musicians when they take the stage on the 31st of January,” comments managing director, Dan Shrimpton, who himself secured the accolade of Volunteer of the Year at the York Community Pride Awards 2014.

Past fundraising initiatives have enabled the group of volunteers who run the theatre not only to keep it open, but also to improve many of the facilities within the theatre itself.  The art deco theatre has been updated to include some of the most comfortable seating – with the most legroom – of any theatre in the city, and more recently, the external lighting scheme and signage has been updated to give the theatre a more obvious presence on Haxby Road.

“This is a community theatre in every sense of the word: established 80 years ago by the Rowntree family for the benefit of the local community, and today it continues to serve the people of York thanks to the huge time commitment of a group of dedicated volunteers,” adds Dan.  “It is one of the most popular venues in the city for our local amateur performers to stage their productions, and increasingly used by touring professional companies and musicians, who often comment on what a fantastic facility the theatre is.”

Tickets for the York City Gospel Choir Concert at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre are available online from the theatre’s website, www.jrtheatre.co.uk , or by calling 01904 639117.

ENDS

Pictures show: Kofi and Heather Mensah of York City Gospel Choir prepare for their concert at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre.

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins

Tel:         01904 500698

Email:    jay.commins@jrtheatre.co.uk

About Us

Joseph Rowntree Theatre is York’s Art Deco theatre. Hosting concerts, plays, shows, pantomimes and musicals for the last 80 years by touring artists, groups and talented local companies, Joseph Rowntree Theatre has some of the most comfortable and roomy seats in York – perfect for relaxing and enjoying the show. All seats across stalls and the balcony have a completely unrestricted view of the stage; even the last ticket on sale guarantees a great seat! Its location on Haxby Road is just over a mile from the city centre, with free parking and public transport stopping outside the gates. Joseph Rowntree Theatre is part of York’s vibrant chocolate heritage, having been built by Joseph Rowntree as a community hall for those working at his confectionary factories, which still surround the theatre today. It continues to be a friendly, vibrant hub of live entertainment to which patrons return time and again. Since 2001 the Theatre has been run by a charitable trust to provide an affordable venue to over 30 performing hirers, thanks to the efforts of its 150 regular volunteers. These volunteers come from all walks of life, be they retired former members of amateur dramatic societies, or youngsters wanting to learn the skills of stage management and the technical aspects of theatre. www.josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk01904 50 1935

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