About Gareth

Gareth holding his BAFTA, awarded in 2009 for the ChoirI've been obsessed with music since before I can remember. I was always playing the piano as a young child and singing has been part of my life since the very beginning. I grew up in London until I was ten, when we moved to Bournemouth and I attended the local grammar school. It was here that my love of choirs began.

Studying Drama at the University of East Anglia Norwich, I had to fit music into my spare time. But I was always in the university choir and started composing music for theatre productions. When I finished my studies I wanted to continue learning about singing so after a few years of private tuition I auditioned for a postgraduate course at The Royal Academy of Music, London . After two years of very hard work I passed with distinction in 2005.

The other side of my work has been working with the London Symphony Orchestra. I was awarded the position of Edward Heath Assistant Animateur in 2001. I helped with school visits, education projects and little bits of concert presenting. I went on to work with them regularly and have been assistant conductor to Marin Alsop on Bernstein's Mass in June 2005 and last year I was chorus-master for Britten's St Nicolas Mass with Ian Bostridge and Laurence Cummings. I run the LSO St Luke's Community and Youth Choirs which draw people from all over Hackney and Islington to the LSO's education centre in Old Street, EC1. It's a fantastic orchestra to work with and a wonderful building for rehearsals.

Alongside my animateur work I have been doing some presenting. I recently co-presented an open-air relay in London's Trafalgar Square of Verdi's Don Carlo with Deborah Bull for the Royal Opera House. I also made a programme called Why Do We Sing? for BBC Radio 4 which gave me a fascinating insight into the origins of singing in our species, looking right back to singing in early humans and Neanderthals.

I'm best known for BBC2's The Choir. The series has become incredibly successful, winning BAFTAs, an RTS and a Broadcast award. I'm still in contact with many of the singers from my previous projects and I'm delighted by the progress made by Lancaster School Choir since the series, proving that boys really do sing. The programme has given birth to new singing groups such as the wonderful South Oxhey Choirs and the amazing Military Wives Choir, who topped the charts with Wherever You Are.

I have also written two books - Music for the People, an entertaining introduction to classical music, and Choir: Tears, Triumphs and Transformations, a look behind the scenes of The Choir TV series.

I am married to an English teacher who works in an inner-city school in London. I always ask her how to work with teenagers! When I'm not singing I love walking. My walking boots are wearing thin after some brilliant rambles in Cornwall inApril. I'm also a fan of DVD box sets and can happily while away the hours catching up on a series.

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More about Gareth

 

Gareth is a member of the Association of British Choral Directors.
In 2008 he was elected fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)
Gareth is Patron of the South Oxhey Community Choir and the South Oxhey Youth Choir

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What the papers say....

Gareth Malone conducting

Jamie Oliver might have changed school dinners with his TV series but Gareth Malone showed that we are more, much more than we eat.

Norman Lebrecht, Evening Standard

This is a series that shows an exceptional person trying to do something worthwhile

David Chater, The Times

As profoundly a moving piece of television as has ever been made

Deborah Ross, The Independent

One of the most enthralling, informative and uplifting reality series yet made

Andrew Billen, The Times

[A] compelling sociological experiment... Oh Gareth, how much more love can we give you? None for you have it all

Daily Telegraph

This series is so uplifting, you'll want to sing 'Hallelujah!' The

Radio Times

LSO Youth Choir: it was clear that Malone's talent as a conductor was bringing out the best in the choir while also encouraging them to ever greater heights.

Music Teacher July 2006 (Magazine)

As you can imagine, agreeing to TV cameras being in school for 26 weeks was not an easy decision. However I have to say its possibly the best decision I have ever made!

Paul Craven, Headteacher of The Lancaster School in the Times Education Supplement

The Choir is sensational television because Gareth Malone is moulding young minds, forming young characters, before your very eyes. You see schools as they should be: a strong, respected headmaster, an ethos of inspiration. Above all, you see the wonderful spirit of children, the rebel who performed brilliantly at the Albert Hall, the son of immigrant parents from Vietnam who felt they had reached their journey's end, the boy with cancer who declared himself a fighter. Who would have thought a school choir would be a metaphor for an ideal society.

Sarah Sands, The Independent on Sunday

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