Dorothy Wilson, Chair of Making Music, presented Clare Edwards with the Lady Hilary Groves Prize for 2017 at a concert this Saturday.
Awarded to one individual in the UK each year, the Prize is presented for outstanding contribution to music in the community.
In 1997, Clare (newly returned from studying music at Sheffield University) decided to found a new kind of choir, specifically aimed at reaching the busy, working twenty-something professionals often missing from choral societies.
20 years later, under her baton the choir - notorious – has performed more than 120 concerts in 65 different venues with programmes blending contemporary and classical repertoire (including pairing Mozart with Freddie Mercury) in venues as varied as a coffin factory (on Halloween), a cave (with the audience on barges), and a local tip (joining with the Bishop of Birmingham to promote reducing waste at Christmas).
Making Music chose Clare from a large number of nominees put forward by its member groups across the country.
Clare Birks, Making Music Vice-Chair said:
“Clare Edwards has initiated many musical events and activities, and sustained them over a long period, continually pushing at the boundaries and adding new excitements. We were particularly impressed by the imagination and enthusiasm she has put into making music accessible. This has enabled her activities to reach people who would otherwise have little or no opportunity to enjoy music. ‘Reaching out’ chimes very much with Making Music’s own direction and so we are very pleased to recognise Clare’s contribution and achievement.”
Rosemary Dyson, of notorious choir said:
Notorious quite simply is Clare - her artistic vision, her passion and her sheer zest for music and life. Without her, the choir would not exist and 20 years of exciting, eclectic and inclusive music making would not have happened. Her contributions to music making both locally and in the wider community mean we cannot think of a more deserving winner.