Australian tenor, choirmaster and founder of The Choir of Hard Knocks, Jonathon Welch, will join Australian music icon Iva Davies, entertainer and actress Charli Delaney and choral music expert George Torbay on the judging panel for Seven’s upcoming all-new singing competition show, Battle Of The Choirs.
Hosted by David Koch, Battle Of The Choirs will flip the script on choral singing when it showcases 16 choral groups – with 700 members between them – from around Australia. Gospel, barbershop, classical, pop, a cappella, jazz, soul – all genres are represented, but it’s personality, passion, power and performance that they’ll need to make it past the judges when they’re challenged to perform songs from the likes of Kylie Minogue, Meatloaf, Rhianna, Kiss, AC/DC, Scissor Sisters, Stevie Wonder and more.
The four judges will have full say on who makes it through each round of the knockout competition with two choirs eventually going head to head in the Grand Final.
Self-declared ‘choralaholic’, Jonathon Welch, recently accepted the Logie Award for Most Outstanding Factual Series on behalf of The Choir Of Hard Knocks:
“When I heard that Seven was doing a show about choirs I almost jumped out of my seat! As you know, I’m really passionate about choral music and what it does to help create community, and my chance to participate in this groundbreaking new program and showcase the wonderful joys of choral music to all Australians is a dream come true,” said Welch.
“When you see the range of music and the fabulous range of musical styles that our choirs can sing, everyone will want to run out and join a choir immediately!”
Icehouse frontman and accomplished composer, Iva Davies, said:
“I was drawn to this series because it’s all about community and people who have a common interest that probably goes unnoticed a lot of the time. It’s very inspirational.”
This is the first regular television role for Charli Delaney since leaving internationally acclaimed children’s group Hi-5 in February.
“Battle Of The Choirs is going to rock! I’m thrilled to be in the company of my fellow judges, we’re going to have a lot of fun. And with my experience performing and singing in a group, I’ll be able to give constructive feedback to these inspiring choirs to help their performance,” said Delaney.
George Torbay, one of Australia’s most sought after choral conductors and leading choral educators, will be providing mentoring advice to the choirs in addition to his duties on the judging panel.
“All 16 choirs will get an equal amount of my time and expert advice in advance, but when it comes to battle night, it’s up to each individual choir to deliver knockout performances that are as visually exciting as they are technically strong,” said Torbay.
“I’ve judged a lot of choirs in my time. I like to be direct and honest. I am not in the business of telling people it’s wonderful when it’s not. I believe that every choir wants to improve and grow. My priority is to try and honestly help them to do just that.”
The choirs will be judged on their technical ability, cohesion, presentation and entertainment value to a possible score out of 10 for each performance.
The winning choir will be awarded $100,000 and a recording deal with Universal Music.
Australian songwriter and producer, Paul Gray, is Music Director for the show.
Battle Of The Choirs, coming soon to Seven, is produced by Granada Productions.