At first glance, the BBC America series The Choir can seem passable. Who wants to watch people in the UK wearing long silky robes and singing boring choral hymns? No one. That’s why this show isn’t like that.
“It’s not about trying to find the next American Idol, it’s about watching regular people, children who don’t believe in themselves… and watching their stories as they encounter music for the first time.” – Gareth Malone
“There are those programs…where you see people lives changes. That’s the program that I want to make. That’s the thing I wanted to be involved in. …Something that was good, and wasn’t telling people ‘No, you’re not good enough.’ I wanted to make something really positive and I think that’s what we’ve done. This is a mentally positive and mentally uplifting, affirmative program. And I’m hugely proud of that.” – Gareth Malone
While this show focuses on building choirs and not “glee clubs” (or are they the same thing, really?) this is what I imagine a Glee reality show would be like. Don’t shrug your shoulders at it simply because it’s on BBC America. The Choir is a two-time BAFTA award-winning series. The Choir premiere date is on Wednesday, July 7th at 10 pm/9c.
The Choir focuses on the emotional journey of choirmaster Gareth Malone, as he attempts to create choirs in the most unlikely settings.
Armed with the belief that choir allows people to come together as a community, and determined to unite people in song, Gareth sets out to recruit choir members from Northolt High School (a school with no music program); Lancaster School (an all-boys school where sports dominate); and South Oxhey (a blue collar community).
With challenges stacked against him, Gareth quickly find that he must first translate his passion for music among choir recruits to overcome long-held negative perceptions of singing and choir. What results is a heartwarming journey – complete with challenges, rewards, shocks, and surprises along the way.
Pictures from BBC America.