Sheffield first date on tour for royal wedding Stand By Me Kingdom Choir

The gospel singers who stole the hearts of the world when they sang at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kick off a big tour in Sheffield.

By julia.armstrong1
Tuesday, 23 April, 2019, 12:04
Karen Gibson, conductor of The Kingdom Choir

The Kingdom Choir shot to global fame when they sang a stunning version of the soul classic Stand By Me at the royal wedding last May to a TV audience of almost two billion. Ten million have watched them perform the song on YouTube.

Before that, their biggest audience was 200. They are appearing at Sheffield City Hall on April 30.

The choir, led by charismatic conductor Karen Gibson, have enjoyed astounding success ever since the wedding, appearing on TV and being featured in a British Airways advert gathering together many of the country’s iconic figures.

Choir leader Karen Gibson said: “It’s our first visit to Sheffield. I don’t think I’ve been before. It’s definitely a first for the choir if not for me.“We’re really looking forward to it. It’s our first tour date. That's going to make it very, very special indeed.”At each venue the choir will be inviting local choirs, primary school, secondary, youth and adult choirs to sing with them.

In Sheffield they will perform with Peak District children’s choir Pitch Perfect.

Two years ago they reached the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals and have sung at the Music for Youth Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.

This year they’ve performed with Collabro, Alfie Boe and Take That and reached the BBC’s Young Choir Of The Year finals.

Leader Emma Hopkins said: “It’s a privilege to be performing with the inspirational Kingdom Choir at the Sheffield City Hall.

“Thank you for this exciting opportunity and helping create memories of a lifetime for our students and families.”Karen said of the past year: “It’s been quite a ride, I have to say.”She said Prince Charles wanted a gospel choir for his youngest son’s wedding.“His member of staff is friends with friends with a young lady who used to be a member of Kingdom Choir years ago.

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“She pointed to myself and Kingdom Choir.“It was completely out of the blue, not expected at all, but so good!”

The choir released their debut album Stand By Me last October 2018.

Karen, one of black British gospel music’s leading lights, founded the choir in 1994.

The group of singers from in and around London draw from various Christian traditions and are dedicated to creating a sound that demonstrates the community they share through their warm energy and enthusiastic performance.

Karen is an award-winning gospel choir conductor who has conducted some of the most prestigious, large-scale choirs across the UK. The high standard of her work has taken her across Europe and further – Japan, Rwanda, Nigeria, Guyana, and the USA.

Her choirs are regular finalists or winners of choir competitions, including BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of The Year.

This year they are touring the UK and Australia, including Sydney Opera House, and will appear with soul star Gladys Knight at the Hollywood Bowl.

Tickets available for The Kingdom Choir: The Stand By Me Tour from www.cuffeandtaylor.com