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Wade ‘choral conductor’ at Epsom

Gibraltarian choral conductor, Helen Wade, led the combined festival choirs in singing the National Anthem for The Queen, Prince Philip and other members of the Royal family attending the Epsom Derby last Saturday. Seven local choirs taking part in the "Epsom in Harmony" festival in early July, were invited by the Jockey Club at Epsom racecourse to sing for the Queen at a special Derby Day performance to mark Her Majesty's 90th birthday.

The choirs were accompanied by the Royal Band of the Regiment of Gurkhas.

Reflecting on the performance, Helen said: "It was a nerve-racking gig; conducting the combined, festival choirs in front of the Queen, Prince Philip and other Royals and 100,000 spectators.”

“Without an opportunity to rehearse with the Royal Band of the Regiment of Gurkhas who were accompanying us.  I also had to bring in seven choirs dotted around the vast racecourse who couldn't see me, we were connected by radio headsets.  I had a chat with the bandmaster before we went on about the crucial entry chord and that was at.  A lifetime of live broadcasting meant I was calm about 'going live' with a Channel 4 camera crew right behind me.  The entry and the cut-off to the National Anthem were spot on.  The crowd roared, the Queen beamed and I quietly let out a huge sigh of relief that it had all gone well,” she added.

Television journalist, Helen Wade, had a classical music training from a young age in Gibraltar. She is in the advanced stage of choral and orchestral conducting with the national, music organisation "Sing for Pleasure" which trains conductors and singers. As well as Diplomas in Conducting and vocal leadership Helen has qualifications  (ABRSM and Trinity College of Music) in Classical Guitar, Music Theory, Piano and Singing.  She regularly conducts two choirs in UK where she's been living since 1994.