One of the world’s best known gospel choirs is now singing a song written by a Huddersfield entrepreneur … and wants to include more of his songs on their forthcoming album.
The Kingdom Choir performed at the Royal Wedding when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle and a group of eight from the choir also sang at King Charles’ Coronation.
The London-based choir has been going for 30 years and had a sold-out anniversary concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Thursday, November 30, featuring the song written by Prof Graham Leslie, CBE.
Graham, professor of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the University of Huddersfield, is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and business advisor who founded global pharmaceutical giant Galpharm International and was the driving force behind the construction of the John Smith’s Stadium in the early 1990s when he was founder chairman of Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd.
He’s been playing music and writing songs for years, some in partnership with his brother, Hugh, who arranges the scores and the Kingdom Choir now performs their anthemic song United Together which Graham penned during lockdown.
Graham and Hugh were invited to the performance and Graham said: “It was the first time the choir had sung it live and it was a wonderful experience, truly spine-tingling to hear something that I’d started writing by strumming on my guitar at home powered out by one of the world’s best gospel choirs.
“They are now looking to include three or four more of my songs on their next album which is absolutely brilliant.”
The partnership came about after Hugh heard Kingdom Choir conductor Karen Gibson being interviewed on Radio 4 saying no-one was writing anthemic songs powered by a feeling of passion anymore.
Graham is currently working with Bradford-born composer Benson Taylor on a major musical project. Benson is very successful in the USA writing music for TV and film and his credits include major TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Suits and Orange is the New Black.
As he’s well known in the music industry, Benson contacted the choir, pitched Graham’s songs and the choir wanted to start with United Together.
One of the first songs Graham ever wrote was a Christmas one in the mid-1970s called Travelling Home For Christmas which he recorded with a children’s choir in 2019 to raise money for the redevelopment of the cancer and leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. He performed it at a Christmas fundraising show there and it raised around £10,000.
For more on the Kingdom Choir go to https://kingdomchoir.com/
Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.