Gareth Malone's Choir Hardback

Triumphs, Tears and Transformations ...

by Gareth Malone;

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Gareth Malone's Choir

Full Product Description

Choir Stories From Britain

The loveable TV Choirmaster, Gareth Malone, reveals his most memorable moments and inspirational stories from the Military Wives and the award-winning BBC2 series The Choir.

In each of the twenty chapters Gareth focuses on a significant memory – whether a breakthrough, disaster or one of the many inspirational characters he meet along the way. Join him as he explains:

• the importance of biscuits,
• describes the role of the elderly in a community choir,
• remembers the scrappy kid with bags of determination,
• the incredible mother who had the most to prove.

Gareth Malone used to be a nobody, now 5 years later he has become a national treasure. Read the memoirs of the bow-tied boy who led the Military Wives Choir to a thrilling Christmas number one in 2011, selling over 500,000 copies and knocking X Factor off the top spot.

This is a must-have book for fans of ‘The Choir’, giving you a unique insight into the inner workings of the youthful success story. He writes with joy, amusement, and real-life emotions that will make you laugh, cry, and inspire the singer inside you.

Gareth Malone's Choir by Gareth Malone was published by HarperCollins in September 2012 and is our 23157th best seller. The ISBN for Gareth Malone's Choir is 9780007488001.

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Publisher's Description

The hugely popular Gareth Malone recounts the heart-warming stories and transformations behind the award-winning BBC2 series The Choir

For the first time, Gareth reveals everything he has learned from working with so many groups of memorable people, including the record-breaking Military Wives and latest series of The Choir being shown this Autumn.

Gareth was an unknown Choirmaster when he arrived on British TV screens five years ago. Boyish, irrepressible and determined, Gareth took on a collection of kids from the most unlikely comprehensive and turned them into a talented performing choir.

This was the beginning of a national love affair with a bow-tied and undeniably charming young man, and it was also the start of a national rediscovery of the joy to be found in choirs.

Since then, each series of The Choir has gone on to even more demanding challenges, taking young offenders to Glyndebourne, regenerating disparate and far from affluent communities, and finally in an extraordinarily emotional journey, Gareth took a group of women whose partners were serving in Afghanistan to a Christmas Number One. This Autumn, in a new four-part series, The Choir: Sing While you Work, Gareth will be challenging four new Choirs to compete against each other.

This is his memoir of a period in which he transformed the lives of thousands but also gained a lifetime’s worth of experience in human frailty and strength. Written with real joy, emotion and amusement, the twenty chapters each deal with an individual moment – both break-throughs and disasters – or an individual character that has contributed to this extraordinary adventure.

Whether he is explaining the importance of biscuits or the role of the elderly in a community undertaking, remembering the scrappy kid who never quite delivered or the mother who had most to prove this is an incredibly moving journey. It is his adventure... and ours.
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1.    Just as the Sun Was Rising
2.    If They Only Learn
3.    I’ll Sing You A Song
4.    When You’re Weary
5.    How Foolish, Foolish Must You Be
6.    Those Summer Days
7.    The Night Has Come
8.    Stand Up and Face the World
9.    Really Care for Music
10.    A Better Place to Play
11.    Don’t It Feel Good?
12.    Swear to Art
13.    Someone Has to Believe
14.    Probably Break Down and Cry
15.    Keep Holding On
16.    What Would Life Be?
17.    Light up the Darkness
18.    Home Again
19.    Keep on Turning
20.    Singing with a Swing
Coda: Make This Moment Last for Ever

Video Transcript for Gareths Book - 'Music For The People'


Gareth: ‘Hello, my name’s Gareth Malone, and welcome to the enhanced version of my book ‘Music for the People’.

‘Music for the People’ is a book that aims to get you interested in Classical music for the first time, or if you know a little bit about Classical music, then it gives you some new pieces of music to listen to and new perspectives. It’s my personal ramble through musical history.

What’s really exciting about this is that it’s an enhanced e-book which means that the tracks are embedded within the text, so if I’m talking about a piece of music then you can click on it and listen to it directly - you don’t need to go off and look it up on the internet.

I really hope you enjoy it, it’s a great opportunity to get into the music that I’m deeply passionate about and I think you could be too.’

Video Transcript - Gareth Malone Interview

GARETH: “My energy comes from music because I love music, I’m hugely passionate about music and I’m also very passionate about people - I really like working with people, I like seeing people develop, people doing things that they never thought they ever could achieve. I get a great kick out of that. I suppose these sorts of projects, though they are incredibly draining, they actually feed you as well because people are so moved by their first experience of music - I find that extremely rewarding...

“I think it’s strange really, but the first BAFTA passed without anyone really passing all that much comment, apart from going into Sainsbury’s and people saying ‘are you the choir guy?’ life didn’t change at all. Then we did the second one - very lucky to win a second BAFTA - and again, very few people seemed to have noticed. I think that ‘The Choir’, whilst lots of people have watched it, it hasn’t hit that mainstream notoriety so I’ve managed to still go on the Tube. It hasn’t gone to my head...

“You know, I think apart from the fact that I’m now followed by TV cameras when I’m doing projects, the projects themselves are pretty much the same as the ones I was doing before: I’ve always liked working with people who don’t know anything about music, trying to enthuse them about it, it’s just now I’m encumbered by a massive great crew. But life really hasn’t changed that much...

“On occasion I have Googled myself, I’m embarrassed to say, yes. It’s quite strange watching it go from two hits up to a ridiculous number of hits in Korean and in Japanese - people watching the show in Canada, it’s very hard to get your mind round. It’s slightly overwhelming.”


“Jamie Oliver might have changed school dinners with his TV series but Gareth Malone showed that we are more, much more than we eat.” – Norman Lebrecht, The Evening Standard.

“One of the most strangely beguiling presences television has ever uncovered: impish but laconic, funny and yet still resolute, reserved but shameless, camp but dignified - and clearly a bloody good choirmaster.” – The Guardian.

“As you can imagine, agreeing to TV cameras being in school for 26 weeks was not an easy decision. However I have to say its possibly the best decision I have ever made!” – Paul Craven, Head teacher of The Lancaster School, taken from the Times Education Supplement.

“Why do we love Gareth? Seriously, you have to ask?” – The Daily Mail.

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Eden Article: 5 Reasons To Fall In Love With Gareth Malone

Gareth Malone’s The Choir is one for the Christmas list with humourous stories and memories from the award-winning series on BBC2. The stories will make you smile and give personal insight from Gareth into his experiences and emotions behind the choirs as groups and the individuals within them. Here are 5 reasons why you will fall in love with this charming young man.

1)    You can’t help but smile at the outcome of his endeavours

When the very young looking, polite, bow-tie wearing Gareth Malone hit our TV screens in 2007 along with his choir he was an instant hit.

The reality TV show 'The Choir' on BBC2 began in a comprehensive west London school. Challenging the children’s perceptions, not only on their singing abilities but also to work together as a team. Gareth saw the choir grow in strength and number from its very modest beginnings. Using his inspirational teaching methods and ability to engage and enthuse, Gareth Malone tells his tale in this biography of his adventures with various choirs from his first experience to his latest record-breaking success with the Military Wives.

2)    He has made choirs 'cool' again

I think it’s fair to say that before Gareth Malone popped up on screen, choirs were a fairly ‘uncool’ past time left for the Church and were occasionally cobbled together for a spot of Christmas carolling, but times are a changing!

Since 'The Choir' those misconceptions have been blown out of the water, choirs have started cropping up all over the place, not just to sing but to share community. This was made evident when he took on the task of starting the Military Wives choir and look at them now! The book is designed to give you extra insight from the TV programme, a behind the scenes look at the makings and near-breakings of the choirs Gareth has formed and worked with over the last few years.

3)    Prepare to be amazed

Initially people dismissed this over enthusiastic young teacher, but soon found themselves amazed as his unique techniques and ability to do something very special. He excelled in bringing together groups of people who may never have thought they would stand next to one another never mind sing their hearts out in harmony.

4)    His stories cross social and conventional boundaries to bring people together

One of the great things about the choir programmes have been the way that people have dropped their guards (albeit eventually) to work as one, to learn how to harmonise both in their singing and their bond as a group.

From the boy’s school to the military wives, people of all backgrounds and life situations have been thrown together to make a beautiful sound and yes it has at times been beautiful – I think particularly of the Military Wives success at reaching number 1 in the Christmas charts of 2011.

5)    There is no one like him!

When all is said and done – Gareth Malone has won the heart of the nation with his approach, demeanour and general spirit-lifting attitude. This book is designed to re-live the moments that made you laugh, cry and sing a set of scales to see how far you could go.

If you are looking for a book for someone who likes to sing, has ever seen the programme or has interests in choirs then this is the book to read. Gareth Malone’s Choir is a humorous and down-to-earth biography of the life and times of a one-of-a-kind choirmaster.

Eden Article: Gareth Malone Files


Gareth Malone OBE is a choirmaster in his 30s who was this year honoured by Her Majesty the Queen for his services to music.


Malone rose to prominence in 2006 with the release of the first series BBC program ‘The Choir’. In what turned out to be a BAFTA winning first outing, ‘The Choir’ documented the story of how Gareth introduced a group of teenagers at a comprehensive school to singing, coaching them to become a choir worthy to enter the world choir games in China.

As the popularity of the show grew, further series were released: ‘Boy’s Don’t Sing’ (2008), ‘Unsung Town’ (2009) and ‘Military Wives’ (2011). Furthermore, one-off episodes have been released, in which Malone revisits the choirs he taught, and trains more choirs in aid of the charities Comic Relief and Children in Need.


This book, subtitled ‘Triumphs, Tears and Transformations’, collates Gareth Malone’s memories of the production of ‘The Choir’. The book gives the reader insight into the pieces that came together to form the hugely successful program and gives a wider perspective on the lasting legacy left in different communities by his work.

With twenty chapters, this book offers inspiring and detailed stories that will leave a firm imprint in the mind of the reader, providing much food for thought. At three hundred and twenty pages, you can expect hours of entertainment from this refreshingly honest man, whose career continues to be defined by his desire to use his own considerable musical ability to serve others.

Released on the thirteenth of September, this hotly anticipated book is destined to match the popularity of the program from which its content is derived. Of late the British public have turned away from the cynicism and commercialism of enterprises like the X Factor, preferring instead to buy into the feel good factor of projects - the London Olympics for instance - that promote community. This is another example.

It is my hope that you will read and enjoy this inspiring work by the bespectacled young choirmaster who continues to help communities to find their voice.

Eden Article: Church & Community - The Choral Connection

What do you measure as Gareth Malone’s – the man who did for choral singing what Jamie Oliver did for school dinners, greatest claim to fame? Is it that his ‘Army Wives’ forced gaming giant Ladbroke to suspend betting on the 2011 Christmas number one? Is it that his show ‘Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne’ won the 2011 International Emmy for Best Arts Programme? Could be his 2012 appointment to the Order of the British Empire? Or is it simply that he gets the most unlikely people to join together in mankind’s most ancient corporate activity… excepting, perhaps, tribal war.

Star of the 2007 reality show ‘The Choir’ and its various spin-offs and incarnations over the last five years, Gareth Malone has proved a most unlikely arrival on the celebrity stage. Once, every community had its choral centre. It might have been based at the local church, but it was equally likely to have a secular base in the pub, workplace or anywhere people came together with something in common. For most of history, music making has been a corporate activity - for the people by the people. Only in the last half of the last century has making music become a specialist business with the vast majority reduced to its consumers rather than its creators.

But somehow, one unassuming, bespectacled choir master has become the champion of vocal creativity among ordinary people who long ago decided that they can’t, won’t or don’t sing. In his autobiography, ‘Gareth Malone's Choir’, the fresh faced 30-something boy from the sedate suburbs of  Bournemouth tells of his journey from the cloistered world of ‘serious’ music to the cultural badlands of a suburban comprehensive school and the BBC reality programme ‘Boys Don’t Sing’. The book fills in the background that makes Gareth himself real. He isn’t a created nobody pushed into the limelight, like some ‘reality’ stars.

Gareth is a master of his art. More than that, he’s a man with a passion and a creative heart. He really believes in what he’s doing and never overshadows the music or the musicians. Instead, he inspires with his own musical ability and leadership encouraging them to achieve something they never imagined possible. Knowing more of Gareth’s story – his background and the challenges on the way from unknown to household name, gives you an insight into what he thinks choral music can do for individuals and communities. This should be something churches and church leaders have known all along. After all, singing is good for churches and church people; it is both inspiration and expression at one and the same time. So why not church singing as a centre of community? Yet while the church, in many places, has become the last bastion of open-to-anyone choral singing, it hasn’t been at the forefront of getting that shared art back into the wider community.

Hopefully reading Gareth’s book will start you on the way to putting that right. Hopefully a church leader, music leader, worship leader or singer like you will read ‘Gareth Malone’s Choir’ and think ‘I could do that’. Hopefully, so inspired, you’ll find a way of getting people together to sing – sing together, sing in church and then… well, here’s hoping. - Les Ellison


Details for Gareth Malone's Choir

Author / Artist
Book FormatHardback
PublisherHarperCollins (September 2012)
Number of Pages320
Thickness29 mm
Height240 mm
Width159 mm
Product Code4034625
Page last updated 2nd March 2017
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