How it all started

Hilary Davies is Musical Director of three Community Choirs. In 2006 the choirs arranged for a small choir of South African mineworkers who became known as ‘The Diamond Choir’ to visit the UK and spend two weeks with them. In 2008 Hilary brought together a group of  24 singers from across the three choirs to spend two weeks in South Africa, visiting and singing with the Diamond Choir.

The visit was a wonderful life changing experience and the group enjoyed each other’s company so much that on their return they decided they wanted to continue as a performing choir, building on what they learned from the Diamonds and developing a different repertoire from the main community choirs. The name ‘Rough Diamonds’ emerged as a reflection of the friendship between the members of the group and the Diamond Choir. The choir have developed a strong repertoire of English and World Music ranging from South African Songs sung in as authentic way as possible incorporating stepping and movement, to songs from the America Shape Note tradition, that can be both complicated and raw at the same time.

The original group that went to South Africa An account of our visit  to the Diamond Choir 2008 With the Diamond Choir in South Africa