'Panning down Manchester streets, animated petals and litter swirl through the air, while Take That’s ‘Back For Good’ plays alongside the choir’s own angelically harmonised version. It’s a spine-tingling moment in a film piece that reveals bucketsful about sisterhood, camaraderie and community'
— Lucie Davies, MetroLife
The Manchester Girls Choir was formed in 1961 with a no-audition policy, recruiting girls from all backgrounds, regardless of musical ability. Yet they became renowned for their exquisite sound, winning international prizes.
The Assembly is a song of praise to Mrs Jones, its influential conductress, remembered through the voices of choirgirls past and present. Female teenage angst plays against a backdrop of Manchester in the early 1980’s, a time when society could be said to be turning its back on shared and collective experience.
Commissioned for the inaugural Manchester International Festival, The Assembly showed as a gallery-based installation; with a choir performance and reunion, in the Cornerhouse Gallery June to August 2007, followed by Sadler’s Wells London November 2007. The documentary film version was made in 2010 and premiered at WhatIf Festival at Siobhan Davies Studios.