Carol Pemberton has been awarded a MBE in the New Year Honour’s List 2014 for her services to music.
Carol is the founder and Music Director of Black Voices, the UK’s hugely successful a cappella ensemble, which has its base in Birmingham.
Since Carol formed Black Voices in 1987, the group – which is noted for its harmonious and unique repertoire of contemporary and classical songs and arrangements rooted in the black oral tradition - has performed for royalty, dignitaries, religious leaders and politicians including the British Royal Family, the late Princess Diana, Pope John Paul 11 and the late former President of South, Nelson Mandela.
An accomplished musician, Miss Pemberton is acknowledged as a leading proponent of creating a wider appreciation of singing in the black oral tradition and has developed Black Voices beyond its performances to run creative music education projects with schools and communities across the UK and internationally. Many choirs started and continue today, still supported through her work and dedication to community choir development.
Ms Pemberton is also one of the Faces of the Library of Birmingham, acting as an Ambassador for the City’s recently opened and biggest public library in Europe.
On hearing she was to receive the award, Carol said:
Firstly, it’s a complete surprise to be recognised for my contribution to music - something that I am absolutely passionate about and just really enjoy doing, but it’s also really lovely. Being awarded an MBE is an overwhelming privilege and greatly humbling. Working in such a niche genre for over 25 years – Singing in the Black Oral Tradition – and encouraging others to explore and participate in it would certainly not have been possible without the help of my daughter, my family and the other members of Black Voices and all our supporters. So I’m extremely thankful and very happy!