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Youth choirs fight it out to be named best in UK at Barnardo’s National Choral Competition

Release Date: 21 Mar 2017

Lindley Junior School Choir and Hereford Cathedral School have been crowned the UK’s best youth choirs in the final of Barnardo’s National Choral Competition at the London’s Royal Festival Hall.

26 choirs were selected from around 100 entries to compete at the prestigious concert hall in the Southbank Centre on Friday, March 17, with the winners of the two categories – under 12s and under 18s - announced during a public concert that evening. Kent College Choristers from Canterbury were runners up in the under 12s’ category and Harrogate Ladies College were runners up in the under 18s.

Lindley Junior School Choir from Lindley, Huddersfield, was named the winning choir by a panel of expert judges in the under 12s’ category and Hereford Cathedral School from Hereford won the under 18s title in the contest which is the biggest of its kind in the UK.

Choirs sang a mixture of traditional and contemporary music, with songs ranging from Ave Maria to Cake by the Ocean, via Bohemian Rhapsody.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

“We’ve been blown away by the talent of these extraordinary young people and the exceptional singing in this year’s competition.

“It’s brilliant to see so many people come together to celebrate young people while raising money to support the UK’s most vulnerable children.”

Each choir sang two songs in front of judges Douglas Coombes MBE, Trevor Hughes, Carole Lindsay-Douglas, Susannah Edom-Baker and Robert T Elliott throughout the day before choosing one song to sing for members  of the public at the concert in the evening.

All performers also joined together to form a mass choir to sing Barnardo’s, a song specially composed for the competition by conductor and composer Douglas Coombes, and You’ll Never Walk Alone for the concert audience.

The winning choirs will get the chance to perform a song written especially for them by Douglas Coombes at a Barnardo’s Young Supporters’ Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Barnardo’s events manager Jen Privett said:

“I’m delighted that the number of choirs supporting this competition is growing yearly. Some choirs have travelled a vast distance to attend and it’s such a shame that some participants have had to go home disappointed as everyone’s worked so hard.

“But by entering our competition and performing for the public they have helped us raise funds to help disadvantaged children and young people.”

26 choirs competed in the final on this year’s Barnardo’s National Choral Competition. They are:

Under 12s

  • Bilton Grange School,Rugby, Warwickshire - The Wind that Shakes the Barley by Ken Johnston
  • Blackheath High Junior School, Blackheath, London - Circles of Motion by Bob Chilcott
  • Blackheath Prep School Choir, Blackheath, London - Love Divine, All Loves Excelling by Howard Goodall
  • Cranmore School, West Horsley, Surrey - Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel by African-American Spiritual
  • Deansfield Primary School, Eltham, London - Flying Free by Don Besig
  • Gateway School, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire – Stronger With Time by Carl Strommen
  • Hereford Cathedral Junior School, Hereford – I Won’t Grow Up! by Charlap and Leigh
  • Holy Family Primary and Nursery School, Derry, N Ireland – Goliath by J. Paul Williams & Joseph M. Martin
  • Hymers College Junior School, Hull, East Yorkshire - Hushabye Mountain by Sherman/Sherman
  • Kent College, Canterbury, Kent - Enjoy the Storm by Ian Jefferson
  • Lindley Junior School Choir, Lindley, Huddersfield – I Lift My Eyes by Bob Chilcott
  • Norbreck Primary Academy, Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire – Castle on a Cloud by Claude-Michel Schönberg
  • North Bridge House Prep School, Hampstead, London - Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury
  • Norwich Lower School, Norwich - Catch Me if You Can by Lin Marsh
  • Perfect Pitch, Tideswell, Derbyshire – Friend Like Me by Menkin
  • Putney High School Junior Choir, Putney, London – Killing Me Softly by Charles Fox
  • St Margarets Prep School (St Margarets Chamber Choir), Calne, Wiltshire – I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Cole Porter
  • The Abbey Junior School, Reading, Berkshire – We’re Aiming High! by Lin Marsh

Under 18s

  • Blundell's School, Tiverton, Devon - Only in Sleep by Eriks Ešenvalds
  • Coloma Convent Girls School, Croydon, London – Spark by Barnum
  • Dauntseys School, Devizes, Wiltshire - Ave Maria by Franz Biebl
  • Ellesmere College Chapel Choir, Ellesmere, Shropshire - Lully Lulla Lullay by Philip Stopford
  • Harrogate Ladies College, Harrogate, Yorkshire – Like a Rainbow by Bob Chilcott
  • Hereford Cathedral School, Hereford – Hava Nageela, traditional Israeli folk song
  • Kent College Pembury Chamber, Edenbridge, Kent – Cake by the Ocean by DNCE
  • TGS Motet Choir, Tonbridge, Kent - The Storm is Passing Over by Charles Tindley

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