Radio 2 announces its Young Choristers of the Year 2011
All eight finalists did themselves credit in a testing situation, showing poise and assurance in singing their chosen pieces musically and convincingly."John Rutter, Chair of the Judges
Ella Rainbird-Earley aged 14 who sings at Coventry Cathedral and Richard Decker aged 13 who sings at The Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy in London are this year’s recipients. The Grand Final took place on Monday 24 October at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square in London, hosted by Aled Jones, presenter of Radio 2's Good Morning Sunday. The show will be broadcast on Sunday 6 November at 8.00pm on Radio 2.
The competition celebrates the unique contribution young people make to church choral music in this country, recognising the training, skills and repertoire they receive.
As a finale to the evening’s event, the new Radio 2 Young Choristers sang a specially arranged version of the Christmas carol – In the Bleak Midwinter – with special guest Joe McElderry, the former X Factor and Popstar to Operastar winner.
The finalists, four boys and four girls, performed to an expert panel of judges including John Rutter, composer and music director of the Cambridge Singers; Laura Wright, singer and former Radio 2 Young Chorister from 2005; and Steve Abbott, record producer and music manager.
Ella and Richard each received a trophy and will appear on various programmes on BBC network radio including BBC Radio 2's Good Morning Sunday and Sunday Half Hour and BBC Radio 4's Daily Service and Sunday Worship, as well as special events at Christmas and Easter, concerts, and possible television appearances.
Chair of the Judges, John Rutter¸ said: "All eight finalists did themselves credit in a testing situation, showing poise and assurance in singing their chosen pieces musically and convincingly. All of them have clearly reaped the benefit of the expert training and valuable experience they have had as choir members, and we the judges want to applaud their choir directors and voice teachers as well as the participants themselves.’
Radio 2 is the UK's most listened-to radio station, with a weekly reach of 14.3m listeners. The network covers a diverse and rich mix from social action campaigns to religious programming, live concerts to the arts. The station broadcasts an unrivalled range of music covering many genres, from soul to organ music, show tunes to rhythm and blues. Committed to music, the Radio 2 Young Choristers Of The Year is one of the station’s annual highlights, alongside the Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist competition and the British Folk Awards.
Radio 2 continues to feature religious programming as one of the core components of its schedule. The weekday Pause For Thought slots within Janice Long (12-2am), Alex Lester's show (2-5am), the early Breakfast Show (5-6.30am) and The Chris Evans Breakfast Show (6.30-9.30am) are heard by over 10m listeners every week, and Good Morning Sunday and Sunday Half Hour welcomes listeners with a mix of hymns and reflection.
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