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Haileybury Chamber Choir won the senior title at the Songs of Praise School Choirs Contest

Songs of Praise School Choirs Contest - winners announced

The winners of the Songs of Praise 2005 School Choirs Contest were announced today (Sunday 20 March) in a gala concert hosted by Aled Jones from Birmingham Symphony Hall.


The award for the best Junior Choir went to Stoneygate School from Great Glen in Leicestershire, while Haileybury Chamber Choir from Hertfordshire claimed the prize for the Senior Choir.


Each choir receives a trophy and £1,000 in prize money as well as the opportunity to appear on national television and radio.


Both choirs were highly praised by this year's panel of judges - record producer Pete Waterman, singer and stylist Sinitta and Malcolm Archer, Organist and Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral, London.


Commenting on Stoneygate School's performance of Ye Holy Angles Bright and Swimming Free, the judges said it was a "really full vibrant sound", that the choir was "alert and focussed" and that they sang with "real energy".


Haileybury Chamber Choir's pieces were Be Thou My Vision and I will Sing with the Spirit.


The judges gave "100% to the bass section" and a special mention to the baritones who they said were "spectacular", not forgetting that the whole choir was "exceptional".


The two runners up in the junior category were Ballyholme Primary School, from Bangor in County Down, and Kells Primary School from Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire, in Dumfries and Galloway.


St Aidan's Church of England School, Harrogate, and Coventry Blue Coat Church of England School were runners up in the senior category.


The judges were full of praise for the high standard of performance, originality, enthusiasm and hard work from all the choirs.


Currently in its third year, the Songs of Praise School Choirs Contest aims to introduce a new generation to the pleasures of singing, to breathe new life into classic hymns and songs and to showcase some of the UK's best young singers.


The schools entered by sending in an audio tape of their choir's performance.


Songs of Praise producers then visited the short-listed schools to hold workshops, give musical advice and make a short film of the choir's performance before choosing six schools for the final.


Notes to Editors


Viewers can share their views on the finalists by visiting the web page after the programme -


The Songs of Praise School Choirs Contest is held annually.


This year's competition was broadcast today on BBC ONE.




Category: Factual & Arts TV

Date: 20.03.2005
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