School makes final stages of the BBC Junior Choir of the Year Competition
Forty pupils from Years 5 and 6 will be travelling to Liverpool on Saturday 9 March to take part in the event which will be screened on three consecutive Sundays starting on 7 April on BBC One. For Prep School teacher Julie Ellis, it is the culmination of nineteen years work with the choir that has seen it regularly scoop prizes at regional events like the County Music Festival.
“The phone call from the Songs of Praise producer to say that the choir had been shortlisted came as a complete shock,” said Julie. “I decided to have a go at entering on the spur of the moment and sent off a recording of the girls singing Purify My Heart and Give Me Joy in My Heart with the application. Given the competition from junior schools all over the country, I honestly didn’t imagine for one moment that we’d make it to the final six. It is a huge honour and very, very exciting.”
The choir’s success is even more extraordinary given that any of the pupils can join and rehearsals usually take just 30 minutes each week.
“The girls love taking part – you just have to watch them to know how much they enjoy singing and, when they perform, they really are exceptional,” said Prep School Head Alison Miller. “Julie Ellis has worked tirelessly with them over many years and is a very talented teacher who enthuses everyone in the choir with her own passion for music. It’s the first time that she has entered such a high profile competition and we are all absolutely thrilled with this remarkable result.”
Rehearsals will now increase to one hour a week in the run up to the final and a Songs of Praise crew will come down to the school to film.