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February 20th, 2011 - Bradford School Choir of the Year
Bradford School Choir of the Year



St George's Hall Bradford was packed on Saturday 5th February for the final of the annual Bradford and District Schools Choir Competition.  Six schools had been selected during the heats in the preceding weeks to advance to the final and compete for the prestigious title of Bradford school choir of the year.

Children from those choirs chosen for the final took part in a workshop with members of the London Community Gospel Choir on the day before the competition, with the overall winning choir having the opportunity to sing the popular gospel song ‘O Happy Day' with the Community Gospel choir on the stage of St George's Hall at the final itself.

The finalists included three schools who are members of the Diocese of Leeds Schools singing programme: St Anne's, Keighley; St Anthony's, Shipley and St Cuthbert and First Martyrs, Heaton. St Anne's choir (Directed by Mrs Bernadette Charles) was praised by the judges for their beautiful tone and clear diction in their two songs.  St Anthony's Shipley choir (directed by Keith Roberts) sang ‘Hakuna Mata' from the Lion-King alongside an arrangement of the popular Christmas carol ‘The Holly and the Ivy.'  The judges complimented St Anthony's for their two part singing and for the energetic and focussed performance.

The choir of St Cuthbert and the First Martyrs (Directed by Catherine Bolland) particularly caught the eye of the judging panel, led by Bazil Meade, director of the London Community Gospel Choir and a judge on BBC 1 TV ‘School Choir of the Year Competition.'  After the thrills of ‘Rollerghoster' the choir gave an outstanding rendition of the popular African song ‘Siyahamba - we are marching in the light of God' with some excellent two part singing and a wide range of dynamics.

After each of the finalists had performed the audiences and children were treated to music sung by the London Community Gospel Choir while the judges deliberated.  The winners of the competition were then announced as St Johns C of E, Bierley with Clayton C of E in second place.  Third place was awarded to the choir of St Cuthbert and the First Martyrs much to the delight of their supporters, family and friends.

Many congratulations to St Cuthbert and the First Martyrs on achieving third place in the Bradford and District Schools Choir Competition 2011.  Congratulations also to St Anne's and St Anthony's for doing so well to reach the final, and to all the members of the Diocese of Leeds Schools singing programme who took part in the heats.



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