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April 18th, 2008 - Oh when the Saints!
Oh when the Saints!

All Saints Catholic College in Huddersfield, who created a choir from scratch eight months ago in a project inspired by TV documentary "The Choir", has sung its way to a coveted place in the World Choir Games in Austria this summer.

All Saints is one of two schools selected from ten from across the country who performed in a dedicated showcase for The Opal Choir Project this week (16 April) at the Royal Albert Hall. The event, The Magic of Music, was the culmination of a challenging journey of hard work and training with Choir Director, Christopher McElroy, Assistant Director of Music for the Diocese of Leeds. The concert was the highlight of an expenses paid trip to London, which included a visit to the Natural History Museum and a trip on the London Eye.

In line with the aims of the Music Manifesto, The Opal Choir Project was created with the ambition of "helping bring music back into education". At a time when Britain is facing a crisis of confidence in its teenagers, it has offered everyone involved an extraordinary opportunity to acquire a new set of skills and to perform in one of the most iconic concert halls in the world. Whilst offering the children from All Saints Catholic School a once in a lifetime trip to the World Choir Games in Austria, the project will leave a lasting legacy of music in all ten schools.

The Magic of Music was hosted by Songs of Praise and ex Blue Peter presenter Diane-Louise Jordan and featured guest performances from the London Metropolitan University Choir and award-winning trio Tenors Un Limited. The evening featured a wide range of musical style and genres, from classical through to traditional African, gospel and pop.  The event climaxed in a rousing finale of Nessun Dorma and You Raise Me Up with all the choirs.

An expert panel of judges included: singer and actress Sharon D Clarke (best known for her roles as Dr Lola Griffin in Holby City and Mama Morton in Chicago), Founder and Principal of The Voices Foundation, Suzi Digby, and vocal coach and musical director Stuart Barr.

In the judging, Sharon D Clarke praised All Saints Catholic School Choir for "Clear, tuneful, beautiful harmonies" and "a wonderful blend with fabulous bases from the boys".

Stuart Wall, Founder of The Opal Foundation, said "The Magic of Music was a real tribute to the courage and commitment of all the young people taking part, their choir masters and teachers. Our congratulations to All Saints Catholic School School for its tremendous performance. We will now be supporting the choir all the way through to The World Choir Games and wish them all the best for this next stage of the musical journey!"

UPDATED: click here for an article in the Huddersfield Examiner.


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