School Choir of the Year 2017 winners announced
St Lawrence’s Primary School, Fintona and Regent House Grammar School, Newtownards have been named as Northern Ireland’s top senior and junior school choirs in the live final of BBC Radio Ulster School Choir Of The Year.
Presented by John Toal and Kerry McLean, the final was broadcast from the Ulster Hall, Belfast, on BBC Radio Ulster earlier today (Sunday 30 April).
Sixty choirs battled it out over the course of the past eight weeks and six schools from across Northern Ireland took part in the live final, with three competing respectively in the junior and senior categories.
The awards to the two schools were presented by guest judge Connie Fisher, actress, singer and television presenter.
The rest of the judging panel was made up of Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council for Northern Ireland; Richard Yarr, Senior Producer Classical Music, BBC Radio Ulster and Dominic Peckham, Artistic Director with the Ulster Youth Choir.
Each choir was invited to perform two songs and the judges decided which two choirs from the junior and senior categories would go head to head to pick up the two titles.
Regent House Grammar School performed Wade in the Water, Locus Iste and Bobby Shaftoe, while St Lawrence’s Primary School performed Pie Jesu, It Don’t Mean A Thing and Benedictus.
In the junior category Pond Park Primary School from Lisburn were runners-up, and Fairview Primary School, Ballyclare, were second runners-up, and it was Carrickfergus Grammar School who were runners-up and Wellington College, Belfast, second runners-up in the senior category.
The choirs taking part in the Junior category final were: Pond Park Primary School, Lisburn, Fairview Primary, Ballyclare and St Lawrence’s Primary School, Fintona.
In the Senior category competing in the final were: Wellington College, Belfast, Regent House Grammar School, Newtownards and Carrickfergus Grammar School.
The two-hour live radio programme also included a performance from the BBC Northern Ireland/Arts Council of Northern Ireland Young Musicians’ Platform Award recipients, tenor Aaron O’Hare and pianist Sean Morgan-Rooney and The Ulster Youth Chamber Choir.
The competition is produced in association with the Ulster Youth Choir, supported by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland and is part of the BBC Music NI project.
The two overall winning choirs will feature across a range of BBC Radio Ulster’s programming and events during this year.
If you missed the programme, catch it again via the BBC Radio iPlayer by logging on to: bbc.co.uk/radio and follow the links to BBC Radio Ulster.
Films and photos of the choirs’ performances will be online at bbc.co.uk/schoolchoiroftheyear