Ebrington PS and Thornhill in finals of school choir of the year

The senior choir of Ebrington Primary School with teacher Rachel Stone who will perform in the final of the BBC School Chour of the Year on Sunday, April 7
The senior choir of Ebrington Primary School with teacher Rachel Stone who will perform in the final of the BBC School Chour of the Year on Sunday, April 7

Ebrington Primary School and Thornhill College have made it through to the final of BBC School Choir of the Year.

Sixty-two choirs have battled it out over the course of the past eight weeks and six schools from across the north will be taking part in the live final this weekend.

Ebrington Primary School and Thornhill College will be representing Derry in the junior and senior categories.

The choirs will be taking to the stage of the Ulster Hall in front of a live audience and it will be broadcast live on Radio Ulster.

For the first time ever, it will also be recorded for BBC NI TV.

Four judges including special guest judge Carrie Grant have the difficult task of choosing which choirs win the Junior and Senior titles of BBC Northern Ireland School Choir Of The Year.

The rest of the judging panel will be made up of Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council for Northern Ireland; Richard Yarr, Senior Producer Classical Music, BBC Radio Ulster, and Andrew Nunn, Musical Director with the Ulster Youth Choir.

Each choir will be perform two songs and the judges will decide which two choirs from the junior and senior categories will go head to head to pick up the two titles.

The two-hour live radio programme also includes a performance from the Ulster Youth Chamber Choir, followed by flautist Andrew Douglas, one of the recipients of the BBC NI/ACNI Young Musicians’ Platform Awards, accompanied by Ruth McGinley.

Rachel Stone, of Ebrington PS, said the 54 members of their school choir are ‘so excited’ about the final.

Ms Stone has been in charge of the choir for the last six years and this is the third time they have made it to the finals of the competition.

“The choir are practising every single day and we are so proud of them to get to this stage.

“I can’t reveal anything about the songs we are singing, but they are very much linked to the ethos of the school which is every child, every chance, every day. The children are so motivated to spread that message.”

She said the choir ‘is the talk of the school and the city at the minute and everyone is so proud of them.”

BBC NI School Choir of the Year will be live on BBC Radio Ulster from 2pm on Sunday, April 7.