Choir compete for national prize

Members of Holy Family Primary School choir, pictured with choir director Claire Doherty. (DER0814PG032)
Members of Holy Family Primary School choir, pictured with choir director Claire Doherty. (DER0814PG032)

A Derry choir has been selected as the only representative from all of Northern Ireland to compete in the finals of the prestigious Barnardos National School Choir of the Year competition.

Holy Family PS Choir, who last year reached the semi finals of the Songs of Praise Choir of the Year competition only to lose out to fellow Derry school St. Patrick’s PS, Pennyburn, will this weekend travel to London to compete at the world famous Barbican Theatre.

Choir mistress Claire Doherty said the experience would be yet another “brilliant opportunity” for the 45 strong choir - drawn from primary 6 and primary 7 pupils.

“We heard about the competition while at the Songs of Praise event last year.

“It was the same process - we had to record the choir and send off our application.

“We recorded two pieces and just waited to see what would happen - and just before Christmas we received an email to say we had been selected to come to London.”

The school will compete alongside 18 other schools to win the overall prize - and Claire said the competition is stiff. “There are quite a lot of prep schools in the competition - schools who have choirs who tour, who have performed in different countries. So the standard should be really high and we are really looking forward to it.

“We are delighted to have been selected among that calibre of performers and it says a lot about the talent and the dedication of our choir members.”

The choir will perform two songs for the competition adjudicators - ‘The Walls Came Tumbling Down’ and ‘Who Will Buy?’ from the musical ‘Oliver’.

The competition will take place on Monday - and the winning choir will be selected to sing on stage at the Royal Albert Hall.

“We hope this will be an experience our choir members will never forget,” Claire said.