Cor y Cwm - Youth Choir of the Year
Choir of the Year Category Finals 20164:20, 21st October 2016
Six choirs have been chosen to go through to the Grand Final of the UK’s national Choir of the Year Competition following Category Finals held at Symphony Hall, Birmingham on 16 October. Sixteen choirs representing the length and breadth of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and including two from Jersey competed in the four categories, adjudicated by vocal coach Mary King, former King’s Singer Stephen Connolly, and composer and choral conductor Will Todd.
Musical Originals Training Choir from Jersey, directed by Imogen Nicholls, was named as Children’s Choir of the Year; Cor y Cwm from South Wales, directed by Elin Llewellyn-Williams, as Youth Choir of the Year; the Rainbow Connection Singers from Doncaster, directed by Paul Mellors, won the Open category; and Voices of Hope from Newcastle, directed by Simon Fidler, won the Adult Category. In addition, ladies’ barbershop chorus The White Rosettes from Leeds, directed by Sally McClean, and all-male chorus Johns’ Boys from Wrexham, directed by Aled Phillips, were put through to the Grand Final on ‘wild cards’.
More than 5,000 singers from 160 choirs took part in 11 Choir of the Year audition days around the UK between March and June; half of this year’s category finalists were new to the competition, which has been running in alternate years since 1984. Choir of the Year recently became a registered charity, and is supported in 2016 by CHK Charities, D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, Foyle Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation, in addition to long-term supporters Arts Council England, Arts Council Northern Ireland and Rayburn Tours. The audition days included choral workshops run in conjunction with the Association of British Choral Directors for choirs that do not yet feel ready to enter the competition.
All six choirs chosen to go forward from the Category Finals Day will compete on an equal footing for the overall title of Choir of the Year 2016 at the Grand Final, which takes place in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, at 5 pm on Sunday 3 December. Audience tickets are available. The competition will be featured on BBC Radio 3’s The Choir and the Grand Final will be broadcast on BBC Four television.