West Somerset Choir sings to the tune of success

Somerset County Gazette: URBAN Voice who have made their way to the national selection for a prestigious UK contest. PHOTO: Steve Bray. URBAN Voice who have made their way to the national selection for a prestigious UK contest. PHOTO: Steve Bray.

A WEST Somerset choir is celebrating after singing its way to the national selection for a prestigious UK contest.

Urban Voice were awarded ‘Choir of the Day’ when they took part in the Bristol leg of ‘Choir of the Year’ at Colston Hall on March 30.

They now have the chance to sing at the Royal Festival Hall in October in the category finals.

Competition came from the other best singing groups of the region as far afield as Wales and Teignmouth.

Urban Voice won after singing Karl Jenkins’ ‘Adiemus’ and a special arrangement by their former musical director, Paul Doolan, of ‘Hail Holy Queen’.

Ken Burton from the BBC’s ‘Sing While you Work’ and Stephen Connolly, a former member of King’s Singers, judged the competition.

Each choir was judged on its musicality, technical ability and overall performance.

The category finals will be held at London’s Festival Hall on October 19 and following that, six choirs will make it through to the Grand Final at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on December 7.

The competition is recorded and broadcast by the BBC in special Choir of the Year programmes on BBC Radio four and BBC Radio three.

Choir leader Steve Bray said: “We have won a couple of titles at local arts festivals but have never competed at this level before so we didn’t really know how we’d do or how we would stand up to the other choirs.

“It is absolutely fantastic to have got through this first round and the whole experience has been absolutely amazing. I am so proud of Urban Voice.”

The choir will be performing their summer concerts on Saturday, June 7, at the Hobby Horse in Minehead and Friday, June 13, at Porlock Village Hall.

Tickets will soon be on sale at the Regal Theatre in Minehead and the Porlock Visitor Centre.

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