Oakham School’s talented Chamber Choir is through to the semi-final of the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year competition, which broadcasts on BBC1 on 10 April at 4.15pm.
“We are all delighted that Oakham is one of just six senior choirs to have been selected from across the UK to take part in this prestigious and well-loved competition,” says Director of Music, Peter Davis.
The semi-final, held at Sheffield City Hall and presented by Aled Jones, sees the choir performing for celebrity judges Katherine Jenkins, Ken Burton and Connie Fisher. Three schools will be selected to sing again in the final, which will be aired on 24 April.
Peter continues, “the choir have spent the last term practising two pieces for the competition – Roderick Williams’ wonderful arrangement of the spiritual “I want Jesus to walk with me”, and an a cappella arrangement of “Amazing Grace”.
This isn’t the first time the quality of Oakham’s Chamber Choir has been recognised in this competition – they reached the semi-final of the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year the last time that they entered in 2012. Already this year, the choir was one of seven schools chosen to participate in the Barnardo’s National Choral Competition, another competition renowned for its extremely high standards. Although they did not win, they were commended for their “great attention to detail and very secure intonation” and “excellent energy”.
The choir were filmed at Oakham earlier on in the year, as part of the competition. Two members of the choir, Alva and Will, showed the BBC filming crew around the school. As well as filming in the school chapel, they also watched members of the choir engaged in different activities in different parts of the campus.
“Everyone at Oakham is really looking forward to watching the programme,” concludes Peter.