A Derbyshire choir Perfect Pitch is celebrating after winning the Songs of Praise Young Choir of the Year 2019.
The 40 strong choir from Great Longstone in Derbyshire sang 'Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet' to win the coveted accolade. They beat off strong competition from two other school choirs to land the title. This is the first time a community choir has won this prestigious competition.
Musical director Emma Hopkins, who conducted the award-winning performance broadcast on BBC One last Sunday 2nd June, said: "It was completely unexpected. We didn't expect to get to the semi-finals, let alone reach the final - and win." It was a real team effort, Emma’s husband Tom Barker, accompanied the choir on piano.
Looking shocked at their triumph, Alice Chetwood and Ruby Pearce accepted the award from Songs of Praise judge Carry Grant, while the rest of the choir hugged each other, and their parents and supporters clapped from the audience.
Judge Carry Grant vocal coach and TV presenter, praised their performance, saying the choir was,"Beyond sparkly, every child on the stage was completely engaged. I wanted to be moved in my heart and that really did move me.”
JB Gill internationally renowned pop star from JLS added: "You guys have a great body of sound, you’re very composed but at the same time are fun and loose with it and so are able to just enjoy the performance, there were beautiful dynamics and great diction.”
Russel Watson four times classical BRIT award winner commented, “I’d love to be in this choir. I thought it was a great interpretation of the lyric, hugely engaging, absolutely fantastic job.”
After the award-winning performance, Emma commented: "We really enjoyed learning this song, this choir loves to perform, and this piece allowed them to express themselves and to enjoy music.”
Emma explained that they had entered the Songs of Praise competition as an incentive for the pupils in the choir to strive to be the best that they could be. Just before they announced the verdict, she told the choir, “Whatever the result, I’m really proud of you.”
Emma revealed that the children have had to keep the result a secret since it was recorded months ago, on March 9th, at Bolton’s Victoria Hall - it was televised last Sunday.
We are really looking forward to the opportunities that Songs of Praise Junior Choir of the Year 2019 will bring.If you are interested in finding out more about the choir ‘Perfect Pitch’ please visit our website www.perfectpitchchoir.co.uk We are always pleased to welcome new members.
The Final is available to watch on BBC iPlayer