Choir on song for top London event

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A Blackpool school choir has won one of just 18 places to perform on the stage of one of the world’s leading venues.

Norbreck Primary Academy’s choir will be competing in Barnardo’s National Choral Competition at London’s prestigious Royal Festival Hall next month.

Norbreck Primary Academy Choir are going to London to take part in the Barnardos National Choral Competition

Norbreck Primary Academy Choir are going to London to take part in the Barnardos National Choral Competition

The school’s choirmaster believes the commitment of members, their two-part harmonies and honed versions of choral classics will help them see off competition including the likes of Hereford Cathedral choir.

Norbreck’s choir, comprising 28 Year Five and Six pupils, have been practicing daily since Christmas, led by school headteacher and choir master, Karen McCarter.

She said: “It’s a prestigious competition, it attracts the highest of entrants, most of which are private or independent schools and this has put the pressure on.

“We practice and work incredibly hard on diction and dynamics, and how the children look on stage is very much part of it too.”

The competition, to be held on March 9 in the Grade I listed hall, was entered by more than 350 schools.

The field was whittled down to just 18 entrants for the junior level and six for senior.

Mrs McCarter added: “It’s an honour for us all, and testament to the achievement and hard work of us all. It’s the fact we’ve been chosen from so many entrants. To think we can be that good, and can compete on a national stage is a great achievement.”

The school’s choir has previously won Blackpool Choir of the Year and a choral competition at Rossall School, and Mrs McCarter has won a number of other choir competitions while working at other schools.

She said: “If you’d ever told me that one day I’d be conducting in the Royal Festival Hall, I would have thought you were having a laugh.”

The school will be singing ‘Make me a channel of your peace’ by Sebastian Temple, and ‘The Lord bless you and keep you’ by John Rutter in the competition, and a second song by Rutter in an evening performance, ‘I will sing with the Spirit’.

And should they win, the choir will have the opportunity to sing at the Royal Albert Hall, London, for Barnardo’s Young Supporters Concert in November, and will have their own song written specially for them.

Mrs McCarter added: “It would be a lifetime achievement to win, it would be simply amazing.”