Cantabile from Hereford are Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year

Cantabile Girls Choir from Hereford Cathedral School, conducted by Jo Williamson, have won the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year Competition, broadcast on 17 May on BBC One.

Following their impressive performance of 'Easter Hymn' in the semi-final, for the final they chose to sing a WW1-inspired piece, ‘The Skylark’, composed by Michael Neaum, with the lyrics taken from a poem written by former Hereford Cathedral School pupil Lieutenant D.B. Haseler during his time fighting overseas in the Great War. 

The event began in 2003 and attracts hundreds of entries from top school choirs from across the country, with 2015 proving to be another very successful year, according to the competition organisers. Entries came from 45,000 young singers from around the UK. School choirs from England, Northern Ireland and Wales were represented in the finals and they sing a wide variety of spiritual and inspirational songs.

Competing alongside Cantabile in the Senior Category Final were Twyford Church of England High School Choir from London and Strathearn School Chamber Choir from Belfast. The Junior Category Final was won by Ysgol Iau Llangennech from Llanelli. You can watch their performances HERE

This year there was an all-new judging panel for the Songs of Praise School Choir competition: JB Gill, from boy band JLS; vocal coach and opera singer Yvie Burnett from The Voice UK; and Tim Rhys-Evans, the founder of Welsh male voice choirs Only Men Aloud and Only Boys Aloud. The event was hosted by Aled Jones and Josie Darby.

Cantabile will be giving a lunchtime concert in St John's Methodist Church, St Owen Street, Hereford, at 12 noon on 28 July as part of our Three Choirs Plus programme.