Singing their hearts out . . .

Mayor of Calderdale Coun Nader Fekri with winning choir from St Joseph's RC Primary School, Brighouse.
Mayor of Calderdale Coun Nader Fekri with winning choir from St Joseph's RC Primary School, Brighouse.
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CHILDREN from five Brighouse schools sang their hearts out in the first Brighouse Church Schools Choir of the Year competition.

St Martin’s Church was filled to capacity with parents and family members as more than 100 young singers competed for the prestigious trophy.

Taking part were pupils from St Andrew’s Infants School, St Andrew’s Junior School, St John’s Primary Academy, St Chad’s Primary and St Joseph’s Primary.

The judges were Jane Guilfolye and Emma Offord, both choir directors in primary schools who use Kodaly teaching principles in all aspects of their music education work with young children. They praised the enthusiasm of the children and the high standard of singing.

The Rev Stephen Spencer, vicar of Brighouse and Clifton, opened the event before the combined choirs sang ‘Our God is a Great Big God’. The master of ceremonies was Peter O’Hare, head teacher at St Andrew’s Junior School, who led the school choir and the audience in a sign language version of ‘From A Distance’ while the judges were picking the winner.

In awarding the trophy to St Joseph’s Primary School, the judges praised the confidence of the soloists and the clarity of the young voices. The youngest choir from St Andrew’s Infants School sang ‘Believe’ and ‘Zip-a-dee-do-dah’ with clear diction and smiling faces and were highly commended by the judges. Each child taking part received a certificate.

Coun Nader Fekri, Mayor of Calderdale, said he had been moved by the children’s performances and commented particularly on the choice of ‘Believe’ and ‘Lean on Me’ which were personal favourites. He congratulated the choirs and said they set a high standard which would be a challenge for future competitors.

Other musical items in the programme included ‘Love Shine a Light’ and ‘Grease’.

Alan Sparks of St Martin’s Church said: “The excitement and enthusiasm that the competition created in the schools had to be experienced to be believed.”

Planning for next year’s competition, to be held in spring 2013, will start after Easter.