Finalists in the Barnardo’s National Choral Competition
Towards the end of the Spring term, the Senior High March Voices (all of Year 6) participated virtually in the final of the Barnardo’s National Choral Competition. The girls had been due to participate in person at the prestigious Barbican Hall in London, but sadly the live event was cancelled by the organisers due to unforeseen circumstances relating to Covid.
In the Autumn term, the girls recorded two challenging songs. ‘Lead Me Lord’ by John D. Becker and Mark Hayes, and the spiritual, ‘Child Of God’, arranged by Emily Crocker, as an entry for the competition. School was notified at the start of January that they were one of the eighteen junior choirs nationwide which had been selected for the final, with some very positive feedback provided by the adjudicators.
The girls recorded their competition final submission in the Upper School Hall at High March, utilising professional audio and video equipment. This was a particular challenge as the girls had to follow strict recording guidelines, including the need to record both songs perfectly in one take! Our Director of Music, Mr Hayes. was delighted to report the girls gave maximum effort and produced three fantastic recordings. The first of the two songs was the wonderfully atmospheric two-part song, ‘The Moon’, composed by Andy Beck. This was sung with strong feeling and wonderfully cohesive ensemble awareness. The final song was the traditional gospel blues song, ‘Keep Your Lamps’, arranged by Victor Johnson. The girls performed this song confidently, demonstrating great dynamic control and notably clear diction. Girls and staff alike agreed that the final recording was the best version to use for our submission.
Unfortunately, the girls were not winners on the day but they should nevertheless be exceptionally proud of the fantastic achievement of making it through to the final stage of the competition. Thank you to all of the staff members who helped out with the final recording, and particular thanks must go to Dr Andrew Melvin for his wonderful piano accompanying.
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