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BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year semi-finalists

Perhaps it was overambitious to expect to win the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year Award for a second time, but the 33 singers in the Haileybury Chamber Choir returned from the weekend event in Liverpool with the satisfaction of having performed with total commitment to their material and to each other.

Competitions are notoriously unpredictable and this one was no exception, but it is important to recognise the significant opportunities a competition can offer: the value of teamwork, the focus on artistic improvement and, in this case, the offer of an unforgettable, inspirational experience.

Quentin Thomas, in his last year at Haileybury as Director of Music, speaks passionately of the choir’s “quality, dignity and camaraderie” and adds, “On a personal level, their contributions over many years have provided me (and I know, many, many others) with enormous joy, pride and fulfilment. We couldn’t have performed better.”