Choir in fine voice for schools’ contest

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Wallace High School’s Senior Choir, Capella, were in find voice recently when they took part in the BBC Radio Ulster School Choir of the Year competition,

This Sunday (February 28) Radio Ulster will broadcast the Lisburn choir competing against Coleraine Grammar School; Dalriada School, Ballymoney; St Mary’s College, Derry; and Thornhill College, Derry for a place in the final.

They will be performing for judges Rebekah Coffey, Ciaran Scullion and Richard Yarr.

The competition is produced in association with the Ulster Youth Choir, and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Capella is an excellent choir, which performs a vast repertoire from sacred music to Irish works to contemporary barber shop styles.

For the competition, the choir sang two pieces, a setting of Billy Joel’s ‘And so it goes’ by Bob Chilcott, and a 16th century bawdy chanson called ‘Il est bel et bon’ by Passereau.

The choir performed exceptionally well and the judges were full of praise for the manner in which each part knew the other parts, how they interacted and responded to the harmonic language of the other vocal sections, the strength of the male sound and its beautiful balance with the females.

The Judges noted how well the parts were exploited, the use of really low bass notes (bottom A below bottom C) and the dynamic word painting in the French work, where the nattering women and chickens were personified by strong vocal techniques.

Tune in on Sunday to hear how well they sounded and the judges appraisal.

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: “The Arts Council is delighted to support the second year of the BBC Radio Ulster School Choir of the Year competition in association with The Ulster Youth Choir.

“This competition offers a fantastic opportunity for schools to engage and participate in the arts, nurturing a love of music and developing untapped talent in our young people. Good luck to everyone taking part.”

The winning choirs will feature across a range of BBC Radio Ulster’s programming and events during this year.