Monthly Archives: May 2014

Cantabile didn’t win but we didn’t lose either! As we congratulate our fellow finalists on a hard fought choral battle,  we can be consoled by the truly lovely comments from the Judges  Suzi Digby, Gareth Malone and Laura Mvula that recognised the quality of the singing from the Cantabile girls (and also the beautiful runners up trophy).

Listen to the performances on BBC iplayer and hopefully you will hear both the love and enthusiasm they have for choral singing as well as their technical brilliance which the Judges clearly felt singled them out and provided those ‘Magical Moments’.  Jess Price sang the beautiful solo which anchored their second hymn ‘I Got a Robe’.

Jess Price sings her solo in I Got a Robe in the Final of School Choir of the Year 2014

Jess Price sings her solo in I Got a Robe in the Final of School Choir of the Year 2014

Now the exam season is upon us, their next performance as a Choir will be at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod where they get to show a different repertoire. However choir members Serena Linley-Adams and Charlotte Pawley will also be singing in the Under 18s vocal solo competition this year with Jess Price singing in the 18 and over vocal solo competition.

Now the Judges will decide who gets the 2014 trophy …

School Choir of the Year 2014 3/3

The final episode of three will reveal who gets the coveted Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year trophy in 2014. It is going out slightly later than the other two episodes at 17:45 on BBC One. The BBC clip gives a flavour of the treats in store for us.

Laura Mvula and Gavin Malone share their love of singing with us in a special performance


Cantabile are in the Finals of the 2014 Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year …

Cantabile sing for a place in the 2014 finals

Cantabile sing for a place in the 2014 finals

Cantabile was one of six school choirs singing for a place in the final of the 2014 BBC One Songs of Praise competition.

They delighted the judges with ‘Ex Ore Innocentium’, written by Bishop W.W.How and composed by John Ireland and secured their place in the final three along with Rochester and Highgate.

Comments from the judges about Cantabile’s performance included ‘The epitome of beauty ..’ Laura Mvula, ‘its my sort of thing …’ Gareth Malone, and ‘as an expression of faith … you also managed to bring a dimension to it that was very special’ Suzi Digby.

You can catch the whole programme on BBCiplayer or listen to clips of the individual performances. See if you agree with the Judges comments and the final three choirs!

Midlands Today wish Cantabile Good Luck …

Cantabile feature presented by Nick Owen

Cantabile feature presented by Nick Owen

Nick Owen presented a feature on Cantabile’s bid for the finals of Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year today (2/5/2014).

With snippets from their rehearsals in Birmingham and interviews with the girls and Mrs Williamson, it gives a flavour of how much the competition means to them.

If you didn’t have the chance to see it, you can catch up on BBC iplayer for the next 20 hours: Cantabile and Midlands Today, 2/5/2014

Anticipation building for Sunday’s performances …


Image for School Choir of the Year (04/05/2014)

BBC One – iPlayer clip published today (2/5/2014) features Cantabile in the still but gives no clue to their singing – you’ll have to watch on Sunday to find out!

Hereford Times article published online and in the paper this Thursday (1/5/2014).

Jo Williamson fondly remembers her time in Cantamus …

At the age of 13, I became a member of the internationally renowned Cantamus Girls’ Choir from Mansfield, having started singing lessons with Miss Pamela Cook, who was the Director of the choir. Pamela Cook was an inspirational lady who taught me to sing from the heart and believe in myself. I was nervous at first as I had previously only sung in my local church choir. Cantamus was a totally different experience – and what an experience it was for me. It was something I will never forget! I was having to learn all my music from memory. Some of the music was easy, but other pieces were extremely difficult. Even today I wonder how I managed to memorise such difficult music as “Prayer before Birth” by Elizabeth Maconchy. Some of my favourite music was Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols”, Three Welsh Folk Songs, Three Hungarian Songs, Hava Nageela, some arrangements by Mr Neaum, who was our piano accompanist and a very talented amazing man, and some lovely madrigals.

My experience with Cantamus took me on many tours – Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland and numerous other countries. I will never forget these wonderful memories. Under Miss Cook’s leadership, we enjoyed considerable success in many competitions both overseas and within Britain. It instilled in me a passion for music, particularly girls’ choir music, and I am thrilled to bits that I now have the opportunity of passing on my experiences to the wonderful girls in Cantabile at Hereford Cathedral School.

The girls have won their category at the International Eisteddfod, Llangollen for the last 2 years, and have now reached the semi-finals of BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year for the second time in 3 years. When I think back to my own experience in Cantamus when I was a teenage girl, I am extremely proud of the girls’ successes and achievements when it should be borne in mind that the girls only rehearse for up to 1 ½ hours a week (and they are never all present at any one time!) in a school classroom. Well done Cantabile girls!