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!
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
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).
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!
The BBC website is starting to build anticipation for the second of the three episodes this Sunday (11th May). They’ve used a lovely snapshot of Cantabile with Jo Williamson.
It was a real honour and test of nerves to sing in front of the celebrity judges Gareth Malone, Laura Mvula and Suzi Digby – we obviously wanted to impress!
David Grant is presenting each episode and he was great during filming. He even managed to get all the audience singing in four part harmony AND sounding surprisingly good!
The first results are in – we now know the three Junior School Choirs who’ve made it through to the BBC Songs of Praise final which will be on Sunday 11th May 17:00 – 17:45. Catch-up on BBC iplayer if you missed the first of the three episodes.
Watch the Senior choirs next week on Sunday 4th May 17:00 – 17:45 to find out if Cantabile will be one of the three Senior School Choirs joining them!
Meanwhile our congratulations to all six of the junior choirs who took part:
Wow – it’s almost time to reveal the result of that weekend of singing in March.
On Sunday (27/4/14) the BBC will be showing the first of three episodes for the Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year 2014 which features the junior school choirs.
What is wonderful is the quality of choral singing which the children have achieved through sheer hard work and singing purely for the joy of it.
We hope you can support all the choirs by tuning in to all three episodes.
Tomorrow Cantabile will be in Birmingham, singing for all their worth. They going to be up against some strong competition equally keen to be the BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year.
We’re going to have to wait until the broadcast in May though to let you know what happened unless you’re in the audience of course!
Good Luck to the Girls – please wish them well.
Cantabile Girls have entered the following classes at the Eisteddfod this year:
- B2 (Senior Children’s Choir) Wednesday 9th July
- B3 (Children’s Folk Song Choir) Wednesday 9th July
- C1 (Voice of the Future) Prelim 10th July, Final 11th July
- C2 (Under 18′s Vocal Solo) Tuesday 8th July
- C3 (Over 18′s Vocal Solo) Wednesday 9th July
There is more information about how to attend the Festival and support Cantabile and the other talented singers competing at the official Llangollen International Eisteddfod Festival website.
Hereford Cathedral School and Friends have organised a stunning performance of Vivaldi Gloria on the 19th March 2014 which includes Mozart Clarinet Concerto and other works. Three of the Cantabile girls will be singing solos in the concert:
- Soprano: Serena Linley-Adams
- Mezzo soprano: Jess Price
- Alto: Charlotte Pawley