Local pupils take part in School Choir Of The Year

Kerry McLean and John Toal return to present the BBC Radio Ulster School Choir of the Year which this week comes from the Guildhall in Londonderry.
Kerry McLean and John Toal return to present the BBC Radio Ulster School Choir of the Year which this week comes from the Guildhall in Londonderry.

The search is on to find Northern Ireland’s top junior and senior school choirs.

Following on from the success of the first competition last year, 65 choirs from across Northern Ireland will be singing to impress as they battle it out for a place in the final of the BBC Radio Ulster Choir Of The Year.

Presented by John Toal and Kerry McLean, and recorded at seven venues across Northern Ireland, the series culminates in a live final from the Ulster Hall on Sunday 17 April.

This second programme in the series, on Sunday 28 February on BBC Radio Ulster at 2pm, is hosted by Kerry McLean from The Guildhall in Londonderry and features 11 choirs all vying for a place in the grand final.

Competing in the Junior category are: Ebrington Primary School, Londonderry; Macosquin Primary School, Coleraine; Lisnagelvin Primary School, Londonderry; Bellaghy Primary School; Limavady Central Primary School and Longtower Primary School, Derry.

In the Senior category, the following schools will be competing for a place in the final: Coleraine Grammar School; Dalriada School, Ballymoney; St Mary’s College, Derry; Thornhill College, Derry and Wallace High School Lisburn.

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.

Fergus Keeling, Head of Radio, BBC Northern Ireland said: “At BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle we are dedicated to providing our listeners with the best music, and nurturing new talent is something we are extremely passionate about. We are delighted to be involved in finding some of the best young choirs in Northern Ireland and to have our listeners follow their journey towards the live grand final in the Ulster Hall.”

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.

Films and photos of the choirs’ performances will be online at bbc.co.uk/schoolchoiroftheyear