St Mary’s for BBC Radio Ulster School Choir Of The Year

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

Following on from the success of the last two years, 60 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 School Choir Of The Year 2017.

The sixth programme, on Sunday, April 9 on BBC Radio Ulster at 2pm, is hosted by John Toal from St Mary’s College, Londonderry, and features 10 choirs all vying for a place in the grand final.

Presented by John Toal and Kerry McLean, BBC Radio Ulster School Choir of The Year is recorded at seven venues across Northern Ireland and culminates in a live final from the Ulster Hall, Belfast, on Sunday, April 30.

Competing in the Junior category in this sixth programme are: Holy Family Primary School and Eglinton Primary School, Derry; DH Christie Memorial Primary School, Coleraine; Fairview Primary School, Ballyclare and Hazelbank Primary School, Broughshane.

In the Senior category, the following schools will be competing for a place in the final: Lumen Christi College, Derry; St Cecilia’s College, Derry; Loreto College, Coleraine; St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt and Coleraine Grammar School.

They will be performing for judges Richard Yarr, Senior Classical Music Producer with BBC Northern Ireland; Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music with The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Rebekah Coffey, Soprano and Ulster Youth Choir coach.

BBC Radio Ulster School Choir of the Year is produced in association with the Ulster Youth Choir, and supported by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland (ACNI).

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 once again to be involved in finding some of the best young choirs in Northern Ireland and helping our listeners follow their exciting 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 third year of the BBC Radio Ulster School Choir of the Year in association with The Ulster Youth Choir. It offers a fantastic opportunity for schools to engage and participate in high-quality arts, nurturing a love of music and developing untapped talent in our young people.”

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