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Britain's top Choirs go head-to-head in Manchester

UK’s Largest Singing Competition Comes to Bridgewater Hall for Semi-Finals
Join the search for Choir of the Year 2012

  • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 6 October 2012, tickets from
  • Singing spectacular includes singer of all ages from Eight to 80 with show stopping musical styles from cool classics to modern melodies
  • Special guest judge Paul Mealor, composer for the Royal Wedding and the Military Wives, along with Shirley Court, director of the Hallé Children’s Choir
  • Children and opening choir finals at 1400hrs, Adult and Youth Final at 1900hrs.
  • Tickets at

Choir of the Year, (, the UK’s largest amateur singing competition, is holding its prestigious Category Finals featuring the UK’s top singing talent at the magnificent Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on 6 October. Tickets are officially on sale starting at £10 [details below] and can be bought online from the Bridgewater Hall Box Office: 0844 907 9000,

Throughout 2012 a team of expert singing judges have scoured the UK from Belfast to Basingstoke seeing over 130 choirs of every size and style. Now just sixteen of the UK’s leading vocal groups remain and will be travelling to Manchester from far and wide to battle it out to become winners in their category and find out if they are one step closer to winning the coveted title Choir of the Year 2012.

Immerse yourself in song with extraordinary performances ranging from Classical to Glee-style numbers which will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out which six of the sixteen singing groups will make it through to the Grand Finals in London at the Royal Festival Hall on 28 October.

Full list of Category Finalists (Sorted by Category):

Children’s Category
Four Oaks Cluster Choir, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Heathmount School Bax Choir, Watton at Stone, Herts
Lindley JuniorqSchool Choir, Lindley, Huddersfield
Rosendale Chamber Choir, South Norwood, London

Youth Category
Cor y Cwm, Brynsadler, Pontyclun Rh.C.T
Methodist College Girls’ Choir, Belfast
Rainbow Connection Youth Choir, Doncaster
Ysgol Glanaethwy Juniors, Gwynedd, Wales

Adult Category
Choros Amici, Tutbury, Staffs
Les Sirenes, Glasgow
Surrey Hills Chamber Choir, Surrey
UCLAN Chamber Choir, University of Central Lancashire, Preston

Open Category
The Alleycats, St Andrews, Fife
The Oxford Gargoyles, Oxford
The Voice Squad, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Ysgol Glanaethwy Senior Choir, Gwynedd, Wales

The Choir of the Year Competition is the largest competition of its kind in the UK, attracting the very best singing groups who compete for the accolade ‘Choir of the Year’. The Competition’s first rounds were held at venues across the UK, with only a select sixteen groups proceeding to the Category Finals. Here the choirs will be judged by a panel of three highly accredited judges: Shirley Court, Stuart Barr and Paul Mealor.
Much is at stake with only six choirs - one from each category and two “wildcards” - proceeding to the Grand Final at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on 28 October where west end and Broadway star Ruthie Henshall is confirmed to be a judge. The competition is recorded and broadcast by the BBC in a special Choir of the Year 2012 programme on BBC FOUR.

Paul Mealor said: 'I'm so thrilled to be helping judge this fantastic event - something I've followed and loved for years! This competition really shows off the very best in choral singing and lets the world see and hear how great our choirs really are.'

Ticket Details:
The day will be split into two sessions
Morning: starts 2:00pm – Children’s and Open Category Finals
Afternoon: starts 7:00pm – Youth and Adult Category Finals
Tickets from just £10

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Press information

Jack Hickmott 020 7221 7883
Helen Price 020 7313 6273

The Selection Process
The Selection Process takes place in three stages:

  • Audition Stage
    Choirs compete for the opportunity to become Choir of the Day in their category and progress to the next round of the competition.

  • National Selection Stage
    All Choirs of the Day go forward to the National Selection Stage. A team of adjudicators will listen to recordings made of the choirs at the Auditions and choose four choirs in each of the four categories to go through to Category Finals

  • Category Finals
    Sixteen choirs, four from each category, will compete in the Category Finals at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on 6 October 2012 to pick six choirs to go through to the Choir of the Year Grand Final, which will be held at the Royal Festival Hall, London on 28 October 2012.

The 2012 competition categories are:

  • Open Choirs - There are no upper or lower age limits in this category. It's ideal for singing groups which include children and adults, specialise in a particular cultural tradition or style of repertoire.
  • Children’s Choirs - Majority of singers 12 and under
  • Youth Choirs - Majority of singers 18 and under
  • Adult Choirs – Same or mixed voices

About Choir of the Year (
Choir of the Year is the UK’s national amateur group singing competition and the foremost competition of its kind – winning the competition is the ultimate achievement for any UK choir.

Over 150 choirs of all ages and music styles performed at regional auditions at major venues across the UK from January to March 2012. The sixteen category finalists seleted from the auditions are now winning to win a place in the Grand Final at the Royal Festival Hall on 28 October, broadcast by BBC FOUR. Competing choirs receive live feedback from esteemed judges at each event.

Since 1984 more than 130,000 singers of all ages have taken part in Choir of the Year, a biennial festival of singing, performing in a vast array of styles – pop, gospel, barbershop, classical and World music. It is FREE to enter and choirs get to perform to a live audience and have expert judges provide live feedback and written guidance notes following the heat. Choir of the Year is more than a competition and helps choirs
to become the best they can, providing the opportunity for singers of all ages and backgrounds to meet and exchange ideas, it raises the aspirations of thousands of singers by promoting teamwork, dedication and a passion for singing.

Choir of the Year is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


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