Choir of the year logo



Tickets go on sale as choirs get set to raise the roof of St Andrew’s Hall competing to become National Choir of the Year!

  • Auditions at St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich on Saturday 17 May
  • TICKETS £5 on sale now: or call 01603 508 050
  • Watch local choirs including Norwich High School Chamber Choir and Broadland Youth Choir as well as top groups from across the East and beyond
  • See expert judges Gillian Dibden MBE (International award-winning choral director) and Stuart Barr (Musical Director to Shirley Bassey and West End singing coach)
  • Audience members can release their inner divas and get singing with leading conductor and broadcaster Greg Beardsell
  • Big Big Sing workshops - sing to celebrate the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich will be alive with song on Sunday 11 May as the best singing groups from across the region take part in the prestigious National Choir of the Year competition. Tickets cost only £5 and give the public the chance to hear some of the best amateur music-makers in the country battle it out in one of the city’s most celebrated concert venues. They can be bought online now at or by calling 01603 508 050.

Seventeen talented singing groups with singers aged from three to 86 years old will be performing classical and contemporary choral music, pop arrangements and songs from around the world in an action-packed day. They are competing for the accolade of Choir of the Day and the chance to move a step closer to the coveted title of ‘National Choir of the Year 2014’.

Audiences also have the opportunity to sing along with conductor Greg Beardsell as he leads them through material from the Big Big Sing – a nationwide singing initiative launched in celebration of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Taking place at the end of each audition session, these fun and accessible workshops will give competitors and members of the public the chance to try their hand at singing songs from across the Commonwealth, from Canada to the Caribbean and Samoa to South Africa.

The National Choir of the Year competition is the largest and most celebrated of its kind in the UK and this year the very best singing groups will compete for the accolade. The auditions are held at venues across the UK with only the very best choirs making it through to the next round, the Category Finals, at London’s Festival Hall on Sunday 19 October. After that, just six choirs will make it through to the Grand Final at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on Sunday 7 December. The competition is recorded and will be broadcast by the BBC in special National Choir of the Year programmes on BBC FOUR and BBC Radio 3.

Mary King, regular Choir of the Year 2014 Judge said:
 ‘Choir of the Year is a fantastic showcase for the UK’s rich choral tradition and it allows singers of all ages and abilities to flaunt their talent. It always has tremendous musical variety and I’m looking forward to hearing everything from Beethoven to Bulgarian folk arrangements. Alongside traditional and popular repertoire, Choir of the Year has a knack of reclaiming neglected jewels - so I can't wait to see what’s on show!’

Svend Brown, Director of Big Big Sing, said:
‘At Big Big Sing our aim is to get as many people as possible singing and enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits of singing in 2014. The Big Big Sing workshops at the National Choir of the Year auditions are a fantastic way for us to connect with talented choirs across the country and we can’t wait to work with the National Choir of the Year and all the participants in this year’s competition over the next few months.’

For more information about the National Choir of the Year visit

To buy tickets for auditions at St John’s Smith Square on 11 May visit or call 020 7222 1061

To find out more about Big Big Sing visit

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Notes to editors

Twitter: @ChoiroftheYear
Hashtag: #choiroftheyear
Telephone: 020 7221 7883

Event Information
Morning Choir of the Year event:             9.30am – 1.30pm
Afternoon Choir of the Year event:          2.30pm – 6.00pm

Tickets per audition session: £5

Press information
George Eddy 020 7221 7883
Dominic Stockbridge 020 7221 7883

Choirs competing in the St Andrew’s audition are as follows:

Choir Category Choir home base

The Voice Squad Bethany’s Brigade


Bury St Edmunds




Out of the Shadows


Bury St Edmunds

Finborough School Choir



Thaxted Primary School



Colchester Royal Grammar School Chamber Choir



Broadland Youth Choir



Hymers College Junior School Choir



Semitone Singers



The Oxford Gargoyles



Lincoln Minster School Chamber Choir



Some Voices



Bourne Westfield Primary Academy Choir



Vision Choir



Ipswich Hospital Community Choir



The Notables



Norwich High School Chamber Choir



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

Since 1984 more than 130,000 singers of all ages have taken part in this biennial festival of singing, performing in a vast array of styles including pop, gospel, barbershop, classical and world music. Choirs perform to a live audience and have expert judges provide live feedback and written guidance notes following their performance.

The National 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.

The National Choir of the Year is supported by the Peter Sowerby Foundation and by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

About the Big Big Sing (
An initiative of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music, Big Big Sing is set to be one of the highlights of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme. It is funded by Spirit of 2012 Trust, Glasgow 2014, Creative Scotland, and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music. Big Big Sing are running a UK-wide programme to promote singing in the run up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, including the first in a series of Big Big Sing Days, the launch of the Big Big Commonwealth Songbook, and a Schools’ Songwriting Competition.

A series of Big Big Sing Days will be held across the country between February and July, welcoming participants of all ages and abilities to discover the joy of singing in some of the UK’s top music venues – no previous experience is required; singers can simply go along and enjoy a fun filled day packed with singing, workshops and a huge variety of music from across the Commonwealth.

Events kick off with Big Big Sing Days in Scotland’s largest cities before spreading across the UK. The National Choir of the Year will use extracts from the Big Big Sing songbook in audience workshops as part of its audition days.


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