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Registration to compete is open now.  Full application details:

20 December 2010: Choirs from all corners of the UK will be singing for success as they compete in the 15th biannual Choir of the Year competition, which takes place throughout 2012. The first auditions will be held at the Buxton Opera House in January 2012, with six more to take place around the country throughout February and March [Full regional auditions schedule below].

Successful choirs will have the opportunity to compete in the Category Finals at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on 6 October 2012, with the overall winners of the coveted title of Choir of the Year 2012 announced at the Grand Final at the Royal Festival Hall in London on 28 October. The Grand Final will also be broadcast on BBC television in the run up to Christmas.

Choir of the Year ( is the UK’s largest and most prestigious group singing competition and discovers the nation’s best amateur choirs. Over 6,000 singers of all ages and music styles reflecting the range and depth of music making in communities across the UK, from classical to pop and musical theatre, will battle it out for a place in the Grand Final. All styles and genres of music are represented, from Gospel to Barbershop, Folk Music to Show Choirs, and everything in-between.

At the regional auditions competing choirs will perform in front of a live audience and receive feedback from expert judges on their performance, with the best performances going through to the next rounds. Full details on the selection process are below. Registration to compete in next year’s competition is now open – full application details here:

Six finalists will compete for the overall title ‘Choir of the Year 2012’ at the Grand Final, performing alongside Grammy Award winning vocal ensemble The Swingle Singers – as heard on hit TV show Glee – who will give a special guest performance. The Final takes place in front of a live sell-out audience and is broadcast later on BBC FOUR.

Many professional Choirs in the UK have used this prestigious prize as a proving ground for the world-class quality of their performance, such as previous winners Chantage (BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year 2006) and London Adventist Chorale (Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year 1994) now regarded as among the finest Choirs in the world.

Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, Judge, said: “Many people don’t realise what an important part of life singing is. Whether it’s just singing your favourite pop song in the shower, or being part of choir singing along side many other people, the voice is the most accessible, most instinctual and most immediate form of expression a person has. Choir of the Year is a wonderful celebration of that fact, and year after year champions the very best choirs the UK has to offer.”

Greg Beardsell, Conductor of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and Choir of the Year host said: “The UK has one of the finest and most respected Choral traditions in the world and I am so privileged to be part of that tradition, working with young choral musicians across the country. However as well as the rich and wonderful heritage of British Choral singing there is also tremendous variety. From Barbershop to Gospel, Show Choirs to Folk Part Song, Choir of the Year celebrates choral singing in all it’s wondrous forms, allowing singers of all ages and abilities to showcase their talent.”

Composer and 2010 competition Judge Eric Whitacre said: “I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to be living in the UK, allowing me to hear choirs across the country and to work with some of them too. The British choral tradition should be absorbed and treasured; the skills and diversity of choral singing in the UK today are stunning. I am honoured to take my part in it.”

Dates and venues of all the competition events are listed on to reserve tickets call Kallaway Ltd, on 020 7221 7883. Information on tickets for the Category and Grand Finals will be posted on during the competition.

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Press information
Maxim Bendall 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.

  • Audition dates:
    29 January: Buxton Opera House
    4 February: The Anvil, Basingstoke
    5 February: Milton Keynes Theatre
    25 February: Warwick Arts Theatre
    4 March: Newcastle Theatre Royal
    11 March: Ulster Hall, Belfast
    7 March: Exeter University Great Hall

  • 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 Area Selections and choose four choirs in each of the four categories to go through to Category Finals

  • Category Finals
    Twenty-four choirs 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.

  • Categories
    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 will be performing at regional auditions at major venues across the UK from January to March 2012. The choirs are singing to win a place in the Grand Final at the Royal Festival Hall on 28 October, broadcast 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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