2016 Choir of the Year


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2016

Josie d'Arby presents highlights from the UK's most prestigious choir competition at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, as six choirs battle it out in the 2016 Grand Final.


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Tonight, the Wales Millennium Centre in the heart of Cardiff Bay

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plays host to the Grand Final of Choir of the Year 2016.

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Six of the UK's best amateur choirs are going to sing for one of

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the most coveted prizes in choral music.

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Welcome to Choir of the Year 2016.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Hello and a very warm Welsh welcome to the Wales Millennium Centre for

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this Grand Final of Choir of the Year 2016.

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I'm Josie d'Arby and I'm delighted to be presenting again this year

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and even more delighted to be joined

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by star of stage and screen, the wonderful Julian Ovenden.

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Thanks, Josie, that's very kind of you.

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Julian, you're a former chorister,

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so you must understand what's so special about singing together.

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Yes, singing is one of the great joys in life.

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I think that joy is magnified when you sing together.

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And although we are in a competition here I would urge all the choirs

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to really savour this experience

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-and allow themselves to be carried away by the music.

-Absolutely.

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I think they'll just do that.

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Singing in a choir is such a special thing.

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For all of today's choirs,

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this final is the culmination of months of hard work.

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Since entering the competition earlier this year,

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they've had to win through three selection rounds.

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Choirs can enter in four different categories and today we're going

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to hear the winners from the Children's, Youth,

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Adult and Open categories.

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They are joined by two additional choirs who were selected

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as wild cards by the jury.

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I was lucky enough to be at the category finals in October

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at Birmingham's Symphony Hall and I can tell you

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that we are in for a real treat tonight,

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so let's introduce the six Grand Finalists.

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The first choir to compete comes from the Rhondda Valley

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in South Wales. Cor Y Cwm.

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From Doncaster, and previous finalists,

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Rainbow Connection Singers.

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Next, a children's choir from Jersey,

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Musical Originals Training Choir.

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Carrying the flag for male voice choirs, Johns' Boys

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from North Wales.

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Next, a female barbershop choir, from Leeds, The White Rosettes.

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And finally from Newcastle upon Tyne, an a cappella group,

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Voices Of Hope.

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Six very special and very individual choirs.

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To win the 2016 Choir of the Year title, each of them will have

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to impress a distinguished panel of judges.

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It's quite a line-up.

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Conductor and musical director Harry Christophers,

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founder of celebrated choir The Sixteen.

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Whatever choir's onstage, I want to see their personalities come alive

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to me and to the audience and we feel very much part of them.

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Danielle de Niese,

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critically acclaimed operatic soprano.

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We'll be looking for a tremendous sense of intonation,

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that kind of intonation that gives you goose bumps.

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And even if you're not a musician you know what that feels like.

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When you hear perfect intervals of harmony between different voices,

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it makes your hair stand on end.

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Choral director, Tim Rhys-Evans,

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founder of Only Men Aloud.

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I'll be looking for great vocal technique, great ensemble,

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and I'll be looking for passion and entertainment.

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And Eska, a singer-songwriter who's been working with choirs

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for the past 25 years.

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A great choir and a great choir sound is one that can be able

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to actually touch people's hearts.

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I haven't even met the choirs yet and I'm getting excited by

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the voices I'm hearing through the walls.

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So goodness knows how it's going to be

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when we get in the main space.

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Now, before we hear our first choir I'd like to introduce you

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to another member of our presenting team, Lloyd Coleman.

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Lloyd, you've been waiting patiently backstage and you're going to be

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chatting to the choirs throughout the day. How are they all feeling?

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Hello, Josie.

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Yes, the choirs are incredibly excited and really pumped up to get

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on that stage. And that's despite the fact that many of them have been

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travelling since the crack of dawn this morning,

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hundreds of miles across the UK to be with us here tonight in Cardiff.

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I popped into rehearsals earlier today.

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All of them are sounding suitably excellent.

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'I think they are all really helped by the fact that they know

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'they have done really well to get to this stage in the competition'

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and they just really want to bring their A game tonight.

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You are going to be talking to them after they've performed.

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I'm sure you're going to have a great time, Lloyd,

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and I'm looking forward to having a chat with you

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after the first choir.

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So it's time to get started.

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The first choir we're going to hear are enjoying a home fixture

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this evening, as they've come from just up the road

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in the Rhondda Valley.

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And I'm hoping they've brought a few supporters with them too.

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Am I right?

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CHEERING

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Winners of the Youth category in this competition back in October,

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earning them a place in tonight's grand final,

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it's Cor Y Cwm.

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CHORAL SINGING

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The Rhondda Valley in South Wales is a predominantly

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English-speaking area, but in 2009, two teachers set about

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forming a choir as a vehicle to promote the Welsh language.

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'We have five Welsh medium primary schools in the Rhondda and we

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'took ten singers from each school.'

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They don't have parents who speak Welsh and the only chance

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they get to speak Welsh is in school.

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And to give them opportunities is absolutely amazing, that they

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can speak Welsh outside of school.

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'And originally it was meant just to come together and sing

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'and see how it goes but the choir has gone from strength to strength.'

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'Cor Y Cwm Really does love the Welsh language'

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and you can tell that because we all speak the Welsh language

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whenever we're together.

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The success of the choir also relies on the continued support

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of family members.

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'To do it in Welsh and then to be in competitions where there are

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'choirs coming from all over the place,'

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they get new dresses,

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we travel up, we book a meal and make it an occasion for them.

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'We couldn't exist without the support of the parents.'

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The parents are fab and they come on every trip with us.

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They're always supporting us. You can always hear them.

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Yes, very noisy.

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Yes. We've always normally got about two buses taken away with us

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-wherever we go.

-Yeah. They know Cor Y Cwm, don't they?

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THEY SING

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'To win would be'

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an amazing experience and I wouldn't

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stop talking about it, I don't think.

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-They're always little winners in our hearts, aren't they?

-Yeah. They're brilliant.

-Brilliant.

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APPLAUSE

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# This little babe so few days old is come to rifle Satan's fold

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# All hell doth at his presence quake

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# Though he himself for cold do shake

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# For in this weak unarmed wise the gates of hell he will surprise

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# With tears he fights and wins the field

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# His naked breast stands for a shield

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# His battering shots are babish cries

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# His arrows, looks of weeping eyes

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# His martial ensigns, cold and need

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# And feeble flesh, his warriors steed.

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# His camp is pitched in a stall

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# His bulwark but a broken wall

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# The crib his trench Haystalks his stakes

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# Of shepherds he his muster makes

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# And thus, as sure his foe to wound

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# The angels' trumps alarum sound

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# My soul, with Christ join thou in fight

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# Stick to the tents that he hath pight

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# Within his crib is surest ward

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# This little babe will be thy guard

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# If thou wilt foil thy foes with joy

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# Then flit not from

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# This heavenly boy. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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JOSIE D'ARBY: Cor Y Cym with This Little Babe from Benjamin Britten's

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Ceremony Of Carols.

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Next, a carol by Alun Hoddinott, sung in Welsh,

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The Wondrous Night.

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THEY SING IN WELSH

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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And to finish, a song that's become an anthem for the choir,

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Un Ydym Ni, or We Are One.

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THEY SING IN WELSH

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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What a fantastic start to this Choir of the Year Grand Final.

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Diolch, Cor Y Cwm.

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It's always very affecting to hear young voices singing together

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and they certainly made an impression here in the hall.

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Harry, that last song translates as We Are One.

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Did that sense of togetherness and ensemble come across?

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It certainly did.

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What's really impressive is that you had a phenomenal dynamic range

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so when you got to those fortissimos you had the composure

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to go straight onto piano or mezzo piano,

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really beautifully, and I think that's pretty impressive.

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Tuning, beautiful. I really loved it.

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APPLAUSE

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Danielle, it sounds like they have a lot of fans here in the audience.

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-Will you be joining their army of fans?

-Absolutely, without a doubt.

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To take yourselves to a very strong dynamic and also really relish

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those beautiful hushed tones, I thought I was looking at angels.

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You had beautiful animated faces.

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It was wonderful to watch all of you.

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I can feel that you're having a good time. Brilliant, brilliant job.

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APPLAUSE

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Thanks, judges, for those comments, and thank you, Cor Y Cwm.

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So the standard has been set.

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Let's head backstage and join Lloyd who's with some of Cor Y Cwm.

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What an opening, as you say.

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And, Gavin, what a showcase for the Welsh language as well.

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Yeah, we were just so glad that we could perform two pieces in Welsh.

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And in front of such prestigious adjudicators as well.

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-And I think they tried their best and that's all we can ask for really.

-Absolutely.

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And is there anyone actually left in the Rhondda Valley this evening?

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-They're all here supporting you!

-I know.

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We have so many supporters here tonight.

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I hope we've made them proud.

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But we've really enjoyed tonight so I hope that everyone else

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has enjoyed, out there as well.

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I think they did, I think they did.

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And, We Are One, that last piece,

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you've made friends for life, it sounds like now.

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Yeah, I couldn't imagine my life without Cor Y Cwm so I'm just

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so happy that I could share it with everyone on that stage and I hope

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that it did came across to the audience

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and I hope they all enjoyed it as well.

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It certainly did, it certainly did. Thank you all so much.

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A wonderful start.

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APPLAUSE

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Thank you, Lloyd.

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Now, the next choir to perform are Rainbow Connection Singers.

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They're from Doncaster and are

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no strangers to this stage of the competition,

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having appeared in the Grand Final on two previous occasions.

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# I was sitting in my room when the news came on TV... #

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Rainbow Connection Singers have a history of success in Choir

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of the Year, having won the Open category in 2010 and 2014.

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'We've appeared in the final twice before.

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'The first time it was quite a shock.'

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We had lots of radio interviews and newspaper articles that followed and

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that was great because it brought us to the attention of people locally.

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'We've expanded massively choral singing in the area.'

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We now have ten choirs with an age range of five to 84.

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'It's about building aspiration and letting members of all the other

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'choirs know that with hard work and lots of rehearsal they too'

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could be a part of the Rainbow Connection Singers.

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# Flame on burn desire Love with tongues of fire

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# Purge the soul... #

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'I joined the junior choir in 2010.

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'As a junior choir member, you know that the Singers'

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is what is going to come in the future for you

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so sitting and looking at the Singers,

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'they're like rock stars.

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'I am now that senior choir member that I'

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so desperately wanted to be like.

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# With my undying death-defying love for you... #

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'We're always looking for songs that have something to say,

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'that have a story to tell,'

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because we're always interested in the narrative.

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'Our first piece today is The Power Of Love, originally recorded by

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'Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

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'It's mainly about good and evil'

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and that love is the answer to everything.

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'I was born in Cardiff and I feel so proud to be able to bring'

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Rainbow Connection Singers to Cardiff to show off to all

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'my friends how brilliant the Rainbow Connection Singers are.'

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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# Dreams are like angels They keep bad at bay

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# Love is the light Scaring darkness away

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# I'm so in love with you

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# Make love your goal

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# The power of love

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# A force from above

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# Cleaning my soul

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# Flame on burn desire

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# Love with tongues of fire

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# Purge the soul

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# Make love your goal

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# I'll protect you from the hooded claw

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# Keep the vampires from your door

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# When the chips are down I'll be around

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# With my undying death-defying love for you

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# Envy will hurt itself

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# Let yourself be beautiful

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# Sparkling light

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# Flowers and pearls and pretty girls

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# Love is like an energy

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# Rushing in, rushing inside of me

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# Mmmmm

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# The power of love

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# A force from above

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# Cleaning my soul

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# Flame on burn desire

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# Love with tongues of fire

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# Purge the soul

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# Make love your goal

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# This time we go sublime

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# Lovers entwine Divine, divine

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# Love is danger Love is pleasure

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# Love is pure The only treasure

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# I'm so in love with you

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# Make love your goal

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# The power of love

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# A force from above

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# Cleaning my soul

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# The power of love

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# A force from above

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# A sky-scraping dove

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# Flame on burn desire

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# Love with tongues of fire

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# Purge the soul

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# Make love your goal

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# Make love

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# Your goal. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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JOSIE D'ARBY: Rainbow Connection Singers and their take

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on Frankie Goes To Hollywood's '80s hit The Power Of Love.

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Next, a powerful medley in response to the current refugee crisis.

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This is Displaced.

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# It was a slow day

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# And the sun was beating

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# On the soldiers on the side of the road

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# There was a bright light

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# A shattering of shop windows

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# The bomb in the baby carriage

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# Was wired to the radio

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-# When your dreams

-Don't give up

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-# Are blown sky-high

-Don't give up

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-# When your dreams

-Don't give up

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-# Are blown sky-high

-Don't give up

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# Don't give up Don't give up

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# Don't give up Don't give up

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-# Got to walk out of here

-Don't give up

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-# I can't take any more

-Don't give up

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-# Going to stand on that bridge

-Don't give up

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# Don't give up

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-# Keep my eyes down below

-Don't give up

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# Don't give up

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-# Whatever may come

-Don't you give up

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# Don't you give up

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-# And whatever may go

-Don't you give up

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# Don't you give up

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-# That river's flowing

-Don't you give up

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# Don't you give up Don't you give up

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# A different sky

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# New worlds to gaze upon

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# The strange excitement of an unfamiliar shore

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# One more goodbye

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# One more illusion gone

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# Just cut your losses and begin once more

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# I'm a cork on the ocean

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# Floating over the raging sea

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# How deep is the ocean?

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# How deep is the ocean?

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# I'm leaving my family

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# Leaving all my friends

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# My body's at home

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# But my heart's in the wind

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# Where the clouds are like headlines

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# Upon a new front page sky

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# My tears are salt water

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# And the moon's full and high

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# And the fog's lifting

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# The sand's shifting

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# I'm drifting on out

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# Old Captain Ahab's got nothing on me

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# So swallow me

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# Don't follow me

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# I'm travelling alone

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# Blue water's my daughter

0:25:550:25:58

# And I'll skip like a stone

0:25:580:26:03

# Love and mercy

0:26:030:26:05

-# That's what you need tonight

-Love and mercy

0:26:050:26:11

# Love and mercy

0:26:110:26:13

-# That's what you need tonight

-Love and mercy

0:26:130:26:18

# Love and mercy tonight. #

0:26:180:26:25

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:26:250:26:28

JOSIE D'ARBY: Now, they've appeared in the Choir of the Year Grand Final

0:26:380:26:42

on two previous occasions,

0:26:420:26:43

so I know they mean it when they sing Don't Give Up.

0:26:430:26:47

Tim, did they draw you into their world today?

0:26:470:26:50

Utterly, yes. It was powerful stuff.

0:26:500:26:54

Sometimes that sort of choral-ography, as it's known,

0:26:540:26:58

can be meaningless, but when you do it, every movement,

0:26:580:27:03

every bit of staging, came from a real place of intention.

0:27:030:27:08

Not only that, your harmonic language that you employed

0:27:080:27:13

in both arrangements was very, very complex.

0:27:130:27:16

The balance of parts was excellent.

0:27:160:27:19

And well done for taking on such a difficult subject matter

0:27:190:27:22

that is so relevant to our world, with the refugee crisis.

0:27:220:27:25

I was very moved. Well done. Bravo.

0:27:250:27:28

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:27:280:27:30

Eska, they've just performed a medley of classic songs

0:27:330:27:36

as well as a very sultry The Power Of Love. It's quite a bold mix.

0:27:360:27:40

You love to shake things up in what you do.

0:27:400:27:42

-Did the programme hang together for you?

-Incredibly well.

0:27:420:27:46

Can I join, please?

0:27:460:27:48

LAUGHTER

0:27:480:27:50

The movement and singing, you made it look so simple.

0:27:500:27:54

There were some really complicated things that you were doing,

0:27:540:27:58

not only in your voice but in your bodies,

0:27:580:28:00

you used your entire being in that performance

0:28:000:28:04

and it was completely thrilling. Thank you.

0:28:040:28:07

APPLAUSE

0:28:070:28:09

Thanks for those comments, judges,

0:28:090:28:11

and thank you, Rainbow Connection Singers.

0:28:110:28:14

So let's head backstage to join Lloyd.

0:28:180:28:21

Paul, we've become used to your amazing arrangements in this

0:28:210:28:24

competition but this one I think was particularly affecting.

0:28:240:28:28

Yes, it's been a surprise, really, because to be honest there wasn't

0:28:280:28:32

a note written until after the category final

0:28:320:28:34

for the Displaced arrangement.

0:28:340:28:36

It was lots of late nights and the choir worked

0:28:360:28:40

so hard to get it together. It's very difficult.

0:28:400:28:43

And I'm just so proud of them.

0:28:430:28:45

Amazing. And, Molly, you're a rock star now. You're in the choir!

0:28:450:28:48

I know, I'm so happy!

0:28:480:28:50

I mean, last time the singers did this,

0:28:500:28:52

I was still in the junior choir,

0:28:520:28:53

and I found myself watching the footage

0:28:530:28:56

from the Grand Final over and over

0:28:560:28:58

and over again, thinking, "I'm going to be that in two years!"

0:28:580:29:00

So, you know, it's fantastic.

0:29:000:29:02

I love, love, love being in this choir.

0:29:020:29:04

-Congratulations. And, Helen, welcome home.

-Thank you very much.

0:29:040:29:08

I don't know how I got through that, it was quite emotional.

0:29:080:29:11

And are you going to give Eska some tips when she joins as well?

0:29:110:29:14

LAUGHTER She's welcome to join.

0:29:140:29:15

-We'd love to have her.

-Very good, thank you, back to you.

0:29:150:29:18

Thanks, Lloyd. It's great to hear that excitement and emotion.

0:29:180:29:21

Now, this next choir left home two days ago and tonight we're here

0:29:210:29:24

to witness the next chapter in their exciting musical journey.

0:29:240:29:28

Winners of Choir Of The Year children's category,

0:29:280:29:31

all the way from Jersey, they are Musical Originals Training Choir.

0:29:310:29:35

# There was an old man called Michael Finnegan

0:29:400:29:42

# He grew whiskers on his chin-ne-gan

0:29:420:29:44

# The wind came up and blew them in again... #

0:29:440:29:46

We're the Musical Originals Training Choir and we are from Jersey.

0:29:460:29:50

# There was an old man There was an old man... #

0:29:500:29:52

JOSIE: Musical Originals Training Choir brings together children from

0:29:520:29:56

all over the 46 square miles of Jersey and mixes up

0:29:560:30:00

the traditional classroom barriers with an age range of 7 to 13.

0:30:000:30:05

I just love the community of the choir

0:30:050:30:08

and we're all just like one big family.

0:30:080:30:11

# He kicked up an awful din-ne-gan

0:30:110:30:13

# Because they said he must not sin again... #

0:30:130:30:15

We get to meet up with our mates and we get to make lots of new

0:30:150:30:17

friends, so it's been lots of fun.

0:30:170:30:20

# Finnegan, Finnegan, Finnegan... #

0:30:200:30:21

We have a senior girls choir,

0:30:210:30:23

and we decided to start a training choir because the girls

0:30:230:30:25

coming into choir at secondary school level,

0:30:250:30:28

we just felt needed a bit of training really

0:30:280:30:31

before they started the senior choir and so we start them very young.

0:30:310:30:35

The training choir now has taken on a life of its own.

0:30:350:30:38

# And she... #

0:30:380:30:40

It's unauditioned and so it's open to all, really.

0:30:400:30:42

As long as they're prepared to work hard and they love to sing,

0:30:420:30:45

then we're really happy to have them.

0:30:450:30:47

# There was an old man There was an old man

0:30:470:30:49

# There was an old man There was an old man called... #

0:30:490:30:51

OK, good.

0:30:510:30:53

There's loads of recordings on YouTube and everywhere

0:30:530:30:55

of choirs singing this desperately badly

0:30:550:30:58

and we do not want to be one of those choirs.

0:30:580:31:00

And...

0:31:000:31:03

We work really hard and we practise nearly every day, well, we try to!

0:31:030:31:08

ALL SING

0:31:080:31:10

Just because they're children,

0:31:100:31:11

we don't expect them not to achieve artistic excellence

0:31:110:31:14

and they have sung some really difficult contemporary music

0:31:140:31:17

by the time they even get to the age of 11 or 12.

0:31:170:31:20

# Home time at last Class lessons are so long

0:31:200:31:23

# You wish so hard... #

0:31:230:31:24

Our first piece is by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

0:31:240:31:27

and it's about the precious time that children have after they've

0:31:270:31:30

been let out of school and they're free for that precious moment.

0:31:300:31:33

# It's home time Home time... #

0:31:330:31:37

The child's voice is a thing of great beauty and it lasts for

0:31:370:31:40

such a short time, and we sing music that's always written for children.

0:31:400:31:44

# Home time

0:31:440:31:45

# Time Home time at last... #

0:31:450:31:47

I'm really proud to be representing Jersey because there's not

0:31:470:31:51

many choirs in Jersey and it's such a little place.

0:31:510:31:55

I just love singing and it's really exciting to have got so far

0:31:560:32:01

and I just want to get that step further.

0:32:010:32:04

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:32:040:32:08

# Home time Home time

0:32:120:32:16

# Home time Home time

0:32:160:32:19

# Home time Home time

0:32:190:32:23

# Home time at last Class lessons are so long

0:32:230:32:26

# You wish so hard the bell would ring

0:32:260:32:28

# That you get your sums all wrong

0:32:280:32:30

# And then the teacher's cross and makes a flabbergasted fuss

0:32:300:32:33

# He looks as if he's glad to go and see the back of us

0:32:330:32:37

# It's home time

0:32:370:32:39

# Home time Home time

0:32:390:32:43

# Home time

0:32:430:32:45

# Home time

0:32:450:32:47

# Home time-time

0:32:470:32:49

# Home time at last The sun shines through the door

0:32:490:32:53

# Inviting us by sea and local nature to explore

0:32:530:32:55

# And now I must make up my mind which way to wander back

0:32:550:32:59

# So, where does the beach go - by the bay?

0:32:590:33:01

# Or take the hillside track

0:33:010:33:03

# It's home time

0:33:030:33:05

# Home time Home time

0:33:050:33:09

# Home time

0:33:090:33:11

# Home time

0:33:110:33:13

# Home time-time

0:33:130:33:14

# Home time at last There's so much to do and see

0:33:140:33:18

# In the little time they leave us between the end of school and tea

0:33:180:33:21

# I race around the school yard I leap across the wall

0:33:210:33:24

# And then a certain stillness where only...

0:33:240:33:31

# It's home time

0:33:310:33:34

# Home time Home time

0:33:340:33:39

# Home time

0:33:390:33:45

# Time... #

0:33:450:33:49

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:33:490:33:52

JOSIE: Two folk songs next from the choir...

0:33:520:33:54

There Was An Old Man and This Old Man,

0:33:540:33:56

quite literally two for the price of one.

0:33:560:33:59

# There was an old man There was an old man

0:34:040:34:06

# There was an old man There was an old man

0:34:060:34:08

# There was an old man called Michael Finnegan

0:34:080:34:11

# He grew whiskers on his chin-ne-gan

0:34:110:34:13

# The wind came up and blew them in again

0:34:130:34:15

# Poor old Michael Finnegan

0:34:150:34:16

# Begin again, begin again Begin again

0:34:160:34:18

# There was an old man There was an old man

0:34:180:34:20

# There was an old man There was an old man

0:34:200:34:22

# This old man, he played one He played knick-knack on my drum

0:34:220:34:26

# With a knick-knack paddywhack Give the dog a bone

0:34:260:34:29

# This old man came rolling home

0:34:290:34:31

-# Rolling home

-Rolling home

0:34:310:34:33

-# Roll-ing home, puppa-puppa...

-Home

0:34:330:34:36

# There was an old man called Michael Finnegan

0:34:360:34:39

# He kicked up an awful din-ne-gan

0:34:390:34:41

# Because they said he must not sin again

0:34:410:34:43

# Poor old Michael Finnegan Begin again

0:34:430:34:45

# Finnegan, Finnegan Fi-Fi-Finnegan

0:34:450:34:47

# Finnegan, Finnegan Fi-Fi-Finnegan

0:34:470:34:49

# There was an old man called Michael Finnegan

0:34:490:34:52

# He went fishing with a pin-ne-gan

0:34:520:34:54

# Caught a fish but dropped it in again

0:34:540:34:56

# Poor old Michael Finnegan Begin again

0:34:560:34:58

# Finnegan, begin again Finnegan, begin again

0:34:580:35:00

# Finnegan, begin again

0:35:000:35:01

-# This old man

-This old man

0:35:010:35:03

-# He played three

-He played four

0:35:030:35:04

# He played knick-knack on my door

0:35:040:35:06

# With a knick-knack paddywhack Give the dog a bone

0:35:060:35:08

# Give the dog a bone A bone

0:35:080:35:10

# A bone, a bone, a bone

0:35:100:35:12

-# Give the dog a bone

-Give the dog a bone

0:35:120:35:13

# Give the dog a bone A bone, a bone

0:35:130:35:15

# A bone, a bone

0:35:150:35:16

-# Grrrr!

-Grrrr!

0:35:160:35:19

# There was an old man called Michael Finnegan

0:35:190:35:21

# Climbed a tree and barked his shin-ne-gan

0:35:210:35:23

# Took off several yards of skin-ne-gan

0:35:230:35:26

# Poor old Michael Finnegan Begin again

0:35:260:35:28

# There was an old man called Michael Finnegan

0:35:280:35:30

# He grew fat and then grew thin again

0:35:300:35:32

# Then he died and had to begin again

0:35:320:35:34

# Poor old Michael Finnegan

0:35:340:35:37

# Rolling home

0:35:370:35:39

# Roll-ing home

0:35:390:35:44

# There was an old man There was an old man

0:35:460:35:48

# There was an old man

0:35:480:35:49

# This old man came roll-ing home Puppa-puppa-puppa...

0:35:490:35:52

-# Home

-Puppa-puppa-puppa-pah

0:35:520:35:55

# Home! #

0:35:550:35:56

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:35:560:35:59

JOSIE: A change of mood now for Musical Originals Training Choir

0:36:040:36:08

with the poignant and tender Prayer Of The Children by Kurt Bestor.

0:36:080:36:12

# Can you hear

0:36:120:36:18

# The prayer of the children

0:36:180:36:24

# On bended knee

0:36:240:36:29

# In the shadow of an unknown room?

0:36:290:36:34

# Empty eyes

0:36:350:36:39

# With no more tears to cry

0:36:390:36:43

# Turning heavenward

0:36:430:36:48

# Towards the light

0:36:480:36:52

# Crying, Jesus, help me

0:36:520:36:56

# To see the morning light of one more day

0:36:560:37:01

# But if I should die before I wake

0:37:010:37:07

# Give me loving arms

0:37:070:37:12

# Away from harm

0:37:120:37:17

# Whoa-oh

0:37:170:37:21

# Doh-doh-doh-doh

0:37:210:37:24

# Whoa, doh, doh-doh-doh

0:37:240:37:27

# Whoa, doh, doh, dah

0:37:270:37:31

# Dah-dah-dah-doh

0:37:310:37:36

# Can you hear

0:37:380:37:43

# The voice of the children?

0:37:440:37:49

# Softly pleading

0:37:490:37:54

# For silence in a shattered world?

0:37:550:37:59

# Angry guns

0:37:590:38:02

# Preach a gospel full of hate

0:38:020:38:05

# Blood of the innocent

0:38:060:38:10

# On their hands

0:38:100:38:13

# Crying, Jesus, help me

0:38:130:38:18

# To feel the sun again upon my face

0:38:180:38:23

# For when darkness clears I know you're near

0:38:230:38:29

# Bringing peace again

0:38:290:38:36

# Dali cujete

0:38:370:38:42

# Sve djecje molitve?

0:38:430:38:48

# Can you hear

0:38:490:38:54

# The prayer of the children? #

0:38:540:39:13

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:39:140:39:16

-MAN:

-Bravo!

0:39:300:39:32

CHEERING

0:39:320:39:34

The wonderful Musical Originals Training Choir.

0:39:410:39:44

I think they've just made Jersey very proud. Harry.

0:39:440:39:48

Oh, it was absolutely brilliant.

0:39:480:39:49

You're so young and that last piece takes you into many, many parts

0:39:490:39:53

and it was quite amazing.

0:39:530:39:55

We're talking about choirs today, but real praise to your conductor.

0:39:550:39:58

You composed the children so well, but you made them all feel at ease

0:39:580:40:03

and that's really important on such a big stage.

0:40:030:40:05

Top marks.

0:40:050:40:06

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:40:060:40:09

Eska, let me come to you.

0:40:110:40:12

It's such an exciting opportunity and probably a bit scary

0:40:120:40:16

for a young choir like this to perform in such a big venue.

0:40:160:40:20

You were so incredibly articulate.

0:40:200:40:23

The way that you delivered those lyrics, especially that last song.

0:40:230:40:27

This actually reminds us of the power of singing and choral singing

0:40:270:40:31

because it's beyond what we can just talk about in words.

0:40:310:40:36

You were able to sing it and really reach hearts and minds.

0:40:360:40:39

Thank you so much.

0:40:390:40:41

-Here, here.

-I agree.

0:40:410:40:43

The Musical Originals Training Choir!

0:40:460:40:48

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:40:480:40:51

Let's head backstage,

0:40:510:40:53

where some of Musical Originals Training Choir have joined Lloyd.

0:40:530:40:56

They have indeed.

0:40:570:40:58

Yes, and, well, I can't imagine how you must be feeling.

0:40:580:41:02

You've just performed at the Choir Of The Year final, how was that?

0:41:020:41:05

It was amazing, um...

0:41:050:41:07

It's just so nerve-racking before you go on,

0:41:070:41:10

but then now we've come off it, it's just...overwhelming!

0:41:100:41:13

I'm sure, but you looked as cool as anything.

0:41:130:41:16

Freddie, how was that for you?

0:41:160:41:17

Yeah, it was quite joyful to get all the nerves out and...yeah.

0:41:170:41:22

-D'you feel like you're on top of the world now?

-Yeah, pretty much.

0:41:220:41:25

-LAUGHTER

-And, Imogen, I mean,

0:41:250:41:27

such an ambitious programme,

0:41:270:41:29

but it just goes to show that young people can rise to the challenge.

0:41:290:41:33

They really can.

0:41:330:41:34

I never talk down to the children and I don't expect them not to be

0:41:340:41:37

as good as they possibly can be, however young they are.

0:41:370:41:39

The children aced it, I was so proud of them.

0:41:390:41:42

I was so proud to be on that stage with these children from

0:41:420:41:45

the tiny island of Jersey, it was immense.

0:41:450:41:47

You've made Jersey extremely proud, well done all of you.

0:41:470:41:50

APPLAUSE

0:41:500:41:52

Thank you, Lloyd and Musical Originals Training Choir.

0:41:520:41:55

Now it's time to meet the first of our two wild card finalists.

0:41:550:41:58

Even though they didn't win their category, they did enough to

0:41:580:42:01

impress the jury and secure their place here in Cardiff.

0:42:010:42:03

And it may be worth mentioning at this point that the last

0:42:030:42:06

three winners of Choir Of The Year were wild cards themselves.

0:42:060:42:09

It's been quite a year for this choir.

0:42:090:42:11

They've been together less than 12 months and their very first

0:42:110:42:14

public performance was at the Choir Of The Year auditions.

0:42:140:42:17

From Rhosllanerchrugog near Wrexham,

0:42:170:42:19

or just plain Rhos as it's known locally, it's Johns' Boys.

0:42:190:42:23

MEN SING

0:42:280:42:31

I grew up in the...

0:42:370:42:38

Well, some say I've never grown up, to be honest with you,

0:42:380:42:41

but I grew up in the male voice choir, I joined my father's choir

0:42:410:42:45

when I was 16, and I got so much out of that.

0:42:450:42:47

North Wales was once rich with male voice choirs

0:42:490:42:52

with strong ties to the coal and steel industries.

0:42:520:42:55

The factories have largely disappeared,

0:42:550:42:58

but the choral tradition remains and,

0:42:580:43:00

just a few months ago, a new choir was formed,

0:43:000:43:03

Johns' Boys, named after two much-loved local choir leaders.

0:43:030:43:07

The choir was named in part after my father,

0:43:090:43:12

who was John Glyn Williams, and the other was John Tudor Davies,

0:43:120:43:15

they were both friends.

0:43:150:43:17

The choir rehearse at the local miners' institute

0:43:170:43:20

known as "the Stiwt".

0:43:200:43:22

The Stiwt is a vital part of the community,

0:43:220:43:26

but also vital to male voice choirs.

0:43:260:43:28

It was built in 1926 by the miners locally deducting a penny

0:43:280:43:33

from their wages to build the place

0:43:330:43:35

and, really, it is important for us as a community because it closed

0:43:350:43:38

in the 1970s when the pits closed here and the steelworks.

0:43:380:43:42

MEN SING

0:43:420:43:45

The local authority wanted to demolish it and a group of us

0:43:450:43:48

got together, raised money and it's been open now

0:43:480:43:52

for the last 20 years or so.

0:43:520:43:53

Nearly all the choirs rehearse there

0:43:530:43:55

and it's the heart of the community for most of us.

0:43:550:43:58

MEN SING

0:43:580:44:00

That's the idea. Make sure...

0:44:020:44:03

Aiming to keep the male voice tradition alive,

0:44:030:44:05

Johns' Boys has set about recruiting a new generation of singers.

0:44:050:44:10

The way life has changed for young people these days,

0:44:110:44:14

they're very busy, I felt it was important to keep those involved

0:44:140:44:18

in traditional singing.

0:44:180:44:19

MEN SING

0:44:190:44:22

We do have a lot of fun and the generation gap

0:44:220:44:24

doesn't seem to be there.

0:44:240:44:25

Can you do this for me...?

0:44:250:44:27

ALED SINGS

0:44:270:44:30

-MAN:

-No.

-ALL LAUGH

0:44:300:44:33

Here we go, ready?

0:44:350:44:36

I think it's really important

0:44:360:44:37

that we keep this male voice tradition going.

0:44:370:44:40

My dad was a big part of my life,

0:44:410:44:43

a big part of the community as well, and I think

0:44:430:44:45

he would be proud of what we're doing

0:44:450:44:47

and it would be a dream come true if we were to manage to win it.

0:44:470:44:50

ALL SING

0:44:510:44:54

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:44:560:44:59

# Glory and love to the men of old

0:45:140:45:18

# Their sons may copy their virtues bold

0:45:180:45:22

# Courage in heart and a sword in hand

0:45:220:45:26

# All ready to fight All ready to die for Fatherland

0:45:260:45:30

# Now to home again

0:45:300:45:33

# We come, the long and fiery strife of battle over

0:45:330:45:38

# Rest is pleasant after

0:45:380:45:41

# Toil as hard as ours beneath a stranger sun

0:45:410:45:44

# Beneath a wild and stranger sun Many a maiden fair

0:45:440:45:49

# Is waiting here to greet her truant soldier lover

0:45:490:45:53

# And many a heart will fail and brow

0:45:530:45:56

-# Grow pale to hear

-To hear

0:45:560:45:59

# To hear the tale of cruel peril he has run

0:45:590:46:02

# And many a heart

0:46:020:46:04

# And many a heart will fail and brow grow pale

0:46:040:46:07

# To hear the tale of peril he has run

0:46:070:46:10

# We are at home

0:46:100:46:12

# We are at home, we are at home We are at home

0:46:120:46:16

# Glory and love to the men of old

0:46:160:46:21

# Their sons may copy their virtues bold

0:46:210:46:24

# Courage in heart and a sword in hand

0:46:240:46:29

# All ready to fight for Fatherland

0:46:290:46:31

# All ready to fight All ready to die for Fatherland

0:46:310:46:35

# All ready to fight All ready to die

0:46:350:46:38

# All ready to die

0:46:380:46:40

# For Fa-ther-land. #

0:46:400:46:49

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:46:490:46:52

JOSIE: From Gounod's rousing Soldier's Chorus

0:46:560:46:59

to a delicate Russian prayer next.

0:46:590:47:01

# Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Gospoda

0:47:040:47:14

# Blagosloven esi, Gospodi

0:47:140:47:23

# Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Gospoda

0:47:230:47:33

# I vsya vnutrennyaya moya

0:47:330:47:39

# Imya svyatoe Ego

0:47:390:47:46

# Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Gospoda

0:47:470:47:57

# I ne zabyvai vsekh vozdayanii Ego

0:47:570:48:05

# Ochishtayushtago vsya bezzakoniya tvoya

0:48:050:48:15

# Istselyayushtago vsya nedugi tvoya

0:48:150:48:23

# Izbavlyayushtago ot istleniya zhivot tvoi

0:48:230:48:33

# Venchayushtago tya milostiyu

0:48:330:48:42

# I shtedrotami

0:48:420:48:50

# Blagoslovi, dushe moya, Gospoda

0:48:520:49:03

# I vsya vnutrennyaya moya

0:49:030:49:09

# Imya svyatoe Ego

0:49:090:49:16

# Blagosloven esi

0:49:180:49:25

# Gospodi. #

0:49:250:49:40

APPLAUSE

0:49:410:49:45

JOSIE: And, to close their programme,

0:49:450:49:47

Johns' Boys turn to a popular Welsh folk song, Y March Glas -

0:49:470:49:51

The Prize Stallion.

0:49:510:49:52

# Gen i farch glas, a hwnnw'n towli

0:50:000:50:03

# 'Does dim o'i fath yn sir Aberteifi

0:50:030:50:05

# Ffal a rwdl didl dal Ffal a rwdl didl dal

0:50:050:50:07

# Ffal a rw, ho, ho! Ffal a rw, ho, ho!

0:50:070:50:10

# Ffal a rwdl didl dal

0:50:100:50:11

# Gen i gyfrwy newy' o groen ochr mochyn

0:50:120:50:15

# Ffrwyn dwbwl reins a gwarthol a sbardun

0:50:150:50:17

# Ffal a rwdl didl dal Ffal a rwdl didl dal

0:50:170:50:19

# Ffal a rw, ho, ho! Ffal a rw, ho, ho!

0:50:190:50:21

# Ffal a rwdl didl dal

0:50:210:50:23

# Gen i het silc o siop Aberhonddu

0:50:250:50:28

# 'Phrisiwn i fawr roi sofren amdani

0:50:280:50:30

# Ffal a rwdl didl dal Ffal a rwdl didl dal

0:50:300:50:33

# Ffal a rw, ho, ho! Ffal a rw, ho, ho!

0:50:330:50:35

# Ffal a rwdl didl dal

0:50:350:50:37

# Ffal a

0:50:370:50:38

# Gen i got fain o waith teiliwr Llunden

0:50:380:50:41

# Stitshoi'n dynn oboiti fy nghefn

0:50:410:50:43

# Ffal a rwdl didl dal Ffal a rwdl didl dal

0:50:430:50:45

# Ffal a rw, ho, ho! Ffal a rw, ho, ho!

0:50:450:50:47

# Ffal a rwdl, ffal a rwdl Ffal a rwdl, ffal a rwdl

0:50:500:50:53

# Ffal a rwdl didl dal

0:50:530:50:54

# Ffal a rw, ho

0:50:570:51:00

# Ffal a rw, ho

0:51:000:51:03

# Ffal a rw Ffal a rw

0:51:030:51:05

# Ffal a rwdl didl dal

0:51:050:51:07

# Ffal a rwdl didl dal

0:51:110:51:19

# Ho, ho, ho-o-o-o-o! #

0:51:190:51:23

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:51:230:51:26

Ladies and gentlemen, Johns' Boys!

0:51:300:51:32

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:51:320:51:34

Now, someone who certainly knows a thing or two about male voice choirs

0:51:370:51:40

is Tim Rhys-Evans.

0:51:400:51:42

Tim, you must be pleased to see this new choir helping to maintain

0:51:420:51:45

that rich Welsh male voice tradition?

0:51:450:51:48

Absolutely. Da iawn, boys. Great, robust sound.

0:51:480:51:53

Uh, great evenness of voice throughout the register,

0:51:530:51:56

from the bases to the fantastic ringing top B-flat in the Faust.

0:51:560:52:01

Superb. Going onto the Russian...

0:52:010:52:03

Bravo for taking on the Russian language and capturing

0:52:030:52:06

the colour of that Russian musical world, it... I just...

0:52:060:52:12

My hat off to you there.

0:52:120:52:14

In fact, I would've loved to have heard the Gounod in French as well

0:52:140:52:17

and taken us there.

0:52:170:52:19

-Da iawn.

-Thank you.

0:52:190:52:20

APPLAUSE

0:52:200:52:23

Thank you, Tim.

0:52:240:52:25

Ah, Danielle, not only did they present three contrasting pieces,

0:52:250:52:28

they also sang, as Tim mentioned, in three different languages.

0:52:280:52:31

Were you impressed with their linguistic skills?

0:52:310:52:34

I'm hugely impressed and I just wanted to say that

0:52:340:52:37

it is one of the things that we look for, as judges,

0:52:370:52:40

is great breadth of variation in the programme, and male voices,

0:52:400:52:46

we expect that robust sound, as Tim said,

0:52:460:52:49

what we don't expect is a sort of majesty,

0:52:490:52:52

but also an intimacy and to do that in three languages...

0:52:520:52:56

And I also would have liked to have heard the Faust in French -

0:52:560:52:59

I look forward to hearing it in the future.

0:52:590:53:00

So thank you very much.

0:53:000:53:02

Thanks, Tim and Danielle.

0:53:020:53:04

And...thank you to Johns' Boys!

0:53:040:53:06

-APPLAUSE

-Let's catch up with Johns' Boys,

0:53:060:53:09

who are hopefully backstage with Lloyd and not in the pub already!

0:53:090:53:13

-LAUGHTER

-Don't worry, they're not there just yet, although I hear

0:53:130:53:16

you've got an appointment with a hotel bar afterwards, Aled.

0:53:160:53:19

Ooh, I don't know anything about that, mate.

0:53:190:53:21

Ooh, I haven't got a clue about that. I'll pass on that one.

0:53:210:53:23

You're the leader, you should know these things,

0:53:230:53:25

but you do know how to train a choir and Tim and Danielle,

0:53:250:53:28

obviously, are huge fans of that robust sound.

0:53:280:53:31

How did you create that in only a few months?

0:53:310:53:33

Yes, it's a heck of an achievement to form

0:53:330:53:36

-a choir February time and come all this way.

-Mm-hm.

0:53:360:53:40

But, luckily, we've got choirs in Wales, established choirs,

0:53:400:53:45

that show that with hard work you can achieve a heck of a lot.

0:53:450:53:48

Absolutely, and, Dylan,

0:53:480:53:50

a performance and a choir certainly worthy of your father's name.

0:53:500:53:53

-Merci beaucoup, um...

-LAUGHTER

0:53:530:53:56

-That's about as far as it goes...

-There you go.

0:53:560:53:59

I really appreciated the judges' comments and...

0:54:000:54:03

I felt quite emotional on the stage, I hope that connected with

0:54:030:54:06

the audience as well and I really enjoyed it.

0:54:060:54:09

Absolutely, and, Aled,

0:54:090:54:10

you were saying to me earlier that sort of inspiring the next

0:54:100:54:13

generation of male voice singers is an important part of this choir's,

0:54:130:54:17

you know, existence.

0:54:170:54:19

Yeah, very much so, and actually to ensure that the community,

0:54:190:54:22

you know, different generations,

0:54:220:54:23

we can actually enjoy music together and that's really important.

0:54:230:54:26

There's a marvellous tradition in Wales and it is a tradition

0:54:260:54:29

that we need to pass on.

0:54:290:54:30

We'll obviously learn some French as well. LAUGHTER

0:54:300:54:33

Absolutely, but I'll just say diolch for now, just the Welsh, thank you.

0:54:330:54:36

Dioch. APPLAUSE

0:54:360:54:39

Merci beaucoup to both of you.

0:54:410:54:43

Tim and Danielle, I hope you got your fix of French there.

0:54:430:54:46

Well done to Johns' Boys.

0:54:460:54:48

So, we've heard from the boys and now it's time for the girls

0:54:480:54:51

to show us what they're made of.

0:54:510:54:52

The penultimate choir to perform in this Grand Final

0:54:520:54:55

is a female barbershop chorus.

0:54:550:54:57

They made it here to Cardiff as one of two wild card selections.

0:54:570:55:01

From Leeds, they're the 75-strong The White Rosettes.

0:55:010:55:05

WOMEN SING

0:55:100:55:13

The White Rosettes are a barbershop chorus based in Leeds,

0:55:160:55:18

there's 72 members, all ranging from 18 to 84.

0:55:180:55:23

JOSIE: The White Rosettes are titans of the barbershop world.

0:55:230:55:26

They've won the ladies' British barbershop championships

0:55:260:55:30

an unprecedented 15 times and the secret of their success is

0:55:300:55:35

down to their technique.

0:55:350:55:36

Barbershop's a very different sort of singing,

0:55:360:55:38

it's four-part a cappella singing

0:55:380:55:40

and, because it's only four parts,

0:55:400:55:42

you can do it with four people, you can do it with 80 people.

0:55:420:55:44

The idea is that the four parts stack their notes together

0:55:440:55:48

to create harmonics,

0:55:480:55:50

so that we actually hear five and six notes at any one time.

0:55:500:55:53

That's the science of the sound that we try to make.

0:55:530:55:55

WOMEN SING

0:55:550:55:59

The magic thing about it is when you lock chords and you just get

0:56:030:56:06

the buzz in your ears and it just makes you tingle

0:56:060:56:09

and it's wonderful, it makes me happy.

0:56:090:56:12

WOMEN SING

0:56:120:56:15

There is a real science to the way you produce sound in the head

0:56:180:56:23

and then a science to matching that together when it's ensemble singing.

0:56:230:56:27

ALL SING

0:56:270:56:29

I praise each individual voice and, based on their own natural

0:56:290:56:33

resonance, I place them in a stack on the risers.

0:56:330:56:36

They are placed based on their own resonance in their head.

0:56:360:56:40

WOMEN SING

0:56:400:56:43

I try and make it my job to value everybody.

0:56:430:56:46

I think the stacking does that because it celebrates the voice

0:56:460:56:49

the way that it was built.

0:56:490:56:50

You analyse somebody's voice and celebrate how THEY sing,

0:56:500:56:53

not how you want them to sing.

0:56:530:56:54

WOMEN SING

0:56:540:56:57

It is a community, it is my life,

0:56:570:56:59

I've been doing this now for 34 years and it's the feel-good factor

0:56:590:57:03

of being within this marvellous beast that is

0:57:030:57:06

The White Rosettes.

0:57:060:57:08

WOMEN SING

0:57:080:57:10

The first song that we'll be singing in the final is Skyfall,

0:57:100:57:14

which is from the Bond movie, Skyfall.

0:57:140:57:16

# Stand tall and face it all together at Skyfall... #

0:57:160:57:18

It's quite sinister, has some sinister chording in it,

0:57:180:57:21

appropriately, cos it's Bond!

0:57:210:57:22

This one has become quite a favourite

0:57:220:57:24

and it's a really good opener.

0:57:240:57:26

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:57:270:57:31

# Wah-ah-ah-ah

0:57:380:57:43

# Doo-bah-doo, bah-doo

0:57:430:57:48

# Doo-bah-doo, bah-doo

0:57:480:57:54

-# Doo-bah-doo, bah-doo

-Bah-dah-doo-bah, bah-dah-doo-bah

0:57:540:58:00

# Buh-rum, buh-rum

0:58:000:58:05

# This is the end

0:58:050:58:10

# Hold your breath and count to ten

0:58:100:58:16

# Feel the earth move and then

0:58:160:58:21

# So overdue I owe them

0:58:210:58:28

-# Swept away, I'm stolen

-I am stolen, I am stolen

0:58:280:58:34

# Let the sky fall

0:58:340:58:37

# When it crumbles

0:58:370:58:40

# We will stand tall

0:58:400:58:42

# And face it all together

0:58:420:58:45

# Let the sky fall

0:58:450:58:48

# When it crumbles

0:58:480:58:51

# We will stand tall

0:58:510:58:53

# And face it all together

0:58:530:58:55

# At Skyfall

0:58:550:58:57

-# Doo-bah-doo, bah-doo

-Bah-dah-doo-bah, bah-dah-doo-bah

0:58:570:59:01

# At Skyfall

0:59:010:59:06

-# Skyfall is where we start

-Where we start

0:59:070:59:12

-# A thousand miles and poles apart

-A thousand miles and poles apart

0:59:120:59:18

# Where worlds collide and days are dark

0:59:180:59:21

# You may have my number You can take my name

0:59:210:59:25

# But you'll never have my heart

0:59:250:59:29

# Let the sky fall

0:59:290:59:32

# When it crumbles

0:59:320:59:35

# We will stand tall

0:59:350:59:38

# And face it all together

0:59:380:59:40

-# Let the sky fall

-Let the sky fall

0:59:400:59:43

-# When it crumbles

-When it crumbles

0:59:430:59:46

# We will stand tall

0:59:460:59:48

# We will stand and face it all together

0:59:480:59:50

# At skyfall

0:59:500:59:52

# Let the sky fall, let the sky fall

0:59:520:59:55

# We will stand tall

0:59:550:59:57

# At the fall, at the fall

0:59:571:00:01

# Oooh

1:00:011:00:03

# At skyfall

1:00:031:00:05

# Oooh

1:00:051:00:10

# At skyfall. #

1:00:101:00:22

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

1:00:231:00:26

Adele's Bond classic.

1:00:261:00:27

Next, an unexpected visit to the 16th century and Thomas Morley's

1:00:271:00:32

magical April Is In My Mistress' Face.

1:00:321:00:35

# April is in my mistress' face

1:00:351:00:41

# April is in my mistress' face

1:00:411:00:49

# April is in my mistress' face

1:00:501:00:59

# And July in her eyes hath place

1:00:591:01:05

# And July in her eyes

1:01:051:01:08

# And July in her eyes hath place

1:01:081:01:14

# Within her bosom

1:01:151:01:20

# Within her bosom

1:01:201:01:24

# Is September

1:01:241:01:34

# But in her heart

1:01:341:01:37

# But in her heart

1:01:371:01:42

# But in her heart a cold December

1:01:421:01:52

# But in her heart

1:01:521:01:55

# But in her heart

1:01:551:02:00

# But in her heart

1:02:001:02:03

# But in her heart a cold December. #

1:02:031:02:20

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

1:02:201:02:24

And to finish their programme,

1:02:241:02:26

a song written and made famous by Peggy Lee,

1:02:261:02:28

I Love Being Here With You.

1:02:281:02:31

# I love the east, I love the west

1:02:311:02:33

# And north and south, they're both the best

1:02:331:02:36

# But I only want to go there

1:02:361:02:38

# As a guest

1:02:381:02:39

# Cos I love being here with you

1:02:391:02:42

# I love the sea, I love the shore

1:02:421:02:45

# I love the rocks and what is more

1:02:451:02:48

# With you there they'd never be a bore

1:02:481:02:51

# Cos I love being here with you

1:02:511:02:54

# Just singing in the shower

1:02:541:02:56

# Laughing by the hour

1:02:561:02:58

# Life is such a breezy game

1:02:581:03:01

# Love all kinds of weather, as long as we're together

1:03:011:03:04

# I love to hear you say my name

1:03:041:03:07

# I love good wine and fine cuisine

1:03:071:03:10

# And candle light, I love the scene

1:03:101:03:13

# But, baby, if you know just what I mean

1:03:131:03:16

# I love being here with you, with you

1:03:161:03:19

# I love, love, love

1:03:191:03:21

# I love being here with you

1:03:211:03:24

# With you

1:03:241:03:25

# I want you so much more than the sun and the sky up above

1:03:281:03:32

# How I love, how I love

1:03:321:03:35

# How I love being here with you

1:03:351:03:37

# Baby, baby

1:03:371:03:39

# I'd love to sing in Basie's band a-swinging

1:03:391:03:41

# There's something else you know

1:03:411:03:44

# Oh yeah

1:03:441:03:45

# They know how to say it

1:03:451:03:47

# They just wind it up and let it go

1:03:471:03:50

# Wind it up and let it go, oh

1:03:501:03:53

# Been a lot of hours

1:03:531:03:56

# Waiting for the applause

1:03:561:03:59

# But, baby, don't you worry cos I'm still yours

1:03:591:04:02

# I love being here with you

1:04:021:04:05

# With you, the only one I love

1:04:051:04:08

# I love

1:04:081:04:11

# Cos being with you is what I love

1:04:111:04:15

# That's what I love

1:04:151:04:17

# Baby, that's what I love

1:04:171:04:23

# That's what I love. #

1:04:231:04:35

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

1:04:351:04:40

I think Julian loves being here with you ladies! That's what I'm saying!

1:04:501:04:55

Three very different pieces from three different centuries.

1:04:551:04:59

Eska, did they, for you, succeed in owning each piece?

1:04:591:05:02

Every piece.

1:05:031:05:05

You gave such emotion and such a sense of being really present

1:05:051:05:09

in that piece.

1:05:091:05:11

What a great delivery and celebration of lots of

1:05:111:05:15

different styles.

1:05:151:05:17

Harry, this choir has had enormous success in

1:05:171:05:20

barbershop competitions.

1:05:201:05:22

Did that experience shine through in their performance today?

1:05:221:05:24

Oh, it certainly did.

1:05:241:05:26

It's a pure velvet sound you make, which is so good.

1:05:261:05:29

And that comes so much from the lower voices,

1:05:291:05:31

really supporting everything that happens above them.

1:05:311:05:34

That was gorgeous.

1:05:341:05:35

Thanks very much, Harry and Eska.

1:05:351:05:37

Thank you again The White Rosettes.

1:05:371:05:39

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

1:05:391:05:43

Plenty of encouraging comments from the judges.

1:05:481:05:51

Let's join Lloyd backstage.

1:05:511:05:53

Thank you very much.

1:05:531:05:55

Well, Harry Christophers described your sound as pure velvet.

1:05:551:05:59

That scientific approach really paid off.

1:05:591:06:01

Well, yeah, it looks like it.

1:06:011:06:03

And what a great compliment that it's pure velvet.

1:06:031:06:06

And the work that we do

1:06:061:06:07

in developing our own individual resonance

1:06:071:06:09

to create the ensemble connection is something we take great pride in.

1:06:091:06:13

It's been such a thrill.

1:06:131:06:15

Absolutely. Jane,

1:06:151:06:16

what would it mean to add this Choir of the Year trophy to the cabinet?

1:06:161:06:19

We are within a barbershop style. We do that day in day out.

1:06:191:06:23

To be part of the talent that's been on that stage today and to be even

1:06:231:06:27

up against it, fantastic. Can't express it.

1:06:271:06:30

Wonderful.

1:06:301:06:31

Alice, it's your job to get these 70 ladies to each perform.

1:06:311:06:35

That's surely a full-time job by itself?

1:06:351:06:38

Pretty much, yes.

1:06:381:06:39

Basically, I make them scared of me so they do I need them to do

1:06:391:06:42

when I need them to do it.

1:06:421:06:43

It seems to work most of the time!

1:06:431:06:45

It certainly worked tonight. No messing with you guys.

1:06:451:06:47

-Thank you very much.

-ALL:

-Thank you.

1:06:471:06:49

So, we've come to the last choir in this Grand Final of

1:06:491:06:53

Choir of the Year 2016.

1:06:531:06:55

They were the winners of the adult category back in October.

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They're an a cappella or an unaccompanied chamber choir

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from Newcastle.

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They are called the Voices Of Hope.

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CHOIR SINGS

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We're a 20-piece chamber choir called Voices Of Hope

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and we're from the northeast of England.

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We formed five years ago.

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We were raising money for the British Heart Foundation

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on the first anniversary of my mother's death.

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It was initially just a one-off concert that we were going to

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do together, a group of friends.

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# On my own... #

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We thought it would be really nice to keep going.

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What's really great is that the second ever concert we did

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was an audition for Choir of the Year four years ago

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so it's nice that it's come full circle.

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# The man of the Pharisees... #

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There's something very special about singing in an a cappella choir.

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We trust each other and when we sing in a circle and smile at each other,

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we know we're going to create a really good sound.

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# Jesus was a man who desired to know

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# How man can... #

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In the five years since the choir was founded,

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Voices Of Hope have formed a strong relationship with

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one of the area's most iconic buildings, the Sage Gateshead.

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It's important to have a relationship with Sage Gateshead

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because quite a lot of us work there and I'm one of them.

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We are very proud to work in this building,

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which is a beacon for the northeast of music.

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We have a really great connection with the classical

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department and with the learning department and it gives us

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opportunities to sing in this incredible environment

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and gives us other opportunities outside of the building as well.

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We have this great connection with the northeast as a whole.

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We love singing the music from here and we love doing lots of

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community work. People in the northeast feel like we're theirs.

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It's a really nice feeling.

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Brill. Let's try it.

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And...

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CHOIR SINGS

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We're going to be singing a piece of music by Will Todd,

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who was born in Durham.

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The text of the piece, Christus Est Stella,

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was written by the Venerable Bede.

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There's an inscription of that engraved in Durham Cathedral

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so I think that anchors us in the northeast with that little

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piece of programming.

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To win Choir of the Year would mean an enormous amount.

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The people in this choir are so fantastic and they mean

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so much to me that I just want to win it for them.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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# Christus est stella

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# Matutina

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# Alleluia

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# Qui nocte saeculi transacta

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# Alleluia

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# Christus est stella

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# Matutina

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Lucem vitae

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# Lucem vitae

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# Sanctis promittit

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Et pandit aeternam

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# Et pandit aeternam

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# Alleluia

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# Christus est stella

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# Matutina

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia

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# Alleluia. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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In a programme of sacred music,

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Voices Of Hope turn next to the

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Estonian composer Arvo Part.

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THEY SING IN RUSSIAN

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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And the last song in this Grand Final is the popular spiritual,

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Witness.

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# There was a man of the Pharisees

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# His name was Nicodemus and he didn't believe

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# The same came to Christ by night

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# Wanted to be taught out of human sight

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# Nicodemus was a man who desired to know

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# How a man can be born when he is old

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# Christ told Nicodemus as a friend

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# "Man you must be born again"

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# He said, "Marvel not, man, if you wanna be wise

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# "Repent, believe and be baptized"

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# Then you'll be a witness

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# Then you'll be a witness for my Lord

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# Then you'll be a witness for my Lord

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# You'll be a witness

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# My soul is a witness for my Lord

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# You read about Samson, from his birth

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# He was strongest man that ever lived on Earth

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# Way back yonder in ancient times

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# He killed ten thousand of the Philistines

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# Then old Samson went wandering about

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# Samson's strength was never found out

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# Till his wife sat upon his knee

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# She said, "Tell me where your strength lies, if you please"

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# Now, Samson's wife, she talk so fair

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# Samson said, "Cut off my hair"

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# Cut it off

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# "Shave my head as you clean your hand

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# "And my strength will become like a natural man"

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# Samson was a witness, Lord

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# Samson was a witness, Lord

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# Samson was a witness, Lord

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# My soul is a witness for my Lord

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness for my Lord

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# My soul is a witness for my

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Lord. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Voices Of Hope bringing this Grand Final

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of Choir of the Year 2016 to a close.

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Tim, one of only two choirs this evening to sing

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completely unaccompanied.

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Fantastic. A sense of ensemble throughout all pieces.

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The Part and the Todd were particularly effective for me,

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really embracing the style of each of the three pieces. Bravo.

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Dani, as an opera singer, you need to know where your strengths lie

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and what repertoire is right for your voice.

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That's the same for a choir, isn't it?

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I heard one voice. I don't know if everybody feels the same way.

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The precision of your delivery gave you one voice.

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So, yes, you clearly know what your strengths are but I can't

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imagine what your weaknesses are.

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You have stunning, stunning diction.

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I didn't need to look at Witness at all. I heard every single word.

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Really fantastic. Fantastic work.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Voices Of Hope.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Let's head backstage one last time to Lloyd,

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who is with some of the choir.

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What a way to end this evening.

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Hannah, a ringing endorsement from the judges there of your choir.

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It's... We work so hard. We meet every week.

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We love spending time together.

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When other people tell us that it's good,

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it's just the nicest feeling.

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I bet.

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Lorna, was it quite difficult to be the last choir to perform

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this evening, watching all the other choirs and anticipation building up?

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Definitely.

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It's been an amazing day. Well done to all the rest of the choirs.

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It's been such a fantastic thing to watch, as well as be a part of.

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Simon, well, how do you feel?

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Tired!

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No, it's been a brilliant day.

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Very humbling just to be in the same room as all these other

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wonderful choirs.

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I just feel very proud of my singers.

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I think we were wonderful tonight, really excited for them.

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I should say at this time, just mention that the choir was set up

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in memory of my mum so my thoughts are with her a little bit as well.

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I hope she is proud of me.

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I'm sure. Very emotional. Thank you very much, Simon.

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While the jury leave to make their decision,

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time for a special performance.

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Earlier this year,

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saxophonist Jess Gillam reached the Grand Final of BBC Young Musician.

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Composer Jeremy Holland-Smith was inspired by her performance

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and wrote a piece with her in mind.

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She's going to give the world premiere now

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and is joined by organist Robert Court and six sopranos from

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CF1, winners of Choir of the Year 2014.

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THEY SING IN GERMAN

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APPLAUSE

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Now, before we hear the result, here's

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a quick reminder of the six choirs and the thoughts of the judges.

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First...

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The beautiful hushed tones of that second piece were really magical.

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Bringing this Welsh language.

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It's a difficult and extremely melodic language.

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It was lovely to hear. I wish I would be able to sing in Welsh.

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Maybe I will one day.

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They moved together like one living, breathing organism.

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It was so beautiful and spectacular to see.

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They display a tremendous musical maturity for once so young.

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And they bring all that beautiful sincerity to everything that

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they do.

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They've made a remarkable feat in that they make it look so easy.

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Johns' Boys had a terrific, robust operatic sound.

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I loved their well-supported singing and some fantastic voices in

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the choir yet you always felt that they were moving as one.

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You could really look at every single face and they were connected

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to what they were doing.

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You really see clearly with this group

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a group that love what they do and actually great entertainers.

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This is just a great ensemble.

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I shut my eyes at one point just to take in the music and I could

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hear all the chords beautifully, the blend, the ensemble.

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The precision and the variety of the programme,

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absolutely staggering.

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APPLAUSE

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What a final it's been.

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I'm delighted to say we have a decision.

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AUDIENCE: Ooh!

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Please welcome to the stage our jury,

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Eska, Tim Rhys-Evans, Danielle de Niese and Harry Christophers,

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who will announce the winner of Choir of the Year 2016.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Thank you so much.

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The winners of Choir of the Year 2016...

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..Voices Of Hope.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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APPLAUSE DROWNS SPEECH

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Voices Of Hope. Congratulations.

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Can you tell us what it means to be holding the trophy?

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Kind of lost for words.

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It means a great deal, obviously.

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You spend, as singers, most of your time thinking you're rubbish so...

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LAUGHTER

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To have these people say that you're OK is pretty special and

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my singers are amazing, amazing people.

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It's a joy to work with them.

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This is for you guys.

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Well done. Incredibly humble.

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You are a lot better than just OK, trust me!

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Once more for our winners, Voices Of Hope.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Please put your hands together for the representatives of our

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other our wonderful choirs, Cor Cwm,

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Rainbow Connection Singers, Musical Originals Training Choir,

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Johns' Boys and The White Rosettes.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Our congratulations again to our winners, Voices Of Hope,

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who are Choir of the Year 2016 and deservedly so.

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I'm sure you'll all agree that tonight has been

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a real celebration of choral singing at its very best.

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So, from all of us here at the Wales Millennium Centre, goodnight.

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Nos da.

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APPLAUSE

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness

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# There's another witness

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# For my Lord

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# My soul is a witness

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# For my

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# Lord. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Josie d'Arby is joined by Julian Ovenden to present highlights from the UK's most prestigious choir competition from the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Now in its 32nd year, Choir of the Year showcases the best in amateur choral singing from across the UK. Lloyd Coleman is backstage to bring all the excitement and will be speaking to the choirs themselves.

Competing in the 2016 Grand Final are the Musical Originals Training Choir from Jersey, The White Rosettes from Leeds, The Rainbow Connection Singers from Doncaster, Côr y Cwm from the Rhondda Valley, Johns' Boys from Rhosllanerchrugog and Voices of Hope from Newcastle. Who will impress the jury and walk away with the ultimate choral accolade?