School Choirs 2012 Junior Semi Final Songs of Praise


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School Choirs 2012 Junior Semi Final

Six of the best junior school choirs perform a hymn of their choice to impress judges Russell Watson, Suzi Digby and David Grant.


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It's the moment you've been waiting for -

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the School Choir of the Year competition. The tenth!

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A fantastic number of schools entered the competition

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and today, six of the very best junior school choirs have come

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to the Lowry Theatre in Salford, right opposite the home of BBC North

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to sing to win a place in the final.

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APPLAUSE

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Welcome to the Lowry Theatre

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for this first semi-final of the 2012 competition.

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These six junior school choirs are about to go head to head,

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singing with heart and soul,

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because only three of them can go through to the final in two weeks.

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Which choirs will it be?

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We have, from Yorkshire, St Martin's Ampleforth!

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From Hertfordshire, Heath Mount School!

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From Derry in Northern Ireland, it's St Patrick's Primary School!

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From Cambridgeshire, Gamlingay Village College!

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From Croydon, Coloma Convent Girls' School!

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And from Huddersfield, Lindley Junior School!

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I think they've brought along a few supporters!

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Before our choirs show off their choral skills in competition,

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here's your chance to sing along with our audience in the theatre.

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You'll know this hymn, I'm sure, and it should get things going.

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It's Give Me Joy In My Heart.

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You're all in very, very fine voice.

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Well done. Especially you, you'll be pleased to hear,

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But it's not me the choirs have to impress

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if they're going to progress beyond the semifinal. It's our judges.

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First, a vocal coach who has worked with some of the biggest names

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in the music industry - Will Young and Take That, to name just two.

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It is, of course, David Grant.

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APPLAUSE

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Our next judge couldn't be better qualified for the job -

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she's lived, breathed and created choirs

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and has a world-renowned reputation

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as a conductor and choral director. It is Suzi Digby.

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APPLAUSE

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And finally, ladies and gentlemen,

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it's a local boy who knows a thing or two about singing.

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He's performed to royalty, presidents and even the Pope.

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Please welcome the people's tenor, Russell Watson.

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APPLAUSE

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David, what are you looking for?

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We're going to be looking for excellence, energy,

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connection with the text,

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a choir that lives and breathes

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what they're singing, that are really tight, really together,

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really accurate and that make us feel tingles.

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Suzi?

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For me, all the technical stuff needs to be in place,

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but most important is the integrity

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of the interpretation of the text.

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-Russell?

-I want those lovely little faces to make me smile.

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LAUGHTER

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I'll try my hardest, Russell!

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OK, choirs, now you know. Thank you, judges.

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Here's where the competition truly starts.

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Each of our six choirs will sing their choice of hymn.

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Based on that performance alone,

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the judges will select three choirs to go into the final.

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Going first, a choir who made the final three last year.

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Will they go one better? It's Heath Mount School from Hertfordshire.

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# Dance, then, whenever you may be

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# I am the Lord of the dance, said he...#

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The whole competition is something they've really looked forward to.

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All the way from September, they said,

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"Are we going to be doing the BBC again?"

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I never tell them. I secretly recorded them and then sent it off.

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Very pleased that we've got through once again.

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Much better!

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That has to happen every time.

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I was really excited when we got through to the semi-finals

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because we've been in it before.

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This time, it'll be really nice to win

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and hopefully, that will really make Mr O'Brien really happy.

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We're really glad to be here.

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All very excited, although we're nervous at the same time.

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The soloists are quite worried, but I think they'll do really well anyway

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because they're really good singers.

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# I danced in the morning when the world was begun

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# And I danced to the moon and the stars and the sun

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# I came down from heaven and I danced on the Earth

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# At Bethlehem, I had my birth

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# I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee

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# But they would not dance and they would not follow me

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# I danced for the fishermen For James and John

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# They came with me and the dance went on

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# Dance, then, wherever you may be

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# I am the lord of the dance, said he

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# And I'll lead you all wherever you may be

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# And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he

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# I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame

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# The holy people said it was a shame

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# They whipped and they stripped and they hung me on high

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# And left me there on the cross to die

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# Dance, then, wherever you may be

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# I am the lord of the dance, said he

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# And I'll lead you all wherever you may be

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# And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he

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# I danced on the Friday when the sky turned black

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# It's hard to dance with the devil on your back

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# They buried my body and they thought I'd gone

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# But I am the dance and I still go on

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# They cut me down and I leapt up high

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# I am the life that will never, never die

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# I'll live in you if you'll live in me

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# I am the lord of the dance, said he

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# Dance, then, wherever you may be

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# I am the lord of the dance, said he

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# And I'll lead you all wherever you may be

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# And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he

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# Dance, then, wherever you may be

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# I am the lord of the dance, said he

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# And I'll lead you all wherever you may be

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# And I'll lead you all in the dance, said he

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# I am the lord of the dance

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# Said he

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# Lord of the dance! #

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Heath Mount School, ladies and gentlemen!

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David, never easy opening a competition like this.

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They did rather well, didn't they?

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They did really well. I think that when you start,

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particularly if you're starting with a solo in a competition such as this,

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it's nerve wracking.

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And even though I could hear the nerves in the first soloist's voice,

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I think she worked through them really well.

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I also felt that when the ensemble came in,

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there was a real uniformity of sound. A lot of people will think that

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if you're not doing harmonies, it makes it easy, it's simple.

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But actually, if you're getting it wrong, it will be exposed.

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All that remains to be seen

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is whether the others that come on can match that.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Susie, what are your first impressions?

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A couple of tiny technical things.

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The last note of each phrase - and this is often a place

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where choirs can just compromise their tuning a bit -

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you just need to work on that.

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When you got very loud, the two-part chord at the end, just refine that,

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-keep making that clearer.

-Russell?

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-They're an experienced choir, did that come across?

-Very much so.

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I've got to say, this year, I can see a vast improvement.

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I think your performance, as we say in Salford, was absolutely smashing.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Thank you, Heath Mount School!

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You've rehearsed for months and when you get there, it's one performance

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and you have to get it right, otherwise you won't get through.

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Looking at the judges' comments, I really think we have done enough.

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I was worried they were going to say we were really bad!

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I think I was more nervous than the children.

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I was desperate not to show it, but I think they've worked it out.

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Four years ago, our next school won this competition.

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Now in the first year they've become eligible to enter again,

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they're back for more. It's Lindley Junior School from Huddersfield.

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# All things bright and beautiful... #

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As part of our repertoire, we have the John Rutter version

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of All Things Bright And Beautiful.

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I thought it would be quite a nice challenge for the choir to do,

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as well as being the most beautiful piece.

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Mrs North gives us lots of challenging songs, which is good,

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because if you sing a challenging song well,

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then it sounds really good. And she's also a really lovely person.

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I'm still not hit in the face by this wall of beautiful sound.

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We still have a few months

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to get ready for the competition at the Lowry, and we'll be ready.

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We're all really excited to be on TV.

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I'm a little bit nervous, but once I get on stage, I'll be fine.

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It's great to get to a standard

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where we can be on a national stage. Terrific.

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# All things bright and beautiful

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# All creatures great and small

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# All things wise and wonderful

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# The Lord God made them all

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# Each little flower that opens

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# Each little bird that sings

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# He made their glowing colours

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# He made their tiny wings

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# All things bright and beautiful

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# All creatures great and small

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# All things wise and wonderful

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# The Lord God made them all

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# The purple-headed mountain

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# The river running by

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# The sunset and the morning

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# That brightens up the sky

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# The cold wind in the winter

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# The pleasant summer sun

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# The ripe fruits in the garden

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# He made them, every one

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# All things bright and beautiful

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# All creatures great and small

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# All things wise and wonderful

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# The Lord God made them all

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# He gave us eyes to see them

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# And lips that we might tell

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# How great is God Almighty

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# Who has made all things well

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# All things bright and beautiful

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# All creatures great and small

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# All things wise and wonderful

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# The Lord God made them all. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Lindley Junior School, everybody!

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Suzi, the choir already has a trophy back in the cabinet in Huddersfield.

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Are they in line for another one?

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I'm not surprised. What fantastic commitment.

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Each word was painted.

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Physically, as well as aurally. It was really wonderful.

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The only thing I would say is with your phrasing,

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make sure that it's not leaky and that you get single lines,

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so that you can actually hear a whole line of text.

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But it was marvellous. Thank you.

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Nothing worse than leaky phrasing, ladies and gentlemen.

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-Russell, was it bright and beautiful for you?

-Yeah, it was.

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It was happy, joyous, open-mouthed singing

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and it made me feel good. It made me feel happy.

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I liked your smiling faces.

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What about you, David?

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Yeah, I thought it was excellent.

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If there's one single critique I have, it was that...

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right at the very end, that very last harmony,

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the harmony finished before the melody had finished.

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It was almost like, some singers were, "Ah! We've got to the end now!"

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If you go onto the next phase, sing right the way from the first note

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to the very end of the last note.

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Thank you very much, judges, and thank you, Lindley Junior School.

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I really enjoyed it.

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It wasn't nerve wracking, because we're Lindley Junior School Choir -

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we're never nervous.

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The support we got was tremendous. I could feel it

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and I could hear it loud and clear. Thanks to all our supporters.

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For our next choir, it's their debut performance

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at the School Choir Of The Year competition.

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It's St Martin's Ampleforth in Yorkshire.

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# The Lord is my Shepherd... #

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It makes me feel quite proud to be part of this, such a good choir,

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and to hear such beautiful voices.

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# ..In green pastures... #

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They are really joyous words, they're praising the Lord, so we should be happy too.

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The fact that it's Songs Of Praise means a lot to us

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because it's very much a part of what we believe.

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St Augustine said whoever sings well prays twice.

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We had snow in North Yorkshire,

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but we made it along the motorway

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and we're really pleased to be here as well.

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I think Mr Conyngham is a bit stressed out,

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but he's tried so hard to get us here and he's really excited,

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just like all of us.

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To be honest with you, I'd be very happy to get through to the final.

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Very happy. But more than that, I'm not prepared to say!

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# The Lord is my shepherd

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# I shall not want

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# He maketh me to lie down in green pastures

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# He leadeth me

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# Beside the still waters

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# The Lord is my shepherd

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# I shall not want

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# He maketh me to lie down in green pastures

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# He leadeth me

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# Beside the still waters

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# Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

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# I will fear no evil

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# Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

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# I will fear no evil

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# For you are with me

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# You will comfort me

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# You are with me

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# You will comfort me

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# Comfort me

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# Surely goodness and mercy

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# Shall follow me all the days of my life

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# And I will dwell

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# In the House of the Lord forever

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# Forever

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# Forever

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# Forever. #

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APPLAUSE

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Thank you to St Martin's Ampleforth!

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APPLAUSE

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Russell, you're used to singing out front. Didn't he do well?

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-What's your name?

-Rupert.

-That was absolutely fantastic, Rupert.

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Full of confidence.

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You're out there on your own as well and all your friends are behind you, which is even more daunting.

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Fantastic.

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APPLAUSE

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-David, what about you?

-The perfect choice of song.

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The arrangement was subtle, the build was subtle.

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I think when you got to the last verse,

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the languid, long phrases were very, very daring.

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Their breath control was immense. I thought they were magnificent.

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APPLAUSE

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Suzi, it's a really, really well-known piece. Good choice, or not?

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I think it is. It's a very difficult song to sing well,

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just for the reasons David just said.

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There are long phrases and you have to sustain that sound,

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and you've to sustain the breathing with young singers like that.

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I thought the quality of singing was just right for the song.

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Excellent. Thank you, judges, and thank you, St Martin's.

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APPLAUSE

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It felt awesome.

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You come off and you can't believe you've just done that.

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I'm glad it's over and done with. I'm still shaking with nerves.

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If we don't win, we don't win, but everybody's done their best.

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APPLAUSE

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I wonder if you've already got a favourite?

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Hang on, we're only halfway through.

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Our next choir are waiting patiently for their moment in the spotlight.

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They are Coloma Convent Girls' School from Croydon.

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# Siyahamb' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos... #

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'Siyahamb' is a lovely song

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because it lends itself so well to so many different harmonies,

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and I think it's a really good experience to be singing something

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that's based in a culture that isn't necessarily particularly English.

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Coloma is a Catholic school which is an only girls school

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and we learn quite a lot in religious studies

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and stuff like that.

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Who are you going to be watching when we sing? Who's it going to be?

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Look at me. Thank you.

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We're hoping we can do our best and show the world what we can do.

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The mood before they arrived was brilliant.

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Our school is all about faith.

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We pray at the beginning of every lesson,

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so the ethos of our school is very much embedded in your programme.

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So it means an awful lot in so many different ways.

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But they're very upbeat and very excited.

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CHEERING

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# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

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# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

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# Siyahamba ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

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# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

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# Siyahamba

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# Siyahamba

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# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

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# Siyahamba

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# Siyahamba

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# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'...

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DRUM BEAT

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# ..Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

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# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

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# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

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# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

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# Siyahamba

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# Siyahamba

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# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:23:240:23:28

# Siyahamba

0:23:280:23:30

# Siyahamba

0:23:300:23:32

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:23:320:23:36

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:23:390:23:43

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:23:430:23:47

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:23:470:23:51

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:23:510:23:54

# Siyahamba

0:23:540:23:56

# Siyahamba

0:23:560:23:58

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:23:580:24:02

# Siyahamba

0:24:020:24:04

# Siyahamba

0:24:040:24:05

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:24:050:24:09

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:24:130:24:17

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:24:170:24:21

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:24:210:24:24

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:24:240:24:28

# Siyahamba

0:24:280:24:30

# Siyahamba

0:24:300:24:32

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:24:320:24:35

# Siyahamba

0:24:350:24:37

# Siyahamba

0:24:370:24:39

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:24:390:24:43

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'

0:24:430:24:47

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'. #

0:24:470:24:55

APPLAUSE

0:24:550:24:58

The Coloma Convent Girls' School!

0:25:020:25:04

APPLAUSE

0:25:040:25:06

David, a different performance. It was great though, wasn't it?

0:25:080:25:12

The standard this year is really high and that was another high standard performance.

0:25:120:25:16

I didn't understand the language you were singing in,

0:25:160:25:19

but I understood the joy, I understood the uplift.

0:25:190:25:22

I loved the use of harmony, loved the use of counter melody.

0:25:220:25:25

If there was one thing that I will to say to you, if you get through this round,

0:25:250:25:28

let the euphoria with which you are singing be reflected in your faces.

0:25:280:25:33

-Suzi?

-What was really incredible about this choir was the consistency of tone they get.

0:25:330:25:38

Not just when they're singing in unison, but when they're singing in three parts.

0:25:380:25:42

What I would do is hire a choreographer

0:25:420:25:46

and get their bodies relaxed and be really into those movements.

0:25:460:25:49

Then you could match the quality of movement with the singing.

0:25:490:25:52

Russell, it's quite difficult, moving and singing, though?

0:25:520:25:56

-Yeah, I don't do that!

-Neither do I!

0:25:560:25:58

I don't think I could, but there we go.

0:25:580:26:01

I just stand there and sing, and people often say to me,

0:26:010:26:04

"I actually don't know what you were singing about, but it sounded good."

0:26:040:26:08

And it's the same sentiment from me to you.

0:26:080:26:12

Thank you, judges, and thank you to Coloma Convent Girls' School!

0:26:120:26:15

APPLAUSE

0:26:150:26:17

We stayed in tune, so we did our best and everybody sang really well,

0:26:190:26:22

so I think it was good.

0:26:220:26:24

We could feel the support of the school there as we went on. You just felt very loved. It was nice.

0:26:240:26:30

Tension is mounting. There are just two choirs still to sing.

0:26:300:26:33

Our next choir reached the semi finals last year,

0:26:330:26:35

but didn't quite make the final.

0:26:350:26:37

Will they get there this time around?

0:26:370:26:40

It's Gamlingay Village College from Cambridgeshire.

0:26:400:26:42

# And the world that he had made

0:26:420:26:46

# The sea, the rocks, the air... #

0:26:460:26:49

I chose this hymn because

0:26:490:26:50

I feel that it encompasses

0:26:500:26:52

all the problems that we have in the world.

0:26:520:26:56

This is a song that really can touch everyone.

0:26:560:26:59

# ..Help your people to care for your world. #

0:26:590:27:02

Last year, we got to the same stage of the competition, but didn't get through to the finals.

0:27:020:27:06

But this year, I think we've got a really good chance and we're going to give it our all.

0:27:060:27:11

When it comes to singing, each person has their own voice,

0:27:110:27:14

so you've to try and put the voices together to make a choir.

0:27:140:27:19

I think the fact that we've done it once before is a help

0:27:190:27:24

because we know what's coming.

0:27:240:27:26

Everyone's got colds at the moment, so we're trying to make sure

0:27:280:27:31

that everyone's got the tissues ready before we go on.

0:27:310:27:35

People say the judges are really mean,

0:27:350:27:38

but I hope they're going to give us a chance.

0:27:380:27:41

# When your father made the world

0:27:470:27:51

# Before that world was old

0:27:510:27:54

# In his eye, what he had made

0:27:540:27:57

# Was lovely to behold

0:27:570:28:01

# Help your people to care for your world

0:28:010:28:05

# And the world that he had made

0:28:080:28:10

# The sea, the rocks, the air

0:28:100:28:14

# All the creatures and the plants

0:28:140:28:18

# He gave into our care

0:28:180:28:21

# Help your people to care for your world

0:28:210:28:26

# When you walked in Galilee

0:28:280:28:30

# You said your father knows

0:28:300:28:35

# When each tiny sparrow dies

0:28:350:28:38

# Each fragile lily grows

0:28:380:28:41

# Help your people to care for your world

0:28:410:28:45

# And the children of the earth

0:28:470:28:51

# Like sheep within your fold

0:28:510:28:55

# Should have food enough to eat

0:28:550:28:58

# And shelter from the cold

0:28:580:29:01

# Help your people to care for your world

0:29:010:29:05

# The world is a garden you made

0:29:050:29:09

# And you are the one who planted the seed

0:29:090:29:12

# The world is a garden you made

0:29:120:29:16

# A life for our food

0:29:160:29:18

# Life for our joy

0:29:180:29:20

# Life we could kill with our selfish greed

0:29:200:29:26

# When your spirit sees the world

0:29:320:29:35

# His soul must be dismayed

0:29:350:29:39

# We have spoilt your father's work

0:29:390:29:42

# His trust has been betrayed

0:29:420:29:45

# Help your people to care for your world

0:29:450:29:49

# The world is a garden you made

0:29:490:29:53

# And you are the one who planted the seed

0:29:530:29:57

# The world is a garden you made

0:29:570:30:00

# A life for our food

0:30:000:30:02

# Life for our joy

0:30:020:30:05

# Life we could kill

0:30:050:30:08

# With our selfish greed. #

0:30:080:30:14

APPLAUSE

0:30:140:30:16

Gamlingay Village College Choir, ladies and gentlemen!

0:30:220:30:24

APPLAUSE

0:30:240:30:27

So, Suzi, what did you think?

0:30:270:30:29

What I love about this choir is that it's got this lovely, fresh, natural sound.

0:30:290:30:34

It's so important for children to sound like children.

0:30:340:30:38

Phrasing.

0:30:380:30:39

Words like "Galilee" and "paradise", you'd say "Galilee" and "paradise".

0:30:390:30:44

When you sang it, you went, "Gali-LEE" and "para-DISE".

0:30:440:30:47

So what I would do is look at the phrasing of the text

0:30:470:30:51

and sing it as if you'd speak it,

0:30:510:30:54

and perhaps lighten some of the syllables as you'd speak it.

0:30:540:30:58

Then, I think you'd transform the performance.

0:30:580:31:00

But overall, it was really lovely. I enjoyed it very much.

0:31:000:31:03

Russell, they were in the competition last year.

0:31:030:31:06

-Has that experience paid off?

-I think so.

0:31:060:31:09

What I like about this choir is the innocence and the purity.

0:31:090:31:12

Technically, not the best,

0:31:120:31:14

but it's the purity that I find so attractive.

0:31:140:31:18

You looked like you were enjoying it. I enjoyed it too. Well done.

0:31:180:31:22

David, that's a little-known hymn, I would say. Is that a good choice?

0:31:220:31:25

I think it's a brave choice, but I think what this song did was that it gave the choir

0:31:250:31:29

an opportunity to show a bit of heart, soul and passion.

0:31:290:31:31

What we have to do as judges, which is a hard job,

0:31:310:31:35

is to balance off whether some of the technical performances

0:31:350:31:38

that we've heard that have been better than that

0:31:380:31:41

are going to be equalled by the heart and the soul of this choir.

0:31:410:31:45

So they've made our jobs very hard.

0:31:450:31:48

Thank you, Gamlingay!

0:31:480:31:50

APPLAUSE

0:31:500:31:52

I think it's one of the best times we've actually done it

0:31:520:31:55

and I feel really good about it.

0:31:550:31:57

Last year, we didn't make it through, but this year,

0:31:570:31:59

if we were to make it through, we'd all be cheering in our head!

0:31:590:32:04

The judges said they had a very fresh sound

0:32:050:32:08

and sounded like children, which is rather lovely.

0:32:080:32:11

Our final choir are from the second biggest city in Northern Ireland.

0:32:130:32:17

It's St Patrick's Primary School from Derry.

0:32:170:32:19

# I danced in the morning when the world was begun... #

0:32:210:32:25

The reason that I selected "The Lord of the Dance"

0:32:250:32:28

was that I wanted something, first of all,

0:32:280:32:30

that I thought the children would really enjoy

0:32:300:32:33

and that they would relate to.

0:32:330:32:35

Life at St Patrick's Primary School, it's a great place to be.

0:32:360:32:39

It's a very fun place.

0:32:390:32:41

It's a very, very busy school

0:32:410:32:43

and there's an awful lot going on all the time.

0:32:430:32:46

Going over to Manchester to be in the semi finals is exciting.

0:32:460:32:51

I'm just excited to find out

0:32:510:32:54

if our choir's good enough to get through or not.

0:32:540:32:57

We're absolutely delighted that we're representing Derry, the City of Culture,

0:32:570:33:01

and that we're representing our country as well, so we're very proud about that.

0:33:010:33:05

Hopefully, we've brought the luck of the Irish with us!

0:33:050:33:08

Lots of the children are wearing their little guardian angels for extra luck today.

0:33:080:33:12

St Patrick will be on our side, and hopefully, he's praying for us.

0:33:120:33:17

# I danced in the morning when the world was begun

0:33:240:33:27

# And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun

0:33:270:33:31

# And I came down from heaven and I danced on the Earth

0:33:310:33:35

# At Bethlehem, I had my birth

0:33:350:33:38

# Dance, then, wherever you may be

0:33:380:33:42

# I am the lord of the dance, said he

0:33:420:33:45

# And I lead you all wherever you may be

0:33:450:33:48

# And I lead you all in the dance, said he

0:33:480:33:52

# I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee

0:33:550:33:59

# But they would not dance and they wouldn't follow me

0:33:590:34:02

# I danced for the fishermen For James and John

0:34:020:34:05

# They came with me and the dance went on

0:34:050:34:09

# Dance, then, wherever you may be

0:34:090:34:13

# I am the lord of the dance, said he

0:34:130:34:16

# And I lead you all wherever you may be

0:34:160:34:20

# And I lead you all in the dance, said he

0:34:200:34:23

# I danced on the Sabbath and I cured the lame

0:34:260:34:30

# The holy people said it was a shame

0:34:300:34:33

# They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high

0:34:330:34:39

# And they left me there on the cross to die

0:34:400:34:47

# Dance, then, wherever you may be

0:34:490:34:52

# I am the lord of the dance, said he

0:34:520:34:55

# And I lead you all wherever you may be

0:34:550:34:59

# And I lead you all in the dance, said he

0:34:590:35:02

# I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black

0:35:070:35:13

# It's hard to dance with the devil on your back

0:35:130:35:20

# They buried my body and they thought I'd gone

0:35:200:35:27

# But I am the dance and I still go on

0:35:270:35:31

# Dance, then, wherever you may be

0:35:310:35:34

# I am the lord of the dance, said he

0:35:340:35:37

# And I lead you all wherever you may be

0:35:370:35:40

# And I lead you all in the dance, said he

0:35:400:35:44

# They cut me down and I leapt up high

0:35:460:35:49

# I am the life that will never, never die

0:35:490:35:53

# I'll live in you if you'll live in me

0:35:530:35:56

# I am the lord of the dance, said he

0:35:560:36:00

# Dance, then, wherever you may be

0:36:000:36:03

# I am the lord of the dance, said he

0:36:030:36:07

# And I lead you all wherever you may be

0:36:070:36:11

# And I lead you all in the dance, said he. #

0:36:110:36:18

APPLAUSE

0:36:210:36:24

St Patrick's Primary School!

0:36:280:36:30

APPLAUSE

0:36:300:36:33

Russell, tell me, did the cute factor get to you?

0:36:340:36:37

They are so cute, it's unbelievable!

0:36:370:36:40

When you started, the three of us were laughing. We felt joyous.

0:36:400:36:44

Then there were moments where you brought it right down

0:36:440:36:48

and it made you feel sad.

0:36:480:36:50

You got so much light and shade into the performance.

0:36:500:36:53

It was just stunning. Well done.

0:36:530:36:56

Suzi, we've heard that hymn before somewhere, haven't we?

0:36:560:36:59

-Yes, we have.

-Heath Mount sang it as well. Does that matter?

0:36:590:37:02

Not in the least. It was like a completely different animal.

0:37:020:37:05

Your interpretation was a little eccentric,

0:37:050:37:09

but I've never heard a children's choir with such character.

0:37:090:37:13

I was just laughing from the beginning to the end

0:37:130:37:18

in the right way, obviously.

0:37:180:37:20

I enjoyed it enormously, and technically, it was very good.

0:37:200:37:24

David, last word to you.

0:37:240:37:25

Each choir different and bringing its own thing.

0:37:250:37:29

This choir have enough energy in there

0:37:290:37:31

to run a million kilowatt power station!

0:37:310:37:34

A dynamic performance. A great way to end.

0:37:340:37:37

Wow! Dynamic!

0:37:370:37:39

APPLAUSE

0:37:390:37:41

Thank you to the dynamic St Patrick's Primary School!

0:37:410:37:45

APPLAUSE

0:37:450:37:47

I don't think anyone was nervous when we got up.

0:37:470:37:50

-I think that we did our best.

-We couldn't have done it any better.

0:37:500:37:54

The children put everything into it

0:37:540:37:56

and what they were trying to do, in their own special way,

0:37:560:37:59

was tell the story.

0:37:590:38:01

Our judges have left the auditorium

0:38:030:38:05

and our choirs are chewing their nails backstage, awaiting their decisions.

0:38:050:38:09

If you've not made up your mind just yet,

0:38:090:38:12

here's a reminder of why the judges have such a tough job ahead of them.

0:38:120:38:16

# Dance, then, wherever you may be

0:38:160:38:19

# I am the lord of the dance, said he... #

0:38:190:38:21

It's a great challenge with childrens' voices

0:38:210:38:24

to get real expressiveness and integrity into the interpretation

0:38:240:38:28

without being too affected.

0:38:280:38:31

I thought it was confident, it was comfortable.

0:38:310:38:35

It felt a little safe to me.

0:38:350:38:37

# ..They hung me on high... #

0:38:370:38:40

# All things bright and beautiful

0:38:400:38:43

# All creatures great and small... #

0:38:430:38:46

There was a lot of merit in the performance. It was very polished.

0:38:460:38:50

They've definitely been well coached. You could see that. A touch too much.

0:38:500:38:54

# ..Each little flower that opens... #

0:38:540:38:57

# The Lord is my shepherd... #

0:38:570:39:00

I think they're a contender. They're a possible.

0:39:000:39:02

They lacked variety in tone.

0:39:020:39:05

But on the other hand, if you look at the text of the song,

0:39:050:39:07

there's not a great deal you can do. It's not like 'Lord of the Dance'.

0:39:070:39:12

The fact that they clasped their hands in front of them...

0:39:120:39:15

-That doesn't help at all.

-You noticed? It's restrictive.

0:39:150:39:18

# ..Still waters. #

0:39:180:39:22

They moved like an English choir

0:39:220:39:25

and they've got to move like an African choir,

0:39:250:39:27

loosen up those bodies.

0:39:270:39:29

# Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'... #

0:39:290:39:32

Can they bring their whole level of performance up to their singing? That's the question.

0:39:320:39:37

# ..Siyahamba' ekukhanyen' kwenkhos'... #

0:39:370:39:40

# And the world that he had made

0:39:400:39:43

# The sea, the rocks, the air... #

0:39:430:39:46

-These were the really sweet, innocent, cute kids.

-Natural, fresh.

0:39:460:39:50

Natural, fresh. They made me smile.

0:39:500:39:53

# ..Help you people to care for your world... #

0:39:530:39:58

It was more, "Aw" than "Wow".

0:39:580:40:01

# And I came down from heaven and I danced on the Earth

0:40:010:40:04

# At Bethlehem, I had my birth... #

0:40:040:40:08

Although it was fun,

0:40:080:40:10

at times, it veered towards the funny inappropriately.

0:40:100:40:14

# ..I am the lord of the dance, said he... #

0:40:140:40:15

This story, when THEY sang it, had a beginning, a middle and an end.

0:40:150:40:20

Our judges are back in their seats and our choirs are back on stage.

0:40:200:40:25

The atmosphere, I have to tell you, is very tense.

0:40:250:40:28

Whatever our judges decide, I'm sure you'll agree

0:40:280:40:31

we've been treated to some fabulous singing

0:40:310:40:34

from these young, wonderful choirs.

0:40:340:40:36

APPLAUSE

0:40:360:40:40

Judges, before you tell us which choirs have made it through,

0:40:410:40:44

perhaps just a brief word from each of you on the performances today.

0:40:440:40:49

The standard was excellent.

0:40:490:40:51

What they gave us, all six of them, was a really great representation

0:40:510:40:55

of school singing and young children singing together at its very best.

0:40:550:41:02

Russell, how difficult was it reaching that decision?

0:41:020:41:04

It was incredibly difficult because we felt that all the choirs

0:41:040:41:07

had their own special attributes that we were all drawn to.

0:41:070:41:11

Suzi, what do you say to the three that don't quite make it this time round?

0:41:110:41:16

I hate to think of you all not going through. You've all been fantastic.

0:41:160:41:20

You've certainly brought us a great gift today of your performance.

0:41:200:41:24

OK, it's decision time.

0:41:240:41:27

Each of our judges will be asked to announce the name of a choir

0:41:270:41:30

who has made it through to that final.

0:41:300:41:33

David, please can you reveal the first choir going through to the final?

0:41:330:41:36

The first choir going through to the final

0:41:360:41:39

of the Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year is...

0:41:390:41:42

..Coloma.

0:41:480:41:50

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:41:500:41:53

Suzi, can you please tell us

0:42:000:42:01

the second choir going through to the final?

0:42:010:42:04

The second choir going through to the final is...

0:42:040:42:08

..Heath Mount.

0:42:130:42:15

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:42:150:42:17

Russell, can you please reveal the name of the last choir

0:42:230:42:26

going through to the final?

0:42:260:42:28

The last choir going through

0:42:300:42:33

to the Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year final is...

0:42:330:42:39

..St Patrick's.

0:42:440:42:46

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:42:460:42:49

So there you have it.

0:42:550:42:57

Coloma, Heath Mount and St Patrick's

0:42:570:42:59

will be back in the final in two weeks' time,

0:42:590:43:01

where just one of them will be crowned

0:43:010:43:04

the 2012 Songs of Praise Junior School Choir of the Year.

0:43:040:43:07

Please put your hands together

0:43:070:43:09

for all our valiant other semi finalists.

0:43:090:43:12

APPLAUSE

0:43:120:43:14

Next Sunday, the spotlight turns on the senior school choir semi finalists.

0:43:220:43:26

Six of the very best will battle it out to wow those judges,

0:43:260:43:29

before three of them are chosen for the final.

0:43:290:43:32

If you'd like some top tips for improving your singing

0:43:320:43:35

from our celebrity judges, please visit our website...

0:43:350:43:39

Until next time, bye-bye!

0:43:390:43:41

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:570:44:01

Six of the best junior school choirs perform a hymn of their choice to impress judges Russell Watson, Suzi Digby and David Grant, who have to decide which three make it to the final, as Aled Jones introduces the first of three special programmes from The Lowry Theatre in Salford.