School Choirs 2012 Senior Semi Final Songs of Praise


School Choirs 2012 Senior Semi Final

The six best senior school choirs compete for the top prize as Russell Watson, Suzi Digby and David Grant judge their favourite hymns.


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Transcript


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We're at the Lowry Theatre in Salford for the second semifinal

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of this tenth Songs Of Praise school choir competition.

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We've had a fantastic number of schools enter the competition

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and this week, it's the turn of the senior school choirs

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who need to sing their very best to win a place in the final.

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APPLAUSE

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Hello and welcome to the Lowry Theatre for the second semifinal

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of this year's competition.

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Last week saw the best three junior school choirs

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go forward to the final next week.

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Today, three of these six senior choirs will aim to join them.

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Which choirs will it be?

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We have, from Salisbury, the Godolphin School!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Cantabile from Hereford Cathedral School.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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From Rutland, Oakham School.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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From Hertfordshire, Haileybury School.

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-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

-From Weybridge in Surrey, St George's College.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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And from Llanelli, Ysgol y Strade.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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And what great support from the crowd here once again this year.

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Now, ahead of the competition,

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let's help our choirs warm up by singing together

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a very popular hymn by Graham Kendrick,

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who happens to be celebrating 40 years of hymn writing.

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This one's for you, Graham. It's Shine, Jesus, Shine.

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APPLAUSE

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Excellent singing, ladies and gentlemen. I certainly feel warmed up and ready to go.

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But it's not me who's got to impress our celebrity judges.

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It's these guys and girls.

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Our first judge is a music producer, presenter, celebrity vocal coach

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and a chart-topper. What a talent! It is, of course, David Grant.

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APPLAUSE

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Our next judge has huge knowledge and experience of choirs and choral music.

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She's been a champion of singing in schools and the community.

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Please welcome Suzi Digby.

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APPLAUSE

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And our final judge was born and brought up not far from this very spot.

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He's sung all over the world in some of the biggest venues,

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including his favourite football club - a certain Manchester United.

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But I don't hold that against him, ladies and gentlemen, oh, no.

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Please welcome Russell Watson!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Now, judges, obviously these six choirs are a bit older than their junior counterparts.

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Are you expecting more from them? More experience?

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What I'm expecting is a greater level of accuracy, a greater level...

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of ability.

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By now, they should have come together and be able to more fully grasp their talent.

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I'm hoping to be completely wowed and blown away.

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-Suzi, what about you?

-What I'm hoping for

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is that very rare combination of a choir that is technically perfect

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-and can convey the words with tremendous integrity.

-And Russell?

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It's the seniors.

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The bar has been raised.

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I just can't wait to hear you.

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OK, this is where the competition really starts.

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Each of our six choirs will sing a hymn. Based on that performance,

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the judges will select just three choirs to go into the final next week.

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Going first, a new choir to the competition -

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it's Oakham School from Rutland.

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# Angel voices, ever singing... #

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The hymn we're going to be singing is Angel Voices, Ever Singing.

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And the words are just beautiful and it's so nice to be able to express it

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through such lovely music.

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All our pupils who sing in our choirs,

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most of their singing is rooted in

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what happens in this wonderful chapel we're sitting in.

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And, so, really, all this religious music is very much at the core of what we do in a school like Oakham.

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'We're in really good spirits, we're looking forward to the competition.'

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It's good to be here in Salford.

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Pretty nervous, but excited,

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cos it's just the general buzz you get from being in the choir.

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# ..And confess thee... #

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Brilliant.

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Mr Davis was here in 2005 with Haileybury School, who we're competing against,

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singing the same song, so it should be interesting competition.

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# Angel voices, ever singing

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# Round thy throne of light

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# Angel harps, for ever ringing

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# Rest not day nor night

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# Thousands only live to bless thee

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# And confess thee and confess thee Lord of might

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# Thou who art beyond the farthest

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# Mortal eye can scan,

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# Can it be that thou regardest

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# Songs of sinful man?

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# Can we know that thou art near us

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# And wilt hear us?

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# Yea, we can

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# Yea, we know that thou rejoicest

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# O'er each work of thine

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# Thou didst ears and hands and voices

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# For thy praise design

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# Craftsman's art and music's measure

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# For thy pleasure all combine

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# In thy house, great God

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# We offer of thine own to thee

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# And for thine acceptance proffer

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# All unworthily

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# Hearts and minds and hands and voices

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# In our choicest psalmody

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# Honour, glory, might and merit

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# Thine shall ever be

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# Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

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# Blessed Trinity!

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# Of the best that thou hast given

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# Earth and heaven render thee. #

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Oakham School, everybody!

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David, that was a really confident start, wasn't it?

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Wow.

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OK, it was called Angel Voices,

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but it might as well have been called We Have Come To Win.

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I mean, that was a real declaration of intent. It had everything,

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harmonies, descant, counter-harmonies, counter-melodies.

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That was the sound of a gauntlet being hurled to the ground.

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Suzi, what do you think?

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You sustain us in rapt attention throughout.

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Little bit of intonation instability, just fractionally,

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within one or two verses and I would say also,

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the higher range, perhaps, you could just sweeten that sound,

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just continue to improve the quality at the very high end of the range.

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Russell, last year, you were blown away by the senior competition.

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Are you still impressed?

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Absolutely amazing. That was like a finely-tuned sports car,

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first, second, third, fourth, roar!

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The V12 opened up.

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And it was absolutely inspiring to watch.

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And where were the nerves?

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Highly impressed with you.

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Thank you very much, judges, and thank you, Oakham School!

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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Absolutely fantastic. I don't think we could've hoped for better.

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David Grant was waxing lyrical about what a great start it was

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so it's really exciting.

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I think it would be the most amazing thing to get to the final

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but, you know, fingers crossed, see what happens.

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Now, another school entering the competition

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for the very first time and they are from the West Country.

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It's Cantabile from Hereford Cathedral School.

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# For the beauty of the Earth... #

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This is like a song about helping other people

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and it is a celebration of the Earth and the world around us.

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Singing saved my life.

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It gave me that absolutely... love of life and wanting to sing.

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Miss Williamson makes us work really hard.

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Because we work so hard then when we do performances,

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they're really to perfection.

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It will be really cool to go to the big theatre.

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I've heard it is meant to be amazing.

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As soon as we got out of the bus there was cameras and everything.

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All the girls were like... Aaaaah!

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I think it is just fantastic we're here.

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I've heard the other choirs, they're all marvellous.

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So, hey, we're just here to enjoy it and do our best

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and that's all we can do.

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# For the beauty of the Earth

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# For the beauty of the sky

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# For the love

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# Which from our birth

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# Over and around us lies

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# Over and around us lies

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# Lord of all, to thee we raise

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# This our joyful hymn of praise

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# For the joy of human love For the joy of human love

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# Brother, sister, parent, child

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# Brother, sister, parent, child

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# Friends on earth and friends above

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# And friends above

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# For all gentle thoughts and mild For all gentle thoughts and mild

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# Lord of all, to thee we raise

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# This our joyful hymn of praise

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# For each perfect gift of thine

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# To our race so freely given

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# Graces human and divine Graces human and divine

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# Flowers of earth and buds of heaven

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# Flowers of earth and buds of heaven

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# Lord of all, to thee we raise

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# This our joyful hymn of praise

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# This our joyful hymn of praise. #

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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Cantabile from Hereford Cathedral School.

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CHEERING

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Suzi, what do you think?

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What I love about this choir

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is that the sound is full-bodied

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but without being overdeveloped.

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So that it's a natural sound but really well supported.

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That, technically, is quite a difficult thing to produce.

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-I really enjoyed it.

-Russell, were you impressed?

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Yes, totally impressed. Particularly for me,

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the end of the song was just beautiful. Angelic.

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David, your face never gives anything away, can I just tell you that?

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-HE LAUGHS

-Now, that's better!

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For me, it was actually the subtlety of the way that the song developed.

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You peaked at the end of the song.

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So often choirs peak in the middle and then sort of peter out

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but you built and built. It was beautiful.

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-Beautifully balanced.

-Thank you, judges.

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For the time being, thank you to Hereford Cathedral School.

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CHEERING

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Now you know what I feel like when I'm telling you to smile.

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-You smiled so much you ache now, don't you?

-Yep.

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Now you know what I feel like.

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Everyone was, like, really nervous and then... Oh, it was just SO cool!

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They've never done anything like this before so, hey,

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I'm really pleased with them. Proud as punch.

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For our next choir, simply reaching the semi-final stage last year

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wasn't good enough. They're back in an attempt to win.

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It's the Godolphin School from Salisbury.

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# All creatures of our God and King... #

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I've been working with this same group of girls for a couple of years now.

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It's been really fantastic. I've got to know their voices very well and they've got to know me.

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We picked a hymn that we felt could express our feelings about God

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and how we wanted to portray our school

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and I've managed to arrange it specifically for the girls

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that we have involved so they all have their special part to play.

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Because I'm performing the solo,

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I can imagine it's going to be quite daunting on the day.

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We'll have to see. Maybe I'll be quite nervous.

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THEY CHEER

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Well, we got to the semifinals last year

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and then we were out of the competition

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so we're really hopeful that perhaps this year we'll get to the finals.

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We have a soloist who's opening the hymn today.

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I know she's really scared. She's very nervous

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but she's a performer who doesn't let the nerves get to her

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so she'll be absolutely fine doing it, I have no doubt about that.

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-#

-O praise him!

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# O praise him!

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# O praise him!

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# O praise him!

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# Alleluia!

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# Alleluia!

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# Alleluia!

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# All creatures of our God and King

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# Lift up your voice and with us sing

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# Alleluia!

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# Alleluia!

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# Thou burning sun with golden beam

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# Thou silver moon with softer gleam

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# O praise him!

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# O praise him!

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# Alleluia!

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# Alleluia!

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# Alleluia!

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-#

-Thou flowing water, pure and clear

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-#

-Make music for thy Lord to hear

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# Alleluia!

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# Alleluia!

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# Thou fire so masterful and bright

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# That givest man both warmth and light

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# O praise him!

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# O praise him!

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# Alleluia!

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# Alleluia!

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-#

-Alleluia!

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# Let all things their Creator bless

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# And worship him in humbleness

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# O praise him!

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# Alleluia!

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# Praise, praise the Father Praise the Son

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# And praise the Spirit Three in One

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# Oh praise him

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# O praise him!

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# Alleluia!

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# Alleluia!

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# Alleluia! #

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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The Godolphin School, ladies and gentlemen.

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Russell, they are clearly determined, aren't they?

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Yes, only music has the power to evoke passion in the soul.

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What you just delivered has actually made me quite emotional. Beautiful.

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David, how about you?

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They came here last year.

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-I remember you.

-LAUGHTER

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This has turned into Dragons Den all of a sudden.

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-LAUGHTER

-It's kind of scaring me a little bit.

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They came last year and they were good.

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They've come back this year and they're better.

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There's a swagger about this choir, vocally.

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They moved as one, they breathed as one, they emoted as one

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and that was a performance I don't think they would have been capable of last year.

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That was a great performance.

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Suzi, were you impressed?

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I was.

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It was a beautiful arrangement, superbly shaped,

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and I think this is what Russell, as well, was saying,

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that it was very emotional.

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To develop it,

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perhaps work on a little bit more roundness in the sound.

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It's just a little bit tight in places,

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but I thought it was exquisite,

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-the performance in general.

-Thank you, judges,

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and thank you, the Godolphin School.

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APPLAUSE

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'I think they liked it.'

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I hope they liked it, anyway.

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I think all of the choirs this afternoon are fantastic,

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and we can just cross our fingers and hope for the best.

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We did our best. That's all we can do, and we had fun.

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We really enjoyed it.

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THEY CHANT AND CHEER

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Our next school won this competition back in 2005.

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This year, it's their 150th anniversary.

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I wonder if they'll have something else to celebrate.

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It's Haileybury School from Hertfordshire.

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# Angel voices ever singing... #

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Just an amazing first line.

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"Angel voices ever singing round thy throne of light".

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I mean, whatever your perception of religion,

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whatever your perception of the afterlife,

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it's just a glorious image to have.

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Mr Thomas is always very energetic and smiling,

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and even when he's stressed, he's really happy

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and he always brings it to life.

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It'd be fantastic to be in the top three,

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it'd be amazing to win it,

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and I think I need a strategy

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for dealing with the coach-load coming back

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if we haven't made it through to the finals.

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'The competition looks quite impressive.'

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Everyone looks very professional, so it's fantastic to be here.

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It'll be a fantastic opportunity,

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and whatever happens, we'll have fun.

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I still don't think they have the idea of millions of people

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across the planet watching this thing,

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but I think that'll dawn on them this afternoon,

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and I hope it won't be too late.

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# Angel voices ever singing

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# Round thy throne of light

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# Angel harps for ever ringing

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# Rest not day nor night

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# Thousands only live to bless thee

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# And confess thee

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# Lord of might

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# Thou who art beyond the farthest

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# Mortal eye can scan

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# Can it be that thou regardest

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# Songs of sinful man?

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# Can we know that thou art near us

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# And wilt hear us?

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# Yea, we can

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# Yea, we know that thou rejoicest

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# O'er each work of thine

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# Thou didst ears and hands and voices

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# For thy praise design

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# Craftsman's art and music's measure

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# For thy pleasure

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# All combine

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# Honour, glory, might, and merit

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# Thine shall ever be

0:25:110:25:15

# Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

0:25:150:25:19

# Blessed Trinity

0:25:190:25:23

# Of the best that thou hast given

0:25:230:25:28

# Earth and heaven

0:25:280:25:31

# Render thee

0:25:310:25:37

APPLAUSE

0:25:370:25:41

Haileybury School, everybody.

0:25:420:25:45

A different interpretation there, David.

0:25:480:25:50

Very different interpretation. I loved the balance

0:25:500:25:52

of the very high soprano bits

0:25:520:25:55

and then we had some low baritone.

0:25:550:25:57

Beautiful.

0:25:570:25:58

You know, happiness comes in a number of forms,

0:25:580:26:02

-and that was musical happiness.

-Suzi?

0:26:020:26:05

There's a lovely natural honesty about your sound.

0:26:050:26:08

It's a very beautiful, beautiful openness.

0:26:080:26:11

I always get a little nervous

0:26:110:26:13

when I see singers clasp their hands in front,

0:26:130:26:16

because it tends to, in my experience,

0:26:160:26:18

generate tension, a little bit of tension.

0:26:180:26:20

If the hands are the by the side,

0:26:200:26:22

I think that enables the voice to develop more naturally.

0:26:220:26:25

Otherwise, I enjoyed it enormously.

0:26:250:26:28

-Russell.

-As my dear old gran would say,

0:26:280:26:31

"Crumbs! You can sing."

0:26:310:26:33

-LAUGHTER

-Absolutely fantastic.

0:26:330:26:36

I particularly liked the way your choirmaster

0:26:360:26:39

utilised the male and the female voices.

0:26:390:26:41

Super pianist as well. Well done, everybody.

0:26:410:26:44

Thank you, judges, and thank you, Haileybury School!

0:26:440:26:47

APPLAUSE

0:26:470:26:50

I really want to win the final. Loads, yeah.

0:26:500:26:54

As my grandpa would say, "Crumbs! You can sing."

0:26:540:26:57

I thought they were quite fair, apart from

0:26:570:26:59

Suzi's comment about the hands.

0:26:590:27:01

THEY CHEER

0:27:010:27:04

Our next choir are also new to the competition.

0:27:040:27:06

They are St George's College from Weybridge in Surrey.

0:27:060:27:09

# Be thou my vision... #

0:27:140:27:16

We know when it sounds good, cos the beam

0:27:160:27:18

on Miss Castledine's face is amazing

0:27:180:27:20

and everyone looks round at each other and everyone's glowing.

0:27:200:27:23

There's such a good atmosphere.

0:27:230:27:24

It is the first time we've ever entered a competition,

0:27:240:27:28

so everything from here on for us is a bonus,

0:27:280:27:30

and a way of learning how to do it even better next time.

0:27:300:27:33

Our singing sounds incredible, I think.

0:27:340:27:37

So, yeah, I think we've got a great chance

0:27:370:27:39

of getting through to the final.

0:27:390:27:41

I'm so nervous, but so, so excited. I just can't wait.

0:27:410:27:45

We like to think of it as a family, really.

0:27:450:27:47

We're all very close to each other, we all know each other,

0:27:470:27:50

and the teachers are all there for us.

0:27:500:27:52

To have even got this far is brilliant, so I really don't know

0:27:540:27:57

what our chances are,

0:27:570:27:58

but I've got my fingers crossed of getting all the way.

0:27:580:28:01

# Be thou my vision

0:28:080:28:11

# O Lord of my heart

0:28:110:28:15

# Be all else but naught to me

0:28:150:28:19

# Save that thou art

0:28:190:28:22

# Be thou my best thought in the day and the night

0:28:220:28:29

# Both waking and sleeping

0:28:290:28:33

# Thy presence my light

0:28:330:28:37

# Be thou my wisdom

0:28:410:28:44

# Be thou my true word

0:28:440:28:48

# Be thou ever with me

0:28:480:28:52

# And I with thee, Lord

0:28:520:28:55

# Be thou my great Father

0:28:550:28:58

# And I thy true son

0:28:580:29:02

# Be thou in me dwelling

0:29:020:29:05

# And I with thee one

0:29:050:29:09

# Be thou my breastplate

0:29:130:29:16

# My sword for the fight

0:29:160:29:19

# Be thou my whole armour

0:29:190:29:23

# Be thou my true might

0:29:230:29:26

# Be thou my soul's shelter

0:29:260:29:31

# Be thou my strong tower

0:29:310:29:33

# O raise thou me heavenward

0:29:330:29:36

# Great Power of my power

0:29:360:29:40

# High King of Heaven,

0:29:440:29:46

# Thou Heaven's bright sun

0:29:460:29:49

# O grant me its joys

0:29:490:29:52

# After victory is won!

0:29:520:29:56

# Great heart of my own heart

0:29:560:30:00

# Whatever befall

0:30:000:30:03

# Still be thou my vision

0:30:030:30:07

# O Ruler of all

0:30:070:30:12

# Still be thou my vision

0:30:140:30:19

# O Ruler of all. #

0:30:190:30:28

APPLAUSE

0:30:300:30:34

St George's College, everybody.

0:30:350:30:37

Suzi, first time in the competition. How do you think they did?

0:30:400:30:43

Now that is good choral singing.

0:30:430:30:45

From the very first unison singing, was pretty perfect.

0:30:450:30:50

Quality of sound, the way you shaped it,

0:30:500:30:52

the text, everything.

0:30:520:30:54

I was full of admiration.

0:30:540:30:56

And what was so clever was the way you built

0:30:560:30:59

and sustained the energy through to the very end.

0:30:590:31:02

Fine performance.

0:31:020:31:05

What did you make of that, Russell?

0:31:050:31:07

It was like a brandy on a cold winter's night.

0:31:070:31:09

LAUGHTER

0:31:090:31:11

It filled me with warmth.

0:31:110:31:13

It was absolutely stunning.

0:31:130:31:16

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better.

0:31:160:31:19

David, a very familiar hymn.

0:31:190:31:20

-Everyone knows it. Did they do it justice?

-Yeah.

0:31:200:31:23

There's a benefit in familiarity, that everybody knows it.

0:31:230:31:25

There's also a drawback -

0:31:250:31:27

people can become so familiar

0:31:270:31:28

that they kind of stop listening and switch off.

0:31:280:31:31

The balance was superb.

0:31:310:31:33

The bass voices, I mean,

0:31:330:31:35

they made Barry White sound like a boy tenor.

0:31:350:31:38

LAUGHTER

0:31:380:31:39

I said at the start a gauntlet was thrown down.

0:31:390:31:41

That was the sound of a gauntlet being picked up

0:31:410:31:44

and waved around in the air,

0:31:440:31:46

and a choir saying, "Come and catch us if you can."

0:31:460:31:49

Thank you, judges, and thank you, St George's College.

0:31:490:31:52

APPLAUSE

0:31:520:31:54

'That was the best we've ever sung it.'

0:31:540:31:57

It was just amazing.

0:31:570:31:59

'I thought that we pulled it out of the bag and we just really'

0:31:590:32:01

hoped we'd got through, we did enough to please the judges.

0:32:010:32:04

They liked the boys particularly. I hope they want to hear them again.

0:32:040:32:07

ALL: George's!

0:32:070:32:09

Our last choir to perform tonight are the biggest in terms of number,

0:32:090:32:11

and they hail from Wales,

0:32:110:32:13

but I'm not allowed to be biased, so I'll just say,

0:32:130:32:16

"Pob lwc i chi a llongyfarchiadau am fod yma."

0:32:160:32:18

It's Ysgol Y Strade from Llanelli.

0:32:180:32:20

# Gwell wyt ti nac aur nac arian...

0:32:250:32:30

The children are very fond of this hymn.

0:32:300:32:32

We sing it in the morning assembly.

0:32:320:32:34

This is a special arrangement for this choir for this competition.

0:32:340:32:38

We've been to many competitions,

0:32:390:32:42

but we haven't been to a big one like this.

0:32:420:32:44

I'm nervous. I'm really excited as well.

0:32:440:32:46

We've come all the way from Llanelli, South Wales,

0:32:470:32:50

and we're very glad to be up against all these wonderful choirs.

0:32:500:32:55

I think Mr Davies is feeling quite nervous.

0:32:550:32:57

He's been stressed all week.

0:32:570:33:00

The soloist will be singing in English,

0:33:000:33:01

and then as the choir comes in,

0:33:010:33:03

we're singing it in Welsh, because it's important to us

0:33:030:33:05

that we do bring our Welsh background into it as well.

0:33:050:33:08

We don't know any of the other choirs.

0:33:080:33:10

We've never heard them,

0:33:100:33:11

so we're not really sure what we're up against,

0:33:110:33:14

but we'll certainly do our best.

0:33:140:33:16

# As the deer pants for the water

0:33:280:33:34

# So my soul longs after you

0:33:340:33:40

# You alone are my heart's desire

0:33:400:33:46

# And I long to worship you

0:33:460:33:52

# You alone are my strength, my shield

0:33:520:33:59

# To you alone may my spirit yield

0:33:590:34:05

# You alone are my heart's desire

0:34:050:34:10

# And I long to worship you

0:34:100:34:16

# Gwell wyt ti nac aur nac arian

0:34:220:34:28

# Dim ond ti all lenwi'm bryd

0:34:280:34:35

# Ti dy hun rydd i'm wir lawenydd

0:34:350:34:40

# Rwyt ti werth y byd i gyd

0:34:400:34:47

# Ti dy hun yw fy nerth a'm llw

0:34:470:34:53

# A chyda thi rwyf innau'n siwr

0:34:530:34:59

# Mai tydi yw serch fy nghalon

0:34:590:35:05

# Ac o Dduw, addolaf di

0:35:050:35:11

# Ti yw 'mrawd a thi yw 'nghyfaill

0:35:170:35:23

# Er mai brenin ydwyt ti

0:35:230:35:30

# Caraf di gan mil gwell na'r cwbl

0:35:300:35:35

# Mwy na phawb a phopeth sydd

0:35:350:35:42

# Ti dy hun yw fy nerth a'm llw

0:35:420:35:47

# A chyda thi rwyf innau'n siwr

0:35:470:35:53

# Mai tydi yw serch fy nghalon

0:35:530:36:00

# Ac o Dduw, addolaf di. #

0:36:000:36:10

Ysgol Y Strade, ladies and gentlemen!

0:36:180:36:22

David.

0:36:230:36:24

I just want to say congratulations to all of you.

0:36:240:36:28

Firstly, soloist, you sang in your own voice.

0:36:280:36:31

You sang using your own accent.

0:36:310:36:34

And you came in as an ensemble singing in Welsh,

0:36:340:36:37

which is a hard language to stay perfectly in tune in

0:36:370:36:40

because there's practically no vibrato at the ends of the lines.

0:36:400:36:43

You're only the second choir that we've had up there

0:36:430:36:46

whose tuning has been absolutely impeccable,

0:36:460:36:48

where there hasn't been a single tuning issue.

0:36:480:36:50

APPLAUSE

0:36:500:36:52

And you're the largest choir, and that made it even harder.

0:36:520:36:55

I commend you. I thought that was a very, very, very strong performance.

0:36:550:37:00

-Suzi?

-Erm, the quality of your sound was something between molten gold

0:37:000:37:06

and melted, warm milk chocolate.

0:37:060:37:10

It just had that wonderful feel and colour and texture.

0:37:100:37:14

I have a translation in front of me,

0:37:140:37:16

but I didn't need the translation

0:37:160:37:18

because it was very obvious what you were singing about.

0:37:180:37:20

Thanks for that, Suzi. I spent hours on that translation!

0:37:200:37:24

Erm, Russell, did you enjoy the choir?

0:37:240:37:26

I did. I think Suzi and David have just about said everything

0:37:260:37:30

that there is of a technical aspect.

0:37:300:37:32

When the girls started singing in unison,

0:37:320:37:34

it was the best unison singing so far today.

0:37:340:37:39

It was absolutely beautiful. You almost sounded like one.

0:37:390:37:42

APPLAUSE

0:37:420:37:45

Thank you, judges. And a big thank you to Ysgol Y Strade!

0:37:450:37:49

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:37:490:37:52

It went really good.

0:37:520:37:54

I don't think Sir could have wished for better.

0:37:540:37:56

I hope we have a chance, cos it's all we did was our best,

0:37:560:37:59

and I hope our best is good enough.

0:37:590:38:01

I'm very, very, very proud of them. I couldn't ask for more.

0:38:010:38:04

So, our judges have now left to decide which three choirs

0:38:050:38:08

will be going through to next week's final.

0:38:080:38:11

Given the quality of the performances we've seen today,

0:38:110:38:13

that isn't going to be an easy task.

0:38:130:38:15

I'm sure you'll have your favourites,

0:38:150:38:17

but if you haven't made up your mind just yet, here's a look back

0:38:170:38:21

at our six senior choirs.

0:38:210:38:22

# Angel voices ever singing...#

0:38:220:38:26

I thought this was one of the finest interpretations of all six.

0:38:260:38:30

And the men were so robust in their singing.

0:38:300:38:32

# Forever ringing... #

0:38:320:38:35

My only criticism was,

0:38:350:38:37

at the very top end, the sopranos were a little harsh.

0:38:370:38:40

# ..Lord of might. #

0:38:400:38:44

# For the beauty of the earth... #

0:38:440:38:49

I thought that it was a slightly nervous and tentative start,

0:38:490:38:53

but as they started to get through the song,

0:38:530:38:55

it really opened up and became quite beautiful.

0:38:550:38:58

I liked the way that the director allows them

0:39:000:39:03

to really use their voices in a natural, open way.

0:39:030:39:07

# Oh, praise him

0:39:070:39:10

If I died before I lift the platform for any reason,

0:39:100:39:13

could they sing at my funeral?

0:39:130:39:15

There is a slight nasal quality which, to my taste,

0:39:170:39:21

needed rounding and relaxing a little.

0:39:210:39:26

These were one of my favourites, without question.

0:39:260:39:29

So, we'll put them on the probables list.

0:39:290:39:31

Probably.

0:39:310:39:32

# Yea, we know that thou rejoicest... #

0:39:320:39:36

It was fantastic singing, there's no question about that.

0:39:360:39:41

This is a choir that has immense potential,

0:39:410:39:44

both in the men's and the women's voices.

0:39:440:39:46

# For thy praise design... #

0:39:470:39:50

They are fantastic. They could be great.

0:39:500:39:53

# Be thou my breastplate... #

0:39:530:39:56

There were some bass notes in there that I just think

0:39:560:39:59

shook the foundations of the building.

0:39:590:40:01

Yeah, the whole sound was very round and very warm. Very thick and rich.

0:40:010:40:05

The conductor had a vision in her mind, and she has

0:40:080:40:11

the technical wherewithal to communicate that vision.

0:40:110:40:14

# Gwell wyt ti nac aur nac arian... #

0:40:140:40:19

If we're looking at all these things we're asked to judge,

0:40:190:40:22

they were very high.

0:40:220:40:24

# Ti dy hun rydd i'm... #

0:40:260:40:29

-I wasn't...

-You weren't that smitten.

-No.

0:40:290:40:31

# Rwyt ti werth y byd i gyd. #

0:40:310:40:37

Here we go. Our judges are back, and our choirs await nervously

0:40:370:40:40

for their decisions. Whatever they are, I'm sure you'll agree

0:40:400:40:43

that our choirs have done themselves proud.

0:40:430:40:45

APPLAUSE

0:40:450:40:48

Now, judges, what have you made of the standard

0:40:500:40:52

of the senior choirs this year. David.

0:40:520:40:55

The standard has been incredible.

0:40:550:40:57

I think this has been the highest standard we've had,

0:40:570:41:00

and this was the most difficult competition

0:41:000:41:02

that I, personally, have ever judged.

0:41:020:41:05

It came down to the finest of fine margins

0:41:050:41:07

because what we heard was so good.

0:41:070:41:10

How about you, Suzi?

0:41:100:41:11

It makes you realise that the real jewel in the crown

0:41:110:41:15

of the United Kingdom is our choral tradition.

0:41:150:41:18

And I'm so proud that these choirs have continued, year on year,

0:41:180:41:24

to get more and more brilliant and impressive.

0:41:240:41:27

Russell, what do you say to the three choirs that don't make it?

0:41:270:41:31

Don't be too upset, there's always next year.

0:41:310:41:33

Those that have made it through have made it through

0:41:330:41:36

by the finest of parameters.

0:41:360:41:38

You were all absolutely fantastic.

0:41:380:41:41

Right, I'm going to ask each of our three judges

0:41:410:41:43

to reveal one choir who will be going through

0:41:430:41:46

to the final next week. Russell, can you reveal

0:41:460:41:49

the first senior choir going through to the final?

0:41:490:41:52

The first senior choir going through

0:41:520:41:56

to the Songs Of Praise School Choir Of The Year is...

0:41:560:42:02

..Saint George's College!

0:42:070:42:10

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:42:100:42:13

Suzi, can you please tell us the second choir

0:42:160:42:19

going through to the final?

0:42:190:42:20

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

0:42:200:42:25

Ysgol Y Strade.

0:42:290:42:31

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:42:310:42:33

OK, David, can you please reveal the name

0:42:400:42:42

of the last choir going through to that final?

0:42:420:42:46

The last senior choir going through to the final is...

0:42:470:42:52

Godolphin.

0:42:580:42:59

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:42:590:43:02

Please put your hands together for our valiant choirs

0:43:090:43:11

who haven't made it through to the final. They've been brilliant.

0:43:110:43:14

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:43:140:43:17

And if you'd like some top tips to improve your singing

0:43:180:43:21

from our celebrity judges, please visit our website.

0:43:210:43:23

Our senior finalists will be back next week

0:43:260:43:28

when one of them will be taking home the famous trophy

0:43:280:43:30

and the title, 2012 Songs Of Praise Senior School Choir Of The Year.

0:43:300:43:34

It's going to be tense, it's going to be exciting.

0:43:340:43:36

You'd be mad to miss it. Goodbye from all of us.

0:43:360:43:39

APPLAUSE

0:43:390:43:42

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:470:43:50

The six best senior school choirs in the land compete for the top prize as Russell Watson, Suzi Digby and David Grant judge the senior schools' favourite hymns as Aled Jones introduces the second of three special programmes from The Lowry Theatre in Salford.


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