Some of the finest young musical talents in the north east have done battle over the prestigious title of the region’s choir of the year.
The annual event, staged at Newcastle’s City Hall, saw five of the region’s best choirs put their talents to the test in the final of St Oswald’s Choir of the Year competition.
Among the judging panel was Barry Hyde, lead singer of The Futureheads, who had to call on all of his expertise to identify the best of the ensembles.
Ultimately, though, the award was handed to the Longbenton Community College Choir, which is largely comprised of students from the North Tyneside school.
Explaining their decision, the judging panel expressed their admiration for the choir’s youthful and keen approach to singing.
Nikki Holmes, musical director of the choir, said that she was “absolutely delighted” to have won the award.
Speaking to Chronicle Live, she added: “The choir have really built a unit and really enjoying being together and singing together.
“We chose to support St Oswald’s because it’s a fantastic charity, it does amazing work for people in the north east and we felt it was a valuable local charity to support.”
Barry Hyde, meanwhile, described Longbenton as a remarkable choir, adding: “They have so much talent at such a young age.”
Longbenton beat off stiff competition from four other local choirs to secure the prestigious prize: Durham University Voices; North East Gospel Choir; Newcastle College Foundation Degree Musical Theatre Ensemble; and Backworth Male Voice Choir.
The event, which was hosted by Metro Radio’s Anna Foster, raised an impressive £12,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice.
Organisers have confirmed that the money will be put towards their annual fundraising target of £6.5 million, with the overarching ambition of helping to ensure that hospice care is available to everyone in the region.