You may have heard their songs on popular ITV detective drama Midsomer Murders, but now Wallingford Parish Church Choir is looking to cement its popularity and success after being named Britain’s Favourite Parish Choir.
Following a nationwide search by Universal Music, the choir has landed a recording deal with Decca Records.
The Oxfordshire-based group triumphed in the nationwide search and will now release their first record, The Hymns Album, on April 18th. It includes favourites like Cwm Rhondda: Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer, How Great Thou Art, Jerusalem and Love Divine All Loves Excelling.
Judges of the competition sifted through hundreds of entries after placing ads in newspapers across the country. The ads were spotted by a former leading record executive who lives in the Wallingford area who encouraged the choir to enter.
Ex-managing director of Virgin Records Paul Conroy said: “I knew they would appeal partly because the mixture of youth and experience but also the quality of their performance. I suggested that they put themselves forward to the competition and I am very pleased and proud that they were chosen.”
The choir is currently made up of 33 adults and 19 younger members, with ages ranging from six to over 70.
Wallingford’s director of music Sue Ledger commented on the news, telling Classic FM: “One of the best days ever was telling the full choir at the next choir practice. They were all overwhelmed.
“Young and old choristers felt a real sense of affirmation for our singing within the church.”
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