Judges and TV viewers were once again singing the praises of youngsters in a Lindley school choir.
Talented singers from Lindley Junior School Choir were declared winners of the Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year after coming runners-up in the last two years.
The 40-strong group, aged from eight to 11, stunned famous judges Katherine Jenkins, Corrie Fisher and Ken Burton with their mesmerising rendition of the Lord’s Prayer by David Fanshawe at Sheffield City Hall, screened on BBC1 on Sunday.
Lindley was the only state school to make it through to the final, where they beat two private schools Hereford Cathedral Junior School and Blackheath Preparatory School from London.
It was also the third big win for the group this year. In February they lifted the Junior Choir of the Year title at the national Barnardo’s Choir Festival and also Arthur Rooke Cup at Huddersfield’s Mrs Sunderland Festival.
“It’s amazing,” said Alison North, the school’s music teacher and choir leader.
“This is the second time that we’ve won it in eight years and it was such a tremendous occasion.
“We actually filmed it on February 27, so keeping it quiet for this long has been a nightmare.
“We won a trophy, which we’re only allowed to put in the cabinet now that the show has been broadcast.
“It was fantastic and a momentous experience.
“The choir performs at a lot of great shows but this has been the highlight of the year for them because it was televised.
“It was a bit nerve-wracking for them but they had a fabulous time.”
The rise of the choir has been nothing short of impressive.
“They only came together as a choir in September after being picked from auditions,” said Alison.
“They have practices with me three times a week, twice on a lunchtime and once after school and have built up quite a repertoire since they began.
“With the other wins, February was our most incredible month yet and it’s great to fly the flag for state education.”
Unfortunately, the school will now be frozen out of the competition for a while.
“If you win your school can’t enter the contest again for another four years,” said Alison.
“It’s really harsh because it means that a whole cohort of children will miss out.
“But we’ve got lots of concerts planned and soon it will be time to begin rehearsals again when new children join as the new school year begins.”
The choir will next perform live in Huddersfield on Friday June 10 with Sundown Swing at St Stephen’s Church on Lidget Street in Lindley.