IT was formed only three months ago, but All Saints Catholic College’s choir is already on a mission to take the singing world by storm.
Its young members hope to represent their country by competing against some of the globe’s best singers in the World Choir Olympics.
Hundreds of choirs from 90 nations will battle it out for the title of best choir in the world at the contest, which takes place in Graz, Austria, in July next year, and All Saints’ choir hopes to be among them.
The 50-strong choir, the first the school has had for many years, is working hard to ensure it is pitch perfect for the big contest.
Its members are busy rehearsing for a number of performances planned for the rest of the year, which started with a public performance at St Patrick’s Church in Huddersfield on Tuesday.
The choir has several important events booked on its busy diary of events for the coming year, including a recording for Songs of Praise and a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in April next year.
Its members are aged 11 to 16, and they all had to audition for their places.
Like the Choir Olympics ideal which is ‘participation is the greatest honour’, the choir places great importance on taking part as a team and involving students who enjoy making music.
Allison Schofield, the choir’s administrator, said: “The children are quite excited about the choir – it’s something they have not had before, and it opens up new opportunities to them.
“The choir is open to everyone, not necessarily the most talented musicians in the college – but they do sound really good!
“Commitment is the most important thing, because members have to attend rehearsals after school and at weekends.”
For their performance at St Patrick’s Church, which marked the installation of the new priest Fr Ian Smith, the choir performed traditional hymns and songs which included Swing Low Sweet Chariot, but members enjoy singing in a variety of styles, including modern pop songs.
The choir is being supported and trained by staff at the college, and the Diocese of Leeds as part of its singing programme, which is the largest in the country.
Its choir masters are Christopher McElroy, assistant director of music for the Diocese of Leeds, and Michael Wynne, also from the diocese.
The choir is being sponsored by the OPAL foundation, which like the college, has links with the diocese and Huddersfield University.
The foundation is funding the choir’s travel and accommodation for the Choir Olympics heats.
Allison added: “They are really looking forward to the prospect of going to Austria. Its quite a way away, and they’ve got to get through a national competition in London in April first, but I think they’ve got as good a chance as anybody of winning.
“I think the college choir can become one of the best choirs around, and I hope it is retained for a long time to come.”