Forty youngsters from Lindley Junior School will be getting up at the crack of dawn tomorrow for the biggest day of their lives.

Coaches will pick them up at 6.30am - along with 130 supporters - to transport them to the semi finals of the BBC Songs of Praise Choir of the Year contest at Birmingham International Convention Centre (ICC).

There the eight to 11-year-olds will perform Praise My Soul the King of Heaven, the beautiful hymn they have been practising for months under the expert tutelage of conductor Alison North.

They will be judged not only on how well they sing, but also on their presentation and ability to move the judges with their voices.

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Lindley is one of six schools in the semi finals, alongside two state schools from Wales and three independent schools: Ampleforth,North Yorkshire, and schools from Chester and Blackheath, London. The BBC will broadcast the semi finals on Sunday, April 27.

If Lindley is one of the three choirs which make it through to the final, the children will have to sing again later that afternoon -almost 12 hours after their day began.

Alison said: “We are very well rehearsed and ready for the competition. It is a wonderful day to be part of and the children are very excited, as are their families. A supporters’ bus wil be travelling down with us, it is very high profile to be on national television.

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“We have a higher number of boys in this choir than ever before. We started with choirs at Lindley in September 1999 and now it is much easier to recruit each September.

“So many children want to be part of it and we can lift the standard so much quicker. I think the children get a great sense of satisfaction and enjoyment from their performance.”

Lindley have prepared a second song for the final, Love Grows Here, which will be broadcast at some point whether or not the choir reaches the final.

Lindley Junior School Choir won the competition in 2008, which made it ineligible for entry until 2012, when it returned and reached the semi finals.

A final word from Alison before departure: “It is impossible to tell how we will do; but we are in fine voice.”

Lindley Junior School Choir and musical director Alison North rehearsing for BBC Songs of Praise.
Lindley Junior School Choir and musical director Alison North rehearsing for BBC Songs of Praise.

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