A choir from a Canterbury School has won Top Choir Kent 2012 title after a thrilling, hard-fought, final in front of a packed audience (600 people) at Shirley Hall in Canterbury on Saturday (31st March).
The choir – Sedecim - Latin for sixteen – made up of 19 pupils from Kent College in Canterbury and led by their musical director, Jackie Spencer, was the judges' unanimous choice. The chairman of the judges, Dr David Flood, who is Organist and Master of Choristers at Canterbury Cathedral, praised the musical ability of the choir and the breadth of music they performed. He said: “Sedecim is a young choir achieving at an enormously high level.” He added: “This was a balanced and refined performance”.
Sedecim were awarded the Brett Top Choir Kent Trophy and they will now be granted a performance at this year's Canterbury Festival as their prize.
Jackie Spencer, the Musical Director and conductor of Sedecim was bowled over at the result. She said: “It’s been a fantastic evening - the standard of all the choirs has been superb”. She added: “This result is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of these talented young singers. It’s a fantastic result for us.”
The other seven other finalist choirs which came from all over Kent – each of which received £100 for taking part - all received high praise from David Flood. He said: “They are all winners just for reaching the final.” Commenting on the choirs individually Dr Flood said: “Bromley Boy Singers are a fantastic group. They are very focused and know how to grab an audience. They maybe small in number but have big impact”. The Kent Girls’ Choir: “…have a super delicate sound, very atmospheric with good intonation”. St Stephen’s Church Choir in Canterbury – which has appeared at all three finals of Top Choir Kent to date: “…are a signal for all that is great and good about English Church Choirs. We applaud your energy and enthusiasm”. Thanet Community Gospel Choir: “…gave a great presentation. They have great soloists and sang with enthusiasm and energy”. Opus 32 from Sittingbourne: “…gave an impressive and sonorous performance – it’s a well-balanced and confident choir”. Canterbury Girls’ Chamber Choir: “…has wonderful diction, and gave a crisp performance. You obviously enjoy singing”. Pharos Chamber Choir from Dover, “…you are an adventurous and ambitious choir. You delivered a very impressive strong start and tackled a difficult piece with great confidence”.
The added bonus of the final – which was compered by BBC TV presenter, Rob Smith, was a performance by Top Choir Kent 2011 winners, Viva Acappella from Orpington who sang whilst the judges considered their verdict.
The Top Choir Kent competition is organised and promoted by the Rotary Club of Canterbury and the event is expected raise in excess of six-thousand-pounds for Rotary charities. The President of the Rotary Club of Canterbury, Harry Cragg, paid tribute to the support provided by the competition’s mains sponsor, Belmont International, of Sevenoaks. He said: “Belmont’s generous sponsorship meant nearly all the set-up and admin costs of Top Choir Kent are covered ahead of the event. This has enabled us to stage a top-flight musical event whilst at the same time raising a large sum of money for charitable causes”.
Notes to Editors
BBC Radio Kent recorded the final for broadcast on Good Friday at 1pm and on Easter Day at 6am.
Top Choir Kent 2012 was open to amateur choirs of all ages and styles based in the County of Kent, the Medway Authority or the London Boroughs of ‘Old Kent’. Top Choir Kent 2013 takes place on Saturday March 23rd 2013.