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Taunton Prep School Singers make it to finals of national choral competition

The TPS Singers are to pitch their voices against choirs from 21 other schools in a bid to clinch the national title of Barnardo’s Choir of the Year.

In March, they will take part in the UK’s largest school choir competition, held annually in Birmingham. The winners of the junior and senior sections will go on to perform at the Barnardo’s 2024 Young Supporters Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

“We are delighted to have been selected to compete in the final,” said Philippa Simmonds, Director of Music and Performing Arts at Taunton Prep School. “This pays credit to the dedication and hard work that each member of the choir has shown.”

The group submitted recordings of two pieces to the judging panel – ‘In Flanders Field’ by Sharon Durant and ‘Whisper!’ by Greg Gilpin.  Adjudicators commented on the impressive balance between vocal parts and also superb intonation and expression.

Some 34 pupils from Years 5 to 8 make up The TPS Singers – an auditioned choir which rehearses twice a week.

Singing plays a huge part in the daily life at TPS with every child from Nursery to Year 4 receiving a 30-minute Choir session a week in addition to their usual weekly music lessons. There are non-selective choirs for Years 5 and 6, and Years 7 and 8. These choirs also rehearse twice a week performing regularly in Chapel assemblies, concerts, festivals and competitions.

“Music, and singing in particular, is part of the vocabulary of our school; it is something that everyone engages in and is viewed very much as the norm,” said Mrs Simmonds. “We are very proud of what all our singers achieve.”

The latest success comes on the back of a tour by The TPS Singers to Barcelona, where they performed to a packed audience at the Basilica in Montserrat. Choirs from Taunton Prep School also performed recently at the Taunton WinterFest, and one went on to be a winner at the Taunton Music Festival.

The Barnardo’s national choir competition has been running for more than 14 years, raising vital funds for Barnardo’s work with disadvantaged children and young people.

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