Singers go for gold

PUBLISHED: 17:55 08 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:07 10 May 2010

Cantate rehearsing for the World Choir Games

Cantate rehearsing for the World Choir Games

SINGERS from Uttlesford will be hoping to strike a chord with judges at the world s largest choral competition. Tuneful youngster Joe McNally, from Church Street in Newport, is one of 65 singers aiming for gold at the fifth World Choir Games, being held i

SINGERS from Uttlesford will be hoping to strike a chord with judges at the world's largest choral competition.

Tuneful youngster Joe McNally, from Church Street in Newport, is one of 65 singers aiming for gold at the fifth World Choir Games, being held in Graz, Austria.

Newport Free Grammar schoolboy, Joe, said: "I'm really looking forward to the competition - this is the first time the choir has competed in the games, so it will be a new experience for everybody!"

The 14-year-old is one of many young singers from Saffron Walden and Newport who set off to Austria, with Bishop's Stortford-based choir Cantate, yesterday (Wednesday July 9).

As part of the mixed voice choir, Joe will hope they can impress the judges with their four well-rehearsed songs.

"My favourite piece of music that we are performing is a Zulu wedding song called Hambalulu. It's a lot of fun and very energetic," said Joe. "I think the most difficult piece is the classical Cantate Llorca because it is sung in Spanish."

More than 400 choirs from 93 different countries will be competing in Graz - the capital of choral singing - in a number of different categories.

Cantate is one of the UK's leading choirs for young people and is a former winner of the Sainsbury's Choir of the Year competition. They have performed at some of the most prestigious venues in the country including the Royal Festival Hall and St Paul's Cathedral.

Joe, who has been performing with Cantate for three years, said the choir's final performance before they set off for Austria had given them a lot of confidence. "There were about 100 people who came to our farewell concert and we performed all our competition pieces," he said.

The choir performed at Bishop's Stortford's College Memorial Hall on Sunday (July 6) evening.

Also travelling to Austria with the choir is 17-year-old Imogen House, from Newport, who said the run-up to the competition had been a "lot of hard work, but good fun".

"Even if we don't win it will be a great experience to compete with so many other great choirs," she said.

Cantate manager, Pascale Bozzi, from Debden, said: "It promises to be a very exciting few days for the choir. Anyone can follow the choir's progress by going to www.cantate.co.uk."

The games take place every two years. Cantate is due to return on Saturday July 19.

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