Carrick Grammar choir secures spot in finals

The finals will be broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster this weekend.  INCT 15-745-CON
The finals will be broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster this weekend. INCT 15-745-CON

Carrickfergus Grammar vocalists were in fine voice after securing a place in senior final of this year’s BBC Radio Ulster School Choir Of The Year.

Over the course of the past seven weeks, primary and secondary school choirs from across Northern Ireland have been singing to impress as they battle it out for a place in the final round of the prestigious competiton.

Presented by John Toal and Kerry McLean, the series has been recorded at seven venues across Northern Ireland, with the eighth programme - the senior school semi-final - broadcast on April 10 on BBC Radio Ulster.

The series, part of BBC Music NI, will culminate in a live final from the Ulster Hall on Sunday (April 17).

Competing for a place in the final in the eighth round recorded at The Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, were Carrickfergus Grammar; Dalriada, Ballymoney; New Bridge Integrated College, Banbridge; Bloomfield Collegiate, Belfast; St Mary’s Grammar, Magherafelt, and Friends’ School, Lisburn.

It was Carrick Grammar, Dalriada and New Bridge Integrated who most impressed the judging panel, made up of Richard Yarr, senior producer Classical Music, BBC Radio Ulster; Ciaran Scullion, head of Music with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and Rebekah Coffey, soprano and coach with the Ulster Youth Choir.

Commenting on the school’s success was Edward Craig, head of Music at Carrick Grammar. “Reaching the final three in the competition is such an honour and we wish the other two schools who have reached the final well,” he said.

The competition, now in its second year, is produced in association with the Ulster Youth Choir, and supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

The winning choirs will feature across a range of BBC Radio Ulster’s programming and events during this year.