Tonbridge Grammar’s Motet Choir and new soloist dazzle judges

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THE Motet Choir from Tonbridge Grammar School received rave reviews from the judges after they were invited to perform in the Music for Youth National Festival in Birmingham.

They were up against two county youth choirs and others from much larger areas.

Their programme consisted of Bob Chilcott’s Be Thou My Vision, the American songbook classic Fly Me To The Moon and a gypsy-inspired piece called The Wedding Ring.

They left town at 7am in order to be ready to perform on the National Festival Fringe Tent in the City Gardens, then took part in a mash-up workshop with Helen Smee from the National Youth Choir.

Their final performance was held in the early evening in Symphony Hall alongside other choirs from all over the UK.

The judges’ comments included: ‘Lovely dynamics, lovely rich sound, excellent blend and kept the tone even when singing quietly’; ‘a beautifully presented and prepared choir’; and ‘excellent diction and impressive full tone, and the canon was beautifully balanced.’

Aria Henry, a new member of the choir in Year Nine, performed a solo and was singled out for special praise, the judges saying ‘it was a beautiful and confident solo, well watched for the many tempo changes’.

Aria was thrilled with the experience, saying: ‘At first I was a bit nervous about going to sing on a big stage against other choirs. I really enjoyed performing. It was such an exciting experience, one I will never forget.’

Choir Director Adrian Pitts commented: ‘It is an amazing venue with a full rich sound yet has pinpoint clarity.’

The Motet Choir are now waiting to see if they will be invited to the final stage of the competition, in a performance at the Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November.

PICTURE: ALL TOGETHER NOW: The choir performs in Symphony Hall

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