UK's top singing groups go head to head in the Choir of the Year 2012 Grand Final

-       Six choirs battle it out to win the most prestigious UK choral prize -

-  Judging panel including west end and Broadway star Ruthie Henshall, Greg Beardsell and Mary King -

-       Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC FOUR in the run up to Christmas -

As singing fever continues to spread across the nation, the UK’s most prestigious choral competition Choir of the Year, ( is preparing to bring London alive with music at its climactic Grand Final featuring some of the UK’s top singing talent.

Six of the UK’s leading vocal groups will battle it out to win the coveted title Choir of the Year 2012 at the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank on Sunday 28 October 2012. Presented by Josie D’Arby and with special guest the Grammy Award winning The Swingle Singers, each choir will impress judges with their unique styles and challenging repertoire.

Over 5,000 singers from 138 singing groups entered the competition in auditions across the country.  They have been whittled down to the final 6 choirs, with four choirs from each category – Youth, Adult, Children and Open – plus two ‘Wildcard’ winners left standing. They are:

  • Children's Category winner: Lindley Junior School Choir  - HUDDERSFIELD
  • Adult Category winner: Surrey Hills Chamber Choir - EWEL
  • Youth Category winner: Methodist College Girls’ Choir - BELFAST
  • Open Category winner: Oxford Gargoyles - OXFORD
  • Wildcard: Ysgol Glanaethwy Senior Choir - BANGOR
  • Wildcard: Les Sirènes  - GLASGOW

From a slick jazz a cappella ensemble from Oxford University, to an angelic primary school choir from Huddersfield the Grand Finalists will offer something for all musical tastes.

Broadcast on BBC Four on Tuesday 13 November (time TBC) the Choir of the Year and on BBC Radio 3 the Grand Final promises to be an infectious celebration of singing, with opportunities for all the family to join in. The day includes:

  • Outstanding performance: Six of the finest amateur choirs and vocal groups in the country attempt to out perform each other as they sing to win the overall title of Choir of the Year 2012.
  • Discovering hidden singing talent: Audience members can unleash their inner popstar during our audience workshop led by the world famous Swingle Singers!
  • Live judges' feedback: Feel the tension and witness the drama as our expert judges including west end and Broadway star Ruth Henshall, Greg Beardsell, musical director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, and Mary King, broadcaster and Director of the Southbank Centre’s Voicelab, provide live feedback on each choir's performance.
  • A building filled with song: Before the show, the general public is invited to join our vocal workshop for all-comers, with guest tutors and performances from recent graduates of two ‘Learn to Sing’ courses led by Making Music and the British Association of Barbershop Singers. From 13.00-14.30 in the Clore Ballroom, free entry.

Singing is the UK’s most popular participatory group activity after sport. There are over 25,000 choirs, with 500,000 singers across the country reaching an audience of 3m*.  Regular group singing has proven health benefits, from improved breathing capacity and better posture to increased self-confidence and the feel good factor that comes from singing your heart out with a group of friends. * Figures supplied by TONSIL.

Choir of the Year is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


The Grand Final of Choir of the Year 2012, takes place at the Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

  • Sunday 28 October, 3pm
  • Tickets from £13-£25
  • The show is three hours with an interval
  • Box Office: 0844 875 0073 /

Live from London

The Grand Final will be broadcast on BBC FOUR on 13 November – see TV listings – and on BBC Radio 3 (date and time TBC).

For full information about the competition, please visit


Further Information

For high resolution images or further information, please contact Helen Price at Kallaway: 020 7221 7883 / or Jack Hickmott

Press passes

Press tickets for the Grand Final in London can be secured from Kallaway on 020 7221 7883


Children’s Choirs - Majority of singers age 12 and under.

Youth Choirs - Majority of singers age 18 and under.

Adult Choirs – Same or mixed voices.

Open Choirs - There are no upper or lower age limits in this category. It's ideal for singing groups which include children and adults, specialise in a particular cultural tradition or style of repertoire or simply want to do something a little bit different.

About Choir of the Year  (

Choir of the Year is the UK’s national amateur group singing competition and the foremost competition of its kind – winning the competition is the ultimate achievement for any UK choir.

138 choirs of all ages and music styles performed at regional auditions at major venues across the UK from January to March 2012. The sixteen category finalists selected from the auditions competed to win a place in the Grand Final at the Bridgewater Hall on 6 October. Competing choirs receive live feedback from expert judges at every stage of the competition.

Since 1984 more than 130,000 singers of all ages have taken part in Choir of the Year, a biennial festival of singing, performing in a vast array of styles – pop, gospel, barbershop, classical and World music. It is FREE to enter and choirs get to perform to a live audience and have expert judges provide live feedback and written guidance notes following the heat.   Choir of the Year is more than a competition and helps choirs to become the best they can, providing the opportunity for singers of all ages and backgrounds to meet and exchange ideas, it raises the aspirations of thousands of singers by promoting teamwork, dedication and a passion for singing.

Choir of the Year is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.