A LOCAL CHILDREN’S choir who have enchanted audiences for over twenty five years returned from an iconic international festival in North Wales.
TGS Motet Choir from IB World School Tonbridge Grammar School was founded in 1992 and have sung in cathedrals and Britain's major music venues and last summer joined choirs from all over the world by appearing at the glittering European Choir Games event in Germany last summer, earning a silver diploma in their first competitive games.
The choir performed on a world stage against choirs from Australia, Indonesia, the US, Trinidad and Tobago, and across Europe, when they took part in the Senior Children’s Choir and Children's Folksong choral competitions at the 70th anniversary of the Llangollen Eisteddfod on Thursday July 7 2016.
According to the director of the choir, Mr Pitts, the choir appearance at the iconic International cultural festival, was very exciting and every one of the 38 young choristers enjoyed taking part.
He said: “The choir has been over to Llangollen to compete in the Eisteddfod a few years ago and it’s always a real thrill being there and a very special occasion for them.”
“The competitions were very tough, with only a few points separating the top choirs. The judges particularly liked our sound and dynamics. In the Senior Children’s Choir category, we were narrowly beaten by the Pangudi Luhur Youth Choir from Indonesia. They went on to become the Children’s Choir of the World.”
“The TGS girls did an amazing job as a state school choir up against Youth Choirs and regional choirs from a much larger pool of singers. So being 8th or 9th in the world is a great achievement.”
Tonbridge Grammar School Motet Choir is for young people aged 14-18 and performs throughout the year at venues such as the Royal Festival Hall and across Kent and the South East of England.
Members of the choir regularly sing with the Bach Choir in their annual St Matthew Passion as well as in high-profile concerts, competitions and special events.
Their repertoire covers a wide variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, folk, and world music, with new commissions regularly being written especially for them.
In 2014, the choir appeared at Westminster Cathedral to premiere a work by Kent composer Margaret Rizza dedicated to the choir.
Broadcaster and number one album artists Aled Jones, acclaimed singer and supporter of young choirs, said: "The performances of the TGS Motet Choir that I have enjoyed over the years on BBC Songs of Praise have been consistently inspirational. The blend of voices is a magical one, and something not easy to achieve in a school choir. It is remarkable that this standard is reached consistently and it is to the credit of the girls and their-choirmaster.
They have huge potential and if you have the opportunity to hear, work with or support the future of this exciting and enthusiastic state school choir of young voices, I would thoroughly recommend that you grab the chance.”
Mr Pitts added: “The Eisteddfod was great fun and a unique atmosphere. We have been seeking sponsorship to support the unique programme of this school choir, who do not have the musical resources of other county choirs or independent schools.”
“But Llangollen gives these young people a wonderful chance to get together, explore new international ideas and work with like-minded people from all over the world in a very friendly atmosphere."
“We even had the excitement of some choristers receiving their examination results while we were traveling to Wales. 18-year old Lydia from Sevenoaks, Niamh from Langton Green and Natalie from Hildenborough, received their IB diploma results in a motorway service station just north of the Watford Gap! They all did very well!”
For more on Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and its competitions and concerts as well as how to get to it and where to stay go to http://international-eisteddfod.co.uk/ or check out https://www.facebook.com/llangollen
News article written by Mr Pitts