School choirs reach finals

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BALLYHOLME Primary School and Sullivan Upper School have won places in the final of the BBC Radio Ulster School Choir Of The Year.

They are the fifth set of schools to win places in the live final and next week the final set of choirs from across Northern Ireland will be continuing to sing to impress as they battle it out for a place in the final.

Presented by John Toal and Kerry McLean and recorded at six venues across Northern Ireland, the fifth programme was broadcast last Sunday on BBC Radio Ulster at 2pm.

The series, part of BBC Music NI, will culminate in a live final from the Ulster Hall on Sunday, April 26.

Competing for a place in the final in the fourth round, recorded at Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch, and presented by John Toal, were, in the junior category - Ballyholme Primary School, Bangor; Dundonald Primary School; Millennium Primary School, Saintfield; Strathearn Preparatory School, Belfast, St Joseph’s Primary School, Belfast, and Dromore Central Primary School.

In the senior category, the following schools competed for a place in the grand final: Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch; Our Lady & St Patrick’s College, Knock, Priory Integrated College, Holywood; St Patrick’s Grammar, Downpatrick, and Sullivan Upper, Holywood.

It was Ballyholme Primary School (junior category) and Sullivan Upper School (senior category) who impressed the judging panel, made up of Richard Yarr, senior producer classical music, BBC Radio Ulster; Rebekah Coffey, soprano and vocal coach, and Donal McCrisken, choral conductor and music adjudicator.

The competition is produced in association with the Ulster Youth Choir and is supported by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland (ACNI).

The winning choirs will help BBC Radio Ulster celebrate its 40th anniversary throughout this year and feature across a range of the station’s programming and events.

• If you missed the programme, catch it again via the BBC Radio iPlayer by logging on to: and follow the links to BBC Radio Ulster.