Millfield’s chamber choir Camerata have been named as one of the top Senior choirs in the country after reaching the finals of the Barnardo’s Senior Choir of the Year 2020.
The choir will now perform at the finals of the competition against seven other school choirs for the coveted title of ‘Senior Choir of the Year’ at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London, on March 9th. The winning Senior Choir are invited to sing in a 2020 Young Supporters Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The prize also includes a piece of music composed specifically for the winning choir by British Conductor and Composer Douglas Coombes MBE.
The choir submitted two contrasting entries for the competition, with their performances of Gyorgy Orban’s Daemon Irrepit Callidus and Hubert Parry’s My Soul There is a Country assessed by a panel of judges chaired by Douglas Coombes MBE.
Millfield’s Director of Music, Matthew Cook, says, “This is a fantastic achievement for Camerata. To progress to the finals of this highly-renowned competition is a testament to the talent and hard work of our musicians, and we simply cannot wait to showcase the quality of this choir in one of the most prestigious music venues in the world.”
Camerata are a mixed-voice chamber choir consisting of 32 students aged between 14 and 18. The diverse musical ensemble at Millfield includes an array of musicians with a range of talents, with surprisingly very few first-study vocalists: its members simply share the passion of choral singing. The choir is fortunate to enjoy a strong relationship with Wells Cathedral, and perform many services in this sublime setting throughout the year. In addition, Camerata enjoy a number of national and international annual tours, most recently visiting Vienna, Bratislava and Prague. This tour included two Masses, three hour-long concerts and a performance in the highly prestigious St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Many of Camerata’s members go on to choral scholarships at university, with some of Millfield’s recent leavers going on to sing with choirs at both Cambridge and Durham Universities. Last year, 2019 leaver and Camerata member Isabelle Barber accepted a place at Birmingham University to study Music, having also gained offers from Manchester University, Royal Holloway, and King’s College, London, and 2019 leaver Gregory Wills, also a member of Camerata, achieved a Music and Choral Scholarship from Royal Holloway and an offer from the University of Southampton and Cardiff University, accepting the latter. Several members of Camerata currently perform with the National Youth Training Choir of Great Britain, with recent leavers now also performing with the main National Youth Choir, performing in the BBC Proms last year.