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Bradford choir to take part in world championships
6:32pm Tuesday 1st July 2014 in News
BRADFORD Catholic Girls' Choir will sing their hearts out as they compete at the World Choir Games.
Billed as the 'Olympics for Choirs', the group will battle it out in Riga, Latvia in the Champions Category at the event, held from July 9 to 19.
Bradford Catholic Girls' Choir are one of only three UK choirs taking part, with 73 countries taking to the stage including representatives from the Philippines and Chinese Taipei.
They will compete for a gold, silver or bronze prize against 11 other choirs in their block in the Champions Category at St Peter's Church on July 10 from 2pm.
Then, on Friday, July 11, they will take to the stage of the Great Hall of Riga, Stradins University where they will compete against seven other choirs, from the likes of Canada and Latvia, in their block.
They are in form going into the Games, having already won several competitions already this year. They will fly out to Latvia on July 8 and return to Bradford on July 13.
They applied to participate in the Games and had to demonstrate their history of performance, which has included past appearances on the BBC, and also sent organisers a recording of a performance.
The tour has been financially supported by Bradford Council, Leeds Trinity University, The Emerald Foundation, The Fattorini Trust and The Knights of St Columba.
The Bradford Catholic Girls' Choir, which rehearses weekly at St Joseph's Catholic College, Cunliffe Road, Bradford, is part of the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme, the largest choral programme in the country which works with about 2,500 children each week.
It was formed in 2006 and has 35 members of girls aged between 11 and 18 from Keighley and Bradford schools.
The girls have performed twice at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, finishing fifth in 2009 as the highest-placed UK choir. The choir was awarded the Music for Youth Senior choirs' award for their outstanding musicianship in Birmingham in July 2009.
The girls have appeared on Songs of Praise on the BBC as well as numerous radio performances.
Tom Leech, director of the Bradford Catholic Girls' Choir and who will be their conductor in Riga, said: "It's going to be incredible.
"It's really exciting and inspiring for them. If we can get a placing we would be absolutely thrilled.
"It's the biggest choral competition there is and we've been planning for quite a long time.
"We will be doing the concerts and building links across Europe.
"We have had great support from Bradford Council who have given us a generous grant.
"We hope for the girls to be inspired by music and broadening cultural horizons.
"It will be nice for the girls, some of them have not been abroad before and not been on a plane."