Langley singer among world champion children’s choir

British Columbia Girls Choir takes top honours at prestigious competition in Wales

The hills of Wales were ringing with the cheers of the 40 ecstatic young singers of the British Columbia Girls Choir in early July.

They had just finished singing in two competitions and, mathematically, an English choir was .6 points ahead.

But the Canadian girls were the only choir to place in both classes — third place in the folksong and first place in the senior children’s competitions.

Who would win the overall prize? The judges decided that the honours would go to both the British Columbia Girls Choir and the Hereford Cathedral Girls Choir of England.

Among the 40 Canadian singers was 16-year-old Holly ten Haaf, a student at Langley Fine Arts School.

“Right before we won our title I turned and said ‘I will eat my foot if we win this’ – then we won,” said Holly.

“You know the feeling you have when you see a toddler take its first steps? Or when you get a really good mark when you worked really hard? Kind of like that, except you get to share it with 40 girls that are all feeling the same.”

Winning took a lot of focus, said Holly.

“We’re all pretty great friends, so not talking in rehearsal is pretty hard. When we do focus, it’s crazy what we can accomplish.”

The British Columbia Girls Choir is led by Fiona Blackburn, a former professional singer who has been directing choirs for almost two decades.

“The girls and I have been working towards this top competition for a number of years,” said Blackburn.

“The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales is considered the pinnacle of choral competitions worldwide because it has existed since 1947 as a way to bring countries together through music, and because it attracts the top choirs from around the world.

In the children’s choir competition, there were 12 choirs from eight countries — the USA, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, England, India, the Isle of Man and Wales.

All the choirs had to go through an extensive audition process to be accepted and it was an honour for us to be one of two Canadian choirs.”

Blackburn said the judges commented on the choir’s interesting choice of repertoire, performing four different languages, their innovative performance style with use of movement and percussion, and ability to sing with such great vocal control.

“I love the girls’ commitment to our art.”

Just Posted

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

Langley creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Grass fire closes Mufford overpass to traffic

Township fire crews using ladder truck to battle blaze

Chilliwack gymnast to compete in Pan American Championships

Canadian national teamer Zachary Clay travels to Peru in September for international competition.

Trinity Western University changes controversial covenant

Pledge forbidding sexual intimacy outside of marriage optional, but only for students

Pitt Meadows airport manager resigns

Guy Miller was just two months on the job

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Wildfire smoke blankets B.C. and Alberta, prompting air quality advisories

About 25 new wildfires were sparked between Monday morning and midday Tuesday

Most Read