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

Fort Langley gets ‘flower-bombed’

Suprise inspired by New York florist

Langley Fastball Association wins Association of the Year

Award at SoftballBC Awards Gala in Kamloops

Langley Olympians swimmers selected for Swim BC provincial training squad

Program develops podium potential and results at major international competitions

Langley rollover crash slows traffic on 200 Street in Willoughby

Crews called to Monday afternoon collision involving two cars

Township mayor Jack Froese talks short- and long-term goals for third term

Tree bylaw, pot sales among topics that will need attention in coming months

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

35 rescued off whale watching boat in Georgia Strait

Tour company says vessel experienced some kind of mechanical issue

Pipeline opponents blast Trans Mountain re-approval plan

Environmental advocates, First Nations leaders say NEB review has same flaws as it had before

Opioid crisis may be shortening British Columbians’ life expectancy: report

Canada among healthiest wealthy countries, but 8,000 overdose deaths since 2016 are causing concern

B.C. cold case helps ‘60 Minutes’ explain genetic genealogy

An arrest in the 1987 double-murder of two people from Victoria was one of three examples highlighted in a segment you can watch here

Delivery of cannabis could be impacted by postal strike

BC Liquor Distribution Branch look at alternative third-party delivery services

Around the BCHL: Chilliwack Chiefs snag spot in CJHL national rankings

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Rural regions get priority for B.C. referendum mail-out

Ballot security measures aim to protect against voter fraud

B.C.’s natural gas supply could see 50% dip through winter due to pipeline blast

It’s been two weeks since the Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Prince George on Oct. 9, sparking a large fireball

Most Read