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2024 Festival Results: Choirs, orchestras and bands


Normanhurst Senior Choir

We had a fabulous day on Monday 5 February at our annual Choirs, Orchestras and Bands Day at St Mary’s Church in South Woodford.


Our wonderful adjudicator, Ben Costello, was kept busy with non-stop choirs and bands all day! The standard throughout was higher than ever - high marks were gained and thirteen cups were awarded.


The atmosphere was tremendous, and participants and audience alike had a truly memorable time. We had more entrants than ever, with 300 children, 70 young people and 200 adults singing or playing.


We were delighted to welcome Mead School back to the festival. They have been entering for many years. Their teacher said that “it was a brilliant day for the children, especially my Year 3 students enjoyed it so much as it was their first experience participating at the festival. We are looking forward to next year to share our love of singing, and listening to other amazing choirs."



Mead School gave us “The Angel Gabriel” by Gavin Reid and “Hope of Heaven” by H&H Johnson. They came first in their class with 87 marks and were awarded the Musicianship Cup.


Many of our entries are from local schools, like St Aubyn’s who are based in Woodford Green.



They entered their Year 3 & 4 choir and delighted us all with a Zimbabwean traditional song and “Where Do We Go From Here” by Chris Hazell. They sang beautifully and were placed second in their class.

Normanhurst is another local school and we were pleased to welcome both their Junior and their Senior Choir. It was lovely to welcome them back. The adjudicator commended them for their good work.


As well as choirs, we were also treated to orchestras and bands. Widford Lodge brought their string orchestra and gave us two lively numbers: “Sans Day Melody” and “Cha Cha”. 


Widford Lodge String Orchestra

Two new choir classes were introduced this year. The first was for Church Choirs.



All Saints Woodford Wells Church Choir won this class with a gentle rendition of “The Rocking Carol”, followed by Philip Stopford’s beautiful “Christmas Blessing”. They were awarded the Janet Cass Cup.


The other brand new class this year was called “Christmas in February” and was a chance for choirs to perform carols they had learnt for Christmas. This was a popular class with the adult choirs and it was won by the nine singers of On That Note.



They are a new choir to the festival and everyone enjoyed their fantastic close harmony work. They obtained a stunning 90 marks and the Simkins Family Trophy Cup, and they gave us a Ukrainian carol and a spirited rendition of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”.


Another choir having their first time at the festival was Bloom Community Choir.



Bloom have only been formed for nine months and they electrified everyone with their versions of “This Will Be The Day” by Bryant, and a medley of rock songs. They won their class and were awarded the Edith Parnum Cup.

Another local choir we were delighted to welcome back were The Bluebirds.



They have regularly participated for many years and have won lots of trophies. They entered two separate classes and obtained Distinction in both.


The Woodford Singers are old friends of the festival, having entered for many years, and always delighting us with their beautiful melodies and complex harmonies.


They are a women-only choir, and this year they gave us a spirited rendition of Handel's "For Unto Us A Child Is Born" from Messiah, along with three other carefully rehearsed and skillfully presented pieces. They were awarded first place in both their classes and took home the Throne Challenge Cup and the Clarnico Cup.


Upbeat Wanstead were a new choir last year and they made a return visit to us this year.



They entered the Community Choir class and gave us two beautifully delivered songs: “Make You Feel My Love” by Dylan and the upbeat “Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat” from Guys and Dolls. The audience loved it.


We were absolutely delighted to welcome Jenny Ewington’s choirs back to the festival. It would not be the same without her! She runs Modality Adult Choir and Modality Youth Choir, and she has now started Harmonix Community Choir! All of them reflect the extremely high standards Jenny demands and all of them are sheer pleasure to listen to. Jenny writes many of the beautiful arrangements herself.



Modality Youth Choir were up first, and they swept the board, gaining first place in both their classes. Harmonix followed suit by winning the Community Choir class and coming second in their other class. Not to be beaten, Modality Adults then won their class. The adjudicator liked them so much, he awarded them “outstanding”. They also achieved second place in both their other classes.

Such a high standard is not easily achieved and it reflects the commitment of the members and the charisma of their director.


Ben Costello, our adjudicator, commented: “I had a thoroughly enjoyable time, and was very impressed by all that I saw and heard. The standard of performance was high across the board.”


Stella Redburn

Convenor

Choirs, orchestras and bands



List of 2024 Choirs, Orchestras and Bands Winners

Name

Class

Position

Mark Awarded

Prize

Mead Singers

214

1st

Distinction

Musicianship Cup

Woodford Green Preparatory School

241

1st

Commended

Orchestra Cup

Arbor Academy *

209

1st

-

-

St Aubyn’s School Y3&4 Choir

209

2nd

Commended

Delcor Cup

Modality Youth Choir

207

1st

Distinction

Radio Basildon Cup

Modality Youth Choir

208

1st

Distinction

Senior School Choirs Cup

Harmonix Choir

204

1st

Distinction

Unison Choirs Cup

Bloom Community Choir

212

1st

Distinction

Edith Parnum Cup

Woodford Singers

201

1st

Distinction

Throne Challenge Cup

On That Note

203

1st

Outstanding

Holland Young Associates

Cup

Woodford Singers

205

1st

Distinction

Clarnico Cup

Modality Choir

202

1st

Outstanding

Sir J B Slade JP Cup

All Saints Church Choir

211

1st

Commended

Janet Cass Cup

On That Note

206

1st

Outstanding

Simkins Family Trophy

Cup


* Arbor Academy gained first place but no mark or cup was awarded because of an irregularity in their application.

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