Top Choir Kent 2014 - Report

Cantate, a mixed-style choir from Sevenoaks, lifted the Top Choir Kent trophy at a closely fought final on Saturday (12th April) at the Shirley Hall in Canterbury.

Six choirs performed at the final which exhibited the highest standards of amateur singing in Kent.  The chairman of the judges, Dr David Flood, the Organist and Master of Choristers at Canterbury Cathedral, praised the quality and musical ability of all the choirs.  He said: “If we had six categories, we would certainly have awarded six prizes.  Each of the choirs showed remarkable quality and ability. The choir exhibited the ability to perform at a remarkably high, almost professional, level.”  He added: “Cantate had a very demanding repertoire ranging from a 16th Century composer to ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’.  They coped and provided a lovely contrast.”

Cantate received the Brett Top Choir Kent Trophy and their other prizes include being given the opportunity to contribute to this year's Canterbury Festival as well as being invited to perform at the BBC Radio Kent Carol Service at Rochester Cathedral in December.

Robin Walker, Cantate’s Musical Director and conductor, was delighted at the result.  He said: “I’m rather shocked actually having listened to the high standard of the other choirs, but I’m absolutely delighted.”

The other five finalist choirs – each of which received £100 for taking part - were all praised by David Flood.  He said of:

The added bonus of Saturday’s final – which was compered by BBC TV presenter, Rob Smith, was a performance by the P&O Ferries Choir from Dover which won the BBC TV series Sing While You Work with Gareth Malone.  The choir performed six numbers which included those performed in the television series.

Top Choir Kent is organised and promoted by the Rotary Club of Canterbury and the event is expected raise in excess of six-thousand-pounds for Rotary charities.  Club President, Geoff Goodban, paid tribute to the support provided by the competition’s main sponsor, Belmont International Insurance Services, of Sevenoaks.  He said: “Belmont’s generous sponsorship means nearly all the set-up and admin costs are covered ahead of the event.  This enabled us to stage a top-flight musical event whilst at the same time raising a large sum of money for charitable causes”.

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