Bleadon Belles crowned winner of Singing for Joy
The Bleadon Belles have been named winners of the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) centenary choir competition and will have honour of performing at the organisation's Centenary Annual Meeting at the Royal Albert Hall on 4 June.
The final of the esteemed competition took place at Birmingham Town Hall on 14 March. The Bleadon Belles took to the stage to perform Beyond The Sea, Seasons of Love and Somewhere Out There as well as their rendition of Jonathan Willcocks Singing for Joy, a piece specially composed for the centenary competition.
Heats of the choir competition were held since 2014 leading up to the final, with more than 50 choirs from across the country taking part. This exciting event is just one of a host of activities taking place during 2015 to celebrate the centenary of the NFWI, the largest women's voluntary organisation in the UK.
In addition to Bleadon Belles, five highly-commended choirs also competed in the final. They are:
Fixby Songbirds of Brighouse, West Yorkshire
Hammerwich Ta-Rowdles of Hammerwich, Staffordshire
Surrey Serenaders of Albury, Surrey
The Inspirations of Sheepy, Leicestershire and Rutland
Isle of Man WI Choir of Peel, Isle of Man
Pam Lamb of the 26-strong Bleadon Belles said: "We were so delighted to win, we never expected to make the semi-finals let alone the final. We've only been singing together for a year.
"We brought a couple of bottles of fizz with us so we'll be having a celebratory drink on the way home.
"We're so excited to be performing at The Royal Albert Hall, we haven't really thought about it until just now as we didn't think we'd win! The village is very proud of us and everyone has been rooting for us all the way."
Janice Langley, Chair of the NFWI said: "We're proud of our great history of communal singing in the NFWI; members have been singing together since the very first meetings were held in 1915. It's been fabulous to come together to celebrate our voices and our centenary during this competition.
"The Bleadon Belles are very worthy winners. The women performed together beautifully and we cannot wait to see them again at our Centenary Annual Meeting in the Royal Albert Hall this June."
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