The Search is on to find Top Choir Kent 2014

Who will be Top Choir Kent 2014? Following the stunning success of the 2013 festival of singing which saw the St Edmund’s School Chamber Choir in Canterbury take the honours, all choirs from across Kent are now being invited to apply for a place in next year’s final.

Organised by the Rotary Club of Canterbury, Top Choir Kent is open to amateur choirs of all ages based in Kent, Medway and the London Boroughs of “Old Kent”. The grand finale will be on Saturday 12th April 2014 at the Shirley Hall in Canterbury.

There’s an added bonus for the 2014 winners. As well as the Canterbury Festival, Kent's international arts festival, providing an opportunity for the winning choir to participate in the Festival in October 2014, the winning choir will also have the opportunity to perform at the BBC Radio Kent Carol Service in December 2014 at Rochester Cathedral, which will then be recorded and broadcast. Each of the eight finalists will receive a cash prize.
The short-listed choirs will battle it out before a panel of judges headed by Dr David Flood, Organist and Master of Choristers at Canterbury Cathedral who will be joined by Susan Wanless, Director of Music at the University of Kent and David Burridge, former Kent Secondary Adviser for Music.

Although not competing in the final next April, the 2013 winners, the St Edmund’s School Chamber Choir, will perform whilst the judges decide who has won. As part of their prize for winning the 2013 competition, the choir performed at the Festival Evensong service in Canterbury Cathedral last Sunday (20th October). Will Bersey, St Edmund’s School Music Director said: “It was a truly rewarding experience to win Top Choir Kent 2013.” He added: “It was fantastic being able to perform in front of such a large audience at the final last March and a real privilege to sing in Canterbury Cathedral in the Festival Evensong. Thank you so much Top Choir Kent for giving us this wonderful opportunity.”

The Rotary Club is keen that Top Choir Kent is seen as a festival of singing and not just as a competition. John Harris, Competition Director, said: “Since its inception, Top Choir Kent has showcased some fantastic choirs but we also want to encourage choirs who wouldn’t otherwise consider taking part in an event like this.” He continued: “Top Choir Kent has a proven track record supporting singing in the community and no one should feel discouraged from entering.”
Geoff Goodban, President of the Rotary Club of Canterbury said: “This is a fine example of Rotary working with the community to produce an exciting event, whilst at the same time raising money for charity.” He added: “The 2013 final generated £7,000 to use in support of a wide range of charities.”

BBC Radio Kent is the competition’s media partner and will be broadcasting selected entries on the Sunday Programme with Martin Buchanan throughout the winter and the station will record the final on 12th April 2013 for subsequent broadcast.

Choirs are encouraged to get their entries in well before the deadline of 31st January 2014 to stand a better chance of being heard on the radio. Andy Garland, BBC Radio Kent’s Programme Editor is delighted to be involved. He said: “Singing in choirs is one of the nation's favourite pastimes and we're looking forward to bringing some of the best local performances to audiences across the county.”

The closing date for entries is 31st January 2014.
Full details, entry forms and competition rules can be found at:

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