The Full Score
Singers from North Yorkshire and Gloucestershire enjoy success
BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers of the Year crowned
‘If at first you don’t succeed…’ The old adage has proved gloriously true for Emilia Jaques. A losing finalist in last year’s BBC Radio 2 Young Choristers of the Year competition, the 15-year-old soprano from North Yorkshire returned this year to take the trophy, impressing the judges with her performances of Stainer and ★andel. Cassian Pichler-roca from Gloucestershire triumphed in the boys’ competition.
A er opting for slow-paced repertoire last year, Jaques, a chorister at Queen Mary’s School, Thirsk, took on the tricky twists and turns of ‘Blessed are all they that fear the Lord’ from ★andel’s Sing Unto God. It was a well-advised tactic, reckoned Simon Lole, one of the judges in the final. In congratulating Jaques on her technique in negotiating the aria’s semi-quaver runs, Lole said that she ‘really brought it to life’, adding that ‘the sense of energy and the sense of line and flow were very good.’
Pichler-roca, meanwhile, impressed in John Dankworth’s Light of the World and the hymn ‘Christ Triumphant’. ‘You sang beautifully and with great understanding,’ explained Lole a er his performance. ‘I liked the fact that you communicated with the audience and your rapport with the accompanist was excellent too.’ Pichlerroca, a treble in Tewkesbury Abbey’s Schola Cantorum, is not the first member of that choir to enjoy success at the BBC Young Choristers of the Year competition – Laurence Kilsby, who now plies his trade as an opera tenor, did likewise in 2009.
The final took place, like last year, at BBC Philharmonic Studios in Mediacityuk, and was hosted by Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya. As well as Lole, who is the former director of music at She eld and Salisbury cathedrals, the judges included composer Bob Chilcott (see p21) and Caroline Redman Lusher, the founder and director of the Rock Choir. Jaques’s and Pichlerroca’s achievement will bring with it many opportunities to sing on BBC Radio over the forthcoming months, and both have already been into the studio to record a disc to be covermounted on the May issue of BBC Music Magazine.
Sweet singing:Emilia Jaques, one of this year’s winners