UWE Gospel Choir runner up in national competition

Issue date: 20 July 2011


University Gospel Choir of the Year

The University of the West of England Gospel Choir has come second in a national competition to find the University Gospel Choir of the Year (UGCY). Eight choirs sung their hearts out at the final on 16 July at the Peacock Theatre at Sadler's Wells and as runners up UWE's Gospel Choir, which currently comprises 15 students and staff, will perform alongside the London Community Gospel Choir at a special event this coming Autumn.

UGCY provides a platform for university gospel choirs all over the UK to develop and showcase their musical abilities, whilst celebrating and promoting the powerful and uplifting traditions of gospel music, inspiring people from all walks of life.

UWE's entry was an online video performance of the 15 strong gospel choir singing Surely Goodness, from Israel Houghton's A Deeper Life album.

UWE Gospel Choir Director, Charmaine Samuels, said, “I was extremely pleased with the result. For me, to have the performance of UWE Gospel Choir validated by experienced Gospel music professionals was really important. The feedback we received on the night was very positive.

“The choir was elated. We had put in quite a lot of effort with various students travelling back and forth between home and Bristol for rehearsals and a vocal workshop, organising costumes, fundraising, bringing together a band but I think everyone felt that our hard work had paid off.

“The audience was amazing. They were so responsive to all the choirs and that really helped to boost our confidence to turn out a fantastic performance.

“It would have been lovely to have won the first prize and perform at the Royal Albert Hall. I think if we enter the competition again we'll be going in with our eyes wide open and we'll definitely stand a better chance of winning next time.”

The performance can be seen on YouTube and UWE Gospel Choir also has its own Facebook page, created by Becky Woodward, one of the student members.

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