The biennial Schools’ Choir Competition will get under way next month with preliminary judging scheduled for February 5 to 8 at the Sir Hugh Springer Auditorium, Solidarity House, Harmony Hall.

Coordinator of the event and peripatetic teacher (Music) with the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Anthony Sargeant, in announcing this year’s event, said the competition was designed showcase students’ talent while giving them "opportunities for creative expression and socialisation [which] must always be included in the educational development of all children".

He stressed that while choirs would be judged on the usual criteria such as correct breath control, tonal quality, accuracy and expression, the competition also aimed to improve group relationships and sharpen interpersonal skills.

To date, there have been three primary schools’ choir competitions which were aimed at encouraging competitors to regard themselves not only as members of the class or school, but also of the community. The Hillaby/Turners Hall Primary school was the winner of the first competition in 2005 and Hindsbury Primary, won in 2009.?? In 2011, Sharon Primary School topped the Primary Division while Christ Church Foundation School won at the Secondary level.

Approximately 560 students are expected to participate in this year’s preliminaries with the top school in each preliminary round advancing to the finals scheduled to come off at the Wildey Gymnasium on Sunday, March 3, from 3:00 p.m.

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the primary and secondary divisions. Special prizes will be awarded in each division for Best Arrangement; Best Original Song; Most Dynamic Choir and Most Improved Choir. There will also be a Composer’s Award for Best Original Song, as well as a Director’s award.

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