Songs of Praise celebrates the soul-stirring sound of Gospel music, as six of the country’s best amateur choirs perform at the Hackney Empire in their quest to be the BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year.
This year’s competition has attracted more entries than ever before, and the standard of singing has reached new heights. The competition will feature in two special editions of the programme broadcast on BBC One on Sunday 30 August and Sunday 6 September.
Dave Stanford, Executive Producer, Songs of Praise says: “BBC Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year competition is now in its third year and it continues to grow in popularity. This year’s event comes from Hackney Empire and is very exciting as six incredible choirs compete for the coveted title. It is apparent from all those involved how much Gospel music can really enhance people’s lives. From leafy Surrey to inner-city Birmingham, the music’s infectious and inspirational qualities are abundantly evident. Although all those involved are amateurs, I think the audience will be astounded by the brilliance of all their performances.”
David Grant hosts the programmes along with co-presenter Connie Fisher, who captures the reactions from the choirs backstage. The six choirs, who’ve made it through to the finals, sing with all their heart and soul to an enthusiastic audience in an attempt to impress the three judges. With the difficult decision of picking a winner are: Olivier Award winning West End star Sharon D. Clarke; TV presenter and vocal coach Carrie Grant; and Gospel singer-songwriter Muyiwa Olarewaju.
The choirs each perform twice before the judges decide which choir will lift the trophy and become the Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of 2015.
The BIG Sing: Gospel Voices are also from London and led by choir director Jon Rattenbury. They perform In God’s Own Time and I’ve Found The Answer. The choir is made up of ages from 23-60 and nationalities from around the world. They have grown from eight members three years ago, to now a 30-strong choir of singers who want to explore singing that little bit further.