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Monday, 18 November, 2002, 09:32 GMT
Belfast choir wins top accolade
Methodist College Girls Choir
The choir sang a traditional Irish love song
Pupils from the Methodist College Girls' Choir in Belfast have won the Choir of the Year award, becoming the only choir to win the competition twice.

They beat more than 300 amateur groups to take the United Kingdom's top choral prize at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Sunday.

They impressed the judges with their haunting renditions of the traditional Irish love song, She Moved Through the Fair and Prayer before Birth.

Conductor Ruth McCartney said the 64 girls, aged 14 to 18, were "ecstatic" at winning the competition, which is sponsored by Sainsbury's.

There were ecstatic scenes as the decision was announced
There were ecstatic scenes as the decision was announced
"There was lots of squealing and shouting and lots of tears.

"The girls work very hard. They were rehearsing every day for the last two weeks.

"I think it will sink in eventually but at the moment we're all on cloud nine," she said.

"The whole experience of singing in the Albert Hall was tremendous and against choirs that we thought we couldn't beat - we're all in shock."

The choir first won the award in 1998. The girls won the Youth Choir of the Year award in Manchester two weeks ago.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Ronan Breen:
"The college was competing in the UK's largest amateur choral competition"
See also:

06 Dec 00 | N Ireland
24 Dec 01 | Entertainment
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