Canons Choir – Barnardo’s National Choral Competition Junior Choir of the Year 2023

3 March 2023

Banardos Choir Comp 28-2-23 Winners 1

Canons Choir has won the prestigious Barnardo’s National Choral Competition Junior Choir of the Year held at the Birmingham Symphony Hall on 28th February 2023.  

The competition, which has been running for the last 15 years, saw 14 of the top Junior choirs and 6 Senior choirs in the country compete for the top prize after having been selected from hundreds of entries. It was the third consecutive year that Canons Choir had been selected to the final and the children were very excited to get the chance to sing against some superb choirs including some who had won the BBC Songs of Praise Competition and the current Llangollen International Eisteddfod Children’s Choir of the World.  

After working very hard to perfect their two pieces, ‘The Seal Lullaby’ by Eric Whitacre and ‘Lightning’ by Greg Gilpin, the choir went on stage full of confidence and sang their hearts out. It was a very special, moving, musical performance which demonstrated the choir’s ability to use a variety of tone colours.  

The event ended with a wonderful concert in aid of the Barnardo’s charity where each choir sang one of their pieces before joining forces on stage to sing ‘Feel Good’ and ‘Hallelujah.’ Douglas Coombes, MBE, then awarded the prizes and when it was announced that Canons Choir were the winners, it took a few moments for it to dawn on Mrs Cox and some of the children!  

As well as a trophy, the choir will have a piece especially written for them by Douglas Coombes and have also been invited to sing at the Royal Albert Hall at the Barnardo’s Young Supporters Concert.  

Huge congratulations to all the children on this amazing achievement and a thank you to all the staff involved in helping make this happen.


Canons choir is absolutely thrilled and feel very privileged to receive a lovely video message from ‘The Seal Lullaby’ composer Eric Whitacre. He congratulated Canons Choir on winning the Junior Choir of the year. He said:  “ Thank you. I am very humbled and honoured that you sang so well and took it to you heart and brought ‘The Seal Lullaby’ to live.

Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor, Eric Whitacre, is among today’s most popular musicians. His beautiful music is among the most popular and most performed by a living composer. His works are programmed worldwide and his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united 100,000 singers from more than 145 countries over the last decade.