Outstanding Norbury choir wins prize at national competition

Prize-winners: the Norbury Manor choir performing at the Cadogan Hall on Sunday

An acapella choir formed of pupils from a Norbury secondary school walked away with a £1,000 prize and the acclaim of judges and the audience after the grand final of the Jack Petchey Perfect Pitch Champions competition held at the Cadogan Hall in central London on Sunday.

Norbury Manor Celeste is the chamber choir from Norbury Manor. Pupils aged from 11 to 18 rehearse once a week at lunchtime, and have over several years built up a reputation for excellence, having performed at venues including the House of Lords and the O2 Arena.

Jack Petchey’s Perfect Pitch competition saw Celeste on stage with 11 other groups who had won through from regional finals. The grand final saw the audience treated to renditions of The Beatles, Etta James, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish and more. Performances ranged from a more traditional choir format to incorporating rap, beat boxing, mash-ups and choreography.

The benefactor of the event, and many other school activities in and around London and Essex, is Sir Jack Petchey. The 94-year-old businessman and philanthropist said: “It is right that we should support our youth in this way. It is right that we encourage and nurture them to grow their talents – whatever those talents may be and they have as much fun as possible on the way.

“How I would love to be able to sing like them! With the confidence they gain from Jack Petchey’s Perfect Pitch, I hope they will go on to achieve great things.”

Emma Stevens teaches the choir at Norbury Manor. She said: “The Grand Final day was such a fantastic experience for us all at the prestigious Cadogan Hall. After months of hard work the show really did provide a wonderful end to what has been a brilliant experience all round. We are very proud to be runners up in our first experience of the competition and are looking forward to taking part again in the future.

“Thank you Jack Petchey Foundation for such a positive experience.”

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