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Sheffield Girls’ student crowned BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2023

Sheffield Girls’ is celebrating the remarkable achievement of one of its own, as Year 10 pupil Natalie, has been named the BBC's Young Chorister of the Year 2023. The announcement comes following an impressive performance by Natalie during the finals broadcast on Sunday on BBC 1, where she outshone her competitors with her exquisite rendition of "The Virgin’s Slumber Song" by Max Reger.

The prestigious awards, hosted by BBC Songs of Praise and BBC Radio 2 and presented by the renowned Aled Jones, aim to showcase the finest young choral talents across the country. Taking place at the magnificent Manchester Monastery, the event featured ten talented young singers in both junior (10-13) and senior (14-17) categories, with three finalists selected in each for the grand finale.

Reflecting on her success, Natalie expressed gratitude for the supportive environment throughout the competition and the camaraderie among participants. She shared her excitement about the event, saying, “There was a great team spirit and a genuine sense of camaraderie between us all. Everyone willed each other on, and there was no real sense of competition as we all supported each other.”

Natalie’s parents expressed immense pride in their daughter's achievement. Mum Ann remarked, “We are so proud of Natalie. She works so hard, and this is a really significant achievement for her. We were blown away by the standard of singing from all of the competitors; each and every one of them did themselves proud.”

Beyond her vocal prowess, Natalie is a versatile musician, playing the piano, guitar, violin, and drums. She is also an enthusiastic songwriter. Nina Gunson, Head of Sheffield Girls’, acknowledged Natalie’s exceptional talent, remarking: “Since Natalie joined us in the Senior School we have recognised her as a prodigious musical talent. She has the most wonderful voice and I have loved hearing her perform in concerts both inside and outside school, including at last year’s Inspirational Women of Sheffield Awards. She possesses such talent but also has a real love of music and relishes the opportunity to perform - whether it is playing the drums with the school band, rocking the stage in the school musical or performing one of her own moving compositions - Natalie always lights up the stage. I am not surprised to see her extraordinary talent recognised in this national competition but we are so thrilled for her. What is also so special about Natalie is her personality and character, and the kind, collaborative and joyful way she approaches everyday life at School. I’m sure this shone through for all the judges and contributed to her eventual success. We’re all incredibly proud of you Natalie and can’t wait to see what you do next. 

Looking ahead, Natalie has exciting plans for her musical career, including recording with Belinda, the Junior category winner, and a potential collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. She is set to record "Silent Night" at Sheffield City Hall for a Christmas music celebration airing on Christmas Eve. Additionally, Natalie will return to singing with Lodge Moor Youth Choir and take on roles in local productions, showcasing her versatility and passion for the arts.

The entire Sheffield Girls’ community congratulates Natalie on this outstanding achievement and eagerly anticipates her future accomplishments in the world of classical music.


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