Girl Chorister at Guildford Cathedral wins BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2021

January 8, 2022| News + Events, Current Issue

Guildford Cathedral is delighted to announce that a member of the Girl Choristers, Ruby has won the prestigious joint BBC Radio 2 and Songs of Praise Young Chorister of the Year 2021.

The final, held in Salisbury Cathedral, was broadcast on BBC 1 at 12.30 pm on Sunday 5 December and on BBC Radio 2 at 7.00pm.

The programme was hosted by Songs of Praise presenter, Aled Jones, and the panel of expert judges – Lesley Garrett, Howard Goodall, and David Grant – selected the winner and the runner-up.

Ruby said, on winning the final: “I still can’t believe I won. I feel very lucky and have loved every minute. I’m so excited for the future. Huge thank you to all those who have supported me, especially Katherine.”

Katherine Dienes-Williams, Organist and Master of the Choristers of Guildford Cathedral said ‘We are all hugely proud of Ruby and are delighted to celebrate her fabulous achievement.

Congratulations to her and to all the competitors and thank you to all who have supported her on this journey. We look forward to continuing to enjoy her singing here at the Cathedral on a regular basis.

“I still can’t believe I won. I feel very lucky and have loved every minute. I’m so excited for the future. Huge thank you to all those who have supported me, especially Katherine.”

In summing up the competition, the judges gave Ruby glowing comments. David Grant said: “It was translucently brilliant”. Lesley Garrett said: “She’s got this fantastically free, powerful, gorgeous lyrical sound.”, while Howard Goodall, on making the announcement that Ruby was the winner said: “In a very, very tight field we felt that this singer gave a performance that was truly outstanding and flawless.“

When thinking of which Christmas Carol to sing for the final of the BBC Young Chorister of the Year, Ruby was very keen to sing ‘The Shepherds Sing’ by renowned composer and former Kings singer, Bob Chilcott. However, the piece only existed in a four-part choir version. The Cathedral reached out to Bob who very kindly made an arrangement of his own piece for solo voice specifically for Ruby to sing! Huge thanks must go to him for this generous gift.