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Differing choir styles as Midsomer takes top slot

23 March 2011

by Ed Beavan

WALLINGFORD Parish Church Choir, from Oxfordshire, has won a nationwide competition to find Britain’s “favourite parish choir”.

The choir will release an album of traditional hymns, and this week appeared at the Royal Albert Hall, in a concert organised by Classic FM, after winning the title in the contest organised by Decca Records.

The Team Rector of Wallingford, the Revd David Rice, said that it had been “a wonderful experience” for the choir to win the competition and to enter the recording studio.

The market town is used as a backdrop to the television drama Midsomer Murders, and the choir has featured in the series. The producer of the show, Brian True-May, said last week that the series was “the last bastion of Englishness”, and that it did not include ethnic minorities because “it wouldn’t be the English village with them. It just wouldn’t work.” Mr True-May has since ap­o­logised, and announced on Wed­nesday that he is to stand down as producer at the end of the current series.

Mr Rice said that there were no members from ethnic minorities in the Wallingford choir, but that this reflected the make-up of the local community.

Gospel choir formed. A total of 200 hopefuls were whittled down to 46 to make up the first ever Premier Gospel Choir, in a competition or­gan­ised by Premier Radio last Sat­urday in London.

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