The dulcet tones of choirs from Prudhoe West First School and Cedars Academy have secured joint first place at intu Metrocentre’s Christmas Choir Competition 2016 and both choirs have walked away with a £500 intu Gift Card.

 
Over the last week choirs from schools and singing groups across the north east have been performing in centre, entertaining visitors and raising funds for their chosen charity.
 
A panel of judges attended every performance and scored choirs in the following four categories – the festive appearance of the choir, singing talent, enthusiasm and the Xtra factor. The six top rated choirs – Hadrian School, Biddick Primary School, St Benet’s RC Primary School, Cedars Academy, Prudhoe West First School and MiXit Days – were then invited back to compete for the accolade of overall winner of the Christmas Choir Competition.
 
The final took place on Friday 16th December and each choir performed their version of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ as well as another song of their own choosing. Creativity was encouraged so fun, unique interpretations of old classic carols rang out across the centre.
An esteemed judging panel made up of Allison Ilderton-Thompson, Mayor of Gateshead, Gavin Prior, intu Metrocentre general manager, Lyn Jamieson, intu Metrocentre Chaplain, and Clare Cannon, community manager intu north east, judged the finalists on how much joy they were spreading and how jolly the performances made them feel.  
 
Over 100 children took part in the final. The joint first place choir from Prudhoe West First School, made up of 57 children aged between 5 and 9, won over the judges with their enthusiastic performances of ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ and ‘I saw mummy kissing Santa Claus’ which combined sign language with fabulous dance moves.
 
The choir from Cedars Academy , who also secured the top spot, gave sparkling renditions of both ‘We Wish you a Merry Crhistmas’ and ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ which really got the judges in to the festive spirit. The choir, consisting of 39 children aged from 11-17, all donned Christmas jumpers for the final and choreographed some fun dance moves for a truly professional performance.
 
Joint second place in the overall competition was awarded to Biddick Primary School and MiXit Days – both of whom received a £250 intu Gift Card.
MiXiT Days is a professional day service provider for people with learning disabilities, based in Stanley, and the choir performing has been heralded as the world’s first inclusive pop group. The choir features members with and without learning disabilities working together, performing songs and having fun.
The prize for third place was awarded jointly to Hadrian School and St Benet’s RC Primary School – with both schools receiving a £150 intu Gift Card.
Gavin Prior, general manager of intu Metrocentre, said:
“It has been wonderful to be able to showcase so many talented choirs from around the region and hearing the malls ring out with the sound of carols has added a magical atmosphere to our festive season.
 
The judges had a truly impossible task choosing between the finalists; making everyone a winner was our only option as all six choirs sang their socks off! All of the participants should be very proud of themselves and their fantastic performances.
 
Carrie Davidson, head teacher at Prudhoe West First School, added:
 
“We’ve had so much fun over the past few weeks preparing ourselves to take part in the competition. Performing at the final was an amazing experience – winning was an extra bonus! The children have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and it’s a great way to kick start the Christmas Holidays!”