Newcastle choir, Voices of Hope has been crowned Choir of the Year 2016 – winning the UK’s foremost amateur group singing competition title at the Grand Final event held at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on Saturday 3 December.

160 singing groups of every size, age and style entered the competition this year in auditions across the country. Six finalists were whittled down from regional heats across the UK before reaching the Grand Final. On Saturday Voices of Hope beat 5 other finalists to achieve the highly coveted prize of National Choir of the Year 2016.

The Final, presented by renowned Broadway, West End and television singer and actor Julian Ovenden and presenter Josie D’Arby, saw six choirs battle for the title of Choir of the Year 2016. The choirs were winners of the Children’s, Youth, Adult and Open categories of the competition category finals, plus two wildcard winners chosen at the Category Finals.

The Final was judged by International opera star Danielle de Niese, Harry Christophers of The Sixteen, Mercury Prize nominee ESKA and Tim Rhys-Evans of Only Men Aloud.

Established in 2011, Voices of Hope is a Newcastle-based adult choir, lead by Simon Fidler.

The choir has quickly established itself as one of the most versatile and sought after vocal ensembles in the UK. Voices of Hope are artists in residence at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Final will be broadcast by BBC Four on Sunday 11 December at 8.00pm.

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast highlights of the Final on Tuesday 6 December at 7.30pm

This year’s finalists included:

Children’s Category Winner: Musical Originals Training Choir from Jersey

Youth Category Winner: Côr y Cwm from Rondda Valley

Adult Category Winner: Voices of Hope from Newcastle

Open Category Winner: The Rainbow Connection Singers from Doncaster

Wild Card Winners: The White Rosettes and Johns’ Boys from Leeds and Wrexham

Choir of the Year is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.