Thirsk student wins Young Chorister of the Year award

PUBLISHED: 00:00 07 December 2018

Emilia Jaques, winner of the BBC Young Chorister of the Year Photo: Tricia Yourkevich

Emilia Jaques, winner of the BBC Young Chorister of the Year Photo: Tricia Yourkevich

Tricia Yourkevich 2014

Talented singer brings home prestigious title after top performance

BBC Young Chorister of the Year winners with the judges Photo; Tricia YourkevichBBC Young Chorister of the Year winners with the judges Photo; Tricia Yourkevich

A student from North Yorkshire has been chosen as Young Chorister of the Year alongside a pupil from Cheltenham. Emilia Jaques from Queen Mary’s School, Topcliffe near Thirsk and Cassian Pichler-Roca from Dean Close School won the BBC 2 ward after two preliminary rounds and a final in the studios of the BBC’s Philharmonic Orchestra at MediaCityUK, Manchester.

Emilia, from Ripon, worked with her singing teacher, Anna Bleiker and head of music at Queen Mary’s, Sarah Holloway-Lloyd to choose her repertoire for the final. She sang Come thou long expected Jesus by Stainer and Handel’s Blessed are all they that fear the Lord.

The final was hosted by Blue Peter’s Radzi Chinyanganya and composer and conductor, Bob Chilcott, was chair of the judges. He was joined by organist, composer and musical director, Simon Lole and the founder and director of the Rock Choir, Caroline Redman Lusher.

‘I can’t believe it! It’s been so exciting to be part of this important competition,’ said Emilia. ‘In the week leading up to the final I was doing everything to make sure that my voice was in tip-top condition. On the morning I woke up with butterflies in my stomach but very much ready to perform.

‘The BBC Philharmonic Studio has fantastic acoustics and I enjoyed performing my pieces in front of the judges, who were really encouraging to all the choristers who took part. Thank you to BBC Radio 2, it’s been an amazing experience so far and I look forward to many more.’

Carole Cameron, head at Queen Mary’s School said she was proud of Emilia. ‘She has a beautiful voice and performs with confidence and composure. As a school, we have strong traditions in both choral singing and instrumental music and it has been wonderful to see Emilia blossom.’

Since the final was recorded Emilia and Cassian have already taken on their first commission - a CD recording with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. She will now go on to appear on various BBC television and radio programmes in the next 12 months including BBC Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday, BBC Radio 4’s Daily Service and Sunday Worship, along with special events for Christmas and Easter.

Emilia, who is head chorister and music captain, is heavily involved in all aspects of school life. As well as her dedication to choral singing (she was a chorister at Ripon Cathedral for five years until age 13), she plays violin at post-Grade 8 and piano at Grade 8 standard, she is working towards her Grade 8 acting exam, is part of Queen Mary’s Society for academic scholars and, as a keen and committed sportswoman, she attended the Girls Go Gold national sports conference. This is as well as revising for her GCSEs which she will sit next year.

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