Members of the DMU Gospel Choir have said they were “in awe” of comments made by judges about their performance on BBC’s Songs of Praise.
The group has made it through to the final of the programme’s Gospel Choir of the Year competition, the first part of which was screened over the weekend.
The choir is competing against five other choirs for the title, with winners being announced on next week’s Songs of Praise on Sunday at 4.55pm.
The DMU members are well known to the university with their performances at major events, such as graduation ceremonies, and for putting on a Christmas Day dinner on campus for people who would otherwise not have anyone to celebrate the festive season with.
Sister Ellah Kandi, choir co-ordinator, said that while the two-part final had been filmed in July, the choirs had all been sworn to secrecy regarding the result.
Ellah, who sang with the choir for the first part of the final, said: “It was quite different seeing ourselves on television to having stood there and sung in front of the cameras.
“Many of us watched it together and we were shouting and screaming, watching each other and pointing out when we were not singing well enough: it was quite an experience.”
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Although the winners will not be announced until next week, Ellah had said the comments made by the programme’s judges – a mixture of music professionals – had given the choir vital feedback.
She said: “Many of the things which the judges picked up on were things our bishop has picked up on in the past, so it’s taught us to listen to him more closely in future!
“The first song we sang was in the Zulu language and only five of our group speak it, so it was a technical challenge. But we were told by judges that it sounded very authentic and one of the judges even addressed us in the language of Zimbabwe, which we were just in awe of.”
She said that for next week’s concluding part of the final – airing on BBC One at 4.55pm on Sunday 6 September – the choir had been invited by a local businessman to watch the show with him in his private cinema.
She said: “We performed at his wedding so he invited us along. It will be a brilliant evening.”
Last week, the choir also featured on BBC One’s The One Show, performing with the other finalists and appearing alongside Stephen Fry. Since then they have also been heard on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Leicester.
Posted on Tuesday 1st September 2015