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Talented Smallwood Manor children win Derby Arts Festival award

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PUPILS from a school near Uttoxeter have triumphed for the fourth consecutive year at a festival showcasing the arts.

The chapel choir at Smallwood Manor Preparatory School has won a trophy at the Derby Arts Festival – adding to an already impressive award tally for the accomplished youngsters.

A spokesman for the school said the chapel choir of 26 pupils, all aged between eight and 11 years old, performed at the festival and were praised for their choral rendition of the classic Danny Boy, as well as being assessed on musicality, use of voice, tone and communication by a panel of expert judges from across the UK.

The judges’ marks led to the choir being awarded the Turner Trophy for small school pupils under 12 years old, a result which the school said has delighted both the choir and Smallwood head teacher Mike Harrison.

The head teacher said: “We’re so proud of our talented young musicians, who couldn’t be more deserving of this year’s Turner Trophy accolade.

“To receive an award for the fourth successive year shows the calibre and musical ability of the pupils, and recognises the dedication and practice each child puts into the group’s performance.”

Mr Harrison goes on to say how much the children enjoy choir practice, as well as the regular opportunities they have to take part in concerts and performances.

He says that during this academic year, six pupils have auditioned to become members of the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, with each of them successfully achieving places.

Mr Harrison added: “After winning awards at the Derby Arts Festival in 2011, 2012 and 2013, the choir’s continued achievement clearly demonstrates their ability to perform and impress the judges.

“We plan to give this year’s trophy pride of place alongside its predecessors.”

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