Choir of the year logo

About Choir of the Year

Choir of the Year is a UK-wide choral competition open to any amateur choir of between 8 and 100 singers. Founded in 1984, it celebrates our world-class choral tradition through a series of live events and BBC television and radio broadcasts.

Every two years Choir of the Year brings together choirs of all ages, music styles and backgrounds for a series of live Audition days. This is a great opportunity for choirs to pick up new performance and repertoire ideas, sing to a large audience and be supportive critics of each other. Our expert judges are tasked with providing constructive feedback which highlight choirs' qualities and achievements as well as suggestions for further development.

We would encourage any choir come along and take part, be they experienced competitors or a new group wanting to try a new challenge.

Following the Auditions, the best choirs go forward to the Finals and national acclaim. Many of our past winners have told us how success in the competition has opened up a range of exciting performance, broadcast and recording opportunities.

All our events are open to the public and include group warm-ups and singing for all the audience, so that friends and family can get involved too.


What’s new in 2016?


Auditions captured on film
For the first time, we will make high quality video recordings of all the auditions available online so that choirs can review their own performance, as well as see all the different groups taking part across the UK. Footage will also be used for National Selection judging following the auditions.

Choral Workshops in collaboration with the ABCD
If your choir would like some expert guidance, encouragement and help to ‘get to the next level’, but isn’t quite ready to enter to a competition, you can apply to take part in our workshop programme. Taking place at selected Audition venues, expert tutors from the Association of British Choral Directors and Choir of the Year will work intensively with a small number of choirs in a group setting. Further details and application forms will be available in the New Year.

Outstanding Choir of the Day
We are changing the way we recognise high achieving choirs at the Auditions. All choirs which achieve 75 or more points out of 90 will be shortlisted for consideration at National Selection, where a panel selects the Category Finalists.  In addition, Audition adjudicators will nominate one overall Outstanding Choir at the end of each session, deemed to have given an exemplary performance.

"Choir of the Year is a remarkable programme which brings the whole country together in song. Over the last thirty years I have been amazed at how this event has really brought all kinds of people and groups together and become the highlight of the choral singing world. We have young and old, gospel, barbershop, classical and traditional singing – all sharing the same stage."

Paul Mealor, Composer and Choir of The Year Adjudicator