CHOIR singers were astounded when they were announced as winners at a major music festival.
Bedhampton a cappella choir, Folks in Harmony, won the Choir of the Day cup in the adult choral section of Portsmouth Music Festival.
The competition took place at Oaklands School, in Waterlooville, and was judged by Andrea Calladine, a performer, teacher, conductor, and adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals.
Folks in Harmony competed in four sections but did not win any.
But they were offered a place in the overall finals because other choirs had won more than one class and the rules do not allow a choir to perform more than once in the final.
The 25 singers agreed to take part –and won.
MaryAnne Beames, co-director of Folks in Harmony, said: ‘We had no expectation of winning anything but a round of applause.
‘They sang John Rutter’s Christmas Lullaby in a smooth legato style, and Bring Him Home from Les Miserables.
‘They wrung every ounce of emotion from the song, raising the hairs on the backs of the listeners’ necks.
‘Then, at the end of the final, in true Hollywood style, the underdogs were announced as the winners of the final and named Choir of the Day’.
She added: ‘We went from jaded to jubilant.
‘Isn’t it just fantastic when the hard work pays off?
‘Folks in Harmony had a day of being thwarted by some fabulous choirs.
‘We sang consistently well, but just didn’t manage that edge to be among the class winners.
‘But, luck was on our side and we made the Choir of the Day competition by virtue of being next in line. So, feeling a bit like the underdogs, we gave our all in the final, sang beautifully and emotively and lifted the overall trophy.’
To join the choir or to book them, visit folksinharmony.co.uk or call 07712 687911.