Choirs from across East Lancashire put on stunning performances at the second annual Lancashire Choir of the Year competition.

Each of the six finalists performed two numbers back-to-back at the Great Hall in the campus of Lancaster University on Wednesday (November 29).

Blackburn People’s Choir delivered an acapella performance of ‘Why We Sing’, with three members of their mixed-gender group performing solos at the front of the stage for a strong finish.

They also performed a rendition of ‘I Say a Little Prayer’, where the audience was treated to an amusing ‘warm up’ before the fast-paced choir gave a well-rehearsed performance with a surprise ending.

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn People's Choir came third on the nightBlackburn People's Choir came third on the night (Image: Lancashire County Council)

This was enough to earn them third-place overall in the competition.

Meanwhile, the Nelson Civic Ladies’ Choir gave a cheerful performance of ‘The Nightingale’, with the ladies’ voices overlapping in a way designed to remind the listener of a real birdsong.

Their second song, ‘The Snow’, meanwhile, had a slower tone which allowed the pianist’s complimentary performance to shine.

The ladies from Nelson were the overall winners of the competition, and the announcement was greeted by an explosive round of applause from the audience.

Lancashire Telegraph: Nelson Ladies' Civic Choir were crowned winnersNelson Ladies' Civic Choir were crowned winners (Image: Lancashire County Council)

The winners were awarded with a professional recording session, while Blackburn People’s Choir were offered a professional vocal workshop for coming in third.

Second place went to the Cleveleys-based Capricorn Singers, who also scooped the People's Choice Award for their performances of  ‘Glow’ and ‘Thank You for the Music'.

County councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “It was wonderful being in the audience for the 2023 Choir of the Year contest.

"For the second year running, it was so hard to guess who would be crowned the winner as every single performance was so expressive and full of talent and energy, giving the judges a difficult decision to make.

“Congratulations to the Nelson Civic Ladies’ Choir, whose performance was inspiring and unforgettable.”

East Lancashire was well represented in the competition by three other groups who narrowly missed out on podium places.

The Clitheroe Parish Church Amateur Operatic Dramatic Society Show Choir rounded off the evening’s performances with their versions of ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’, showing off the talents of the mixed-gender and mixed-age group.

Lancashire Telegraph: Clitheroe Parish Church Amateur Operatic Dramatic Society (CPCAODS) Show Choir on stageClitheroe Parish Church Amateur Operatic Dramatic Society (CPCAODS) Show Choir on stage (Image: Lancashire County Council)

Valley Aloud Community Choir, from Rossendale, began their performances with a rousing rendition of ‘The Rose’ followed by a performance of Mary Poppins classic ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, which featured quirky, fun interactions between the choir members and the musical director.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rossendale's Valley Aloud Community Choir on stageRossendale's Valley Aloud Community Choir on stage (Image: Lancashire County Council)

Smaller in number but just as large vocally was Whitworth Community Choir, who delivered an interactive performance of ‘America’ before their second performance of ‘Carrickfergus’ which showed a different side to their talents.

Lancashire Telegraph: Whitworth Community Choir on StageWhitworth Community Choir on Stage (Image: Lancashire County Council)

Cllr Buckley added: “My compliments to everyone who took part and especially the finalists, who showed us what an unstoppable force of talent we have in Lancashire.

"I am already excited to see what next year will bring.”

The judging panel consisted of Matthew Thomas, music director of last year’s winners, the Rossendale Male Voice Choir; Jane Irwin, professional soloist; Saphena Aziz, director of inclusion at Curious Minds; and county councillor Phillippa Williamson, leader of Lancashire County Council.