Farnham Youth Choir has triumphed against choirs from across the world to bag a gold medal at its first international competition since before the Covid-19 pandemic.

FYC’s senior choir – which counts members from across Farnham, Alton, Haslemere and the surrounding area – arrived in Hull for the first ever Interkultur International Choir Competition to be held in the UK on April 27.

Because of the pandemic, this was the choir’s first international choral competition since 2019.

The choir competed against choirs from as far afield as Finland, South Africa and Turkey. In total, 27 choirs from ten countries took part.  

The Interkultur Internation Choir contest was held in Hull
The Interkultur Internation Choir contest was held in Hull (Farnham Youth Choir)

Led by their artistic director Patrick Barrett and accompanied by Matthew Rickard, FYC competed – alongside adult choirs – in the ‘Sacred Choral Music a cappella’ category and came away with silver.

They also competed in the ‘Youth Choirs of equal voices’ category, winning the category trophy with gold.

After nearly 40 years of choral excellence, Farnham Youth Choir has developed into a family of choirs that supports children to achieve extraordinary things through a shared love of singing.

FYC has previously won international competitions from the World Choir Games (2006, China) to double gold medals at recent European Choir Games (2015, Germany and 2019, Sweden). The choir was delighted to uphold its reputation as one of the UK’s leading youth choirs and also to have the opportunity to meet other choirs from all over the world.

Farnham Youth Choir members celebrate with the trophy in Hull
Farnham Youth Choir members celebrate with the trophy in Hull (Farnham Youth Choir)

Singer and FYC senior leader, Freya, said: “Competing in Hull was so much fun. 

“The reward of winning the youth choir category after working so hard all year made me feel on top of the world.” 

Co-chair of trustees Melanie Hancox said: “Watching this group of singers, some of whom have been in FYC for years and others only months, work so hard and raise the level of their performance was inspirational. 

“There is no doubt that events like these change lives – none of our singers will forget what they achieved during the weekend.”

Artistic director Patrick Barrett said: “The International Choral Competition in Hull was an inspirational experience. Seeing the incredible talent from across the globe helped us to raise our game and celebrate the brilliant voices of Farnham on the world stage.”

The next date in FYC’s competition calendar is the Concours Choral International taking place in Provence, France, in July 2023. Support the choir’s competitive efforts, by donating at fyc.org.uk/donate