BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year
- Laurence Kilsby, 11, a chorister at Dean Close Preparatory School, Cheltenham, has been awarded the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year award.
Despite being the youngest competitor Laurence, who sings for the School's Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum, beat 60 other boys from choir schools throughout the country to pick up the coveted title.
The final of the competition presented by well-known Welsh singer and former chorister Aled Jones took place in front of an audience of over 2,000 at St Paul's Cathedral. It was broadcast on Radio 2 on 1 November.
Laurence's renditions of hymn There's a wilderness in God's mercy and John Ireland's It is a thing most wonderful earned him the Chorister of the Year award despite some fierce competition.
"This is a tremendous achievement for Laurence and for our choir," said Benjamin Nicholas, Choral Director at Dean Close and Laurence's vocal coach. "He is a remarkable musician, especially considering his age, and I am glad that the judges spotted his talent amongst all of the brilliant choristers in the competition."
Dean Close Prep School Headmaster Leonard Browne said: "Laurence has a great talent that has been carefully honed by Benjamin and our Chorister teacher Bronwen Mills they all deserve our congratulations, but the limelight rightly falls on Laurence at the moment," said Browne.
Laurence's choir, the Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum of Dean Close Prep School, has enjoyed worldwide success in recent years, undertaking five international tours and singing at the closing of the French Presidency of the European Parliament in front of President Sarkozy.