Prize, Pope, Prince and Queen — An update on the now highly successful and widely acclaimed Maria Fidelis Convent School Gospel Choir
It is one year ago this March 2011 that Maria Fidelis Gospel Choir (MFGC) won the BBC Songs of Praise Senior Choir of the year 2010 competition. The creation of a combined lower and upper school choir specifically for this competition has created a choir that has sung for the Pope, The Prince of Wales and the Comonwealth Day Observance, attended by the Queen and other international dignitaries. It is a remarkable journey in just one year.
Through Songs of Praise and the Papal visit the choir has had wide television and media exposure: featuring on three BBC Songs of Praise shows, two for the competition and one for the Pope; live coverage of the Papal visit at the Education event launching the Year of Catholic Education. Photographs and articles about the choir have appeared in the New York Times, the India Times and Italian press, not to mention local Church and secular press. The BBC Songs of Praise competition has recently been broadcast in Australia prompting further international enquiries about the choir.
MFGC performed at a number of other events in the last year: the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in Wales; for the Black Police Association, the Victoria and Albert Museum; it gave a concert at Stamford Methodist Church; sang in the Carol Services for the Mayor of London and the Princes Foundation for Children and the Arts (broadcast on Choice FM. They also sang at the first Olympic launch event of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games( LOCOG); a British Library event featuring Professor Clarence B Jones, the co- speechwriter for Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jnr as well as a number of corporate events.
Forthcoming events include opening the Founding Assembly for North London Citizens; the Mayor of London St Georges Day/ Rhythm of London concert in Trafalgar Square with an expected audience of 10,000 and will be giving a concert in the Ashwell Music Festival in May.
Alongside this, the choir has supported the liturgical events of the school and the FCJs. Praise and worship of God, touching the lives of others through their music is core to the choir’s mission and the girls understand and embrace this. They are great ambassadors for the Maria Fidelis and the achievements of young people. The girls also appreciate the support of the FCJ community at St Aloysius Convent. Other support has included sponsorship of uniform by John Lewis, Oxford Street.
The choir hopes to release a CD in the future and would love to go on tour...there have been requests to participate in competitions as far afield as Canada and as to perform and give workshops as at the FCJ school in Jersey. Our only barrier at this point is securing funding to support these opportunities.
To sing for President Obama on his forthcoming state visit would be the icing on the cake of what has been a remarkable year.