The British Columbia Girls Choir performed and won at the 2018 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. (Fiona Blackburn/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

The British Columbia Girls Choir performed and won at the 2018 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. (Fiona Blackburn/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: BC Girls Choir back in the running for top prize at Welsh music festival

The girls earned ‘Children’s Choir of the World’ at Llangollen International Musical in 2018

An international award-winning performance by the BC Girls Choir is back in the running for the top Children’s Choir of the World through the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

Having gone and unexpectedly claimed the top prize in 2018, artistic director Fiona Blackburn was hoping that the choir could do it again this year – but COVID-19 put a physical stop to that opportunity.

Instead, Llangollen – the 75-year-old competition, which takes place in a small Welsh town – uploaded all of the winning performances since 1994 onto their website and is asking audiences to cast their votes for the 2020 winner.

Maple Ridge members of the winning choir included Sydney Coates, Carly Roberts, Mila Tkatchouk, Ella Treleaven, Maeve Whalley, and from Pitt Meadows, Erin Ryu and Manae Ryu.

Blackburn said the initial win was significant because only two Canadian choirs have been named for the past quarter century (Newfoundland being the other).

“The competition has been cancelled this year, but people from all around the world are encouraged to ‘sit in the judges’ chairs’ and vote for their favourite performance,” she said, a tad disapointed about not getting to return to the community.

“The charm of that particular place… I will never ever forget it,” Blackburn assured.

The artistic director lived in Maple Ridge for several decades until making the move to Vancouver Island several years ago.

“We get together on Saturdays with girls age six to seven, all the way up to teenagers,” she said, adding that she happily makes the trip each week from the island for that practise.

“We use Coquitlam as a base. There are members from Bowen Island to Mission… White Rock, Langley, Maple Ridge, and Pitt Meadows,” she explained.

While performance prospects such as the International Choral Kathaumixw and been cancelled and their next international tour is planned for 2021, Blackburn is encouraging people to visit the Llangollen website and have a listen to the choir.

The BC Girls Choir performance is of ‘Ban, Ban, Caliban’, which describes the ogre in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

People can visit https://llangollen.tv/home-2020/children-corau-plant and cast their vote.

More information on the BC Girls Choir is available at https://bcgirlschoir.org.

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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