A Rugby School student has been named BBC Young Choir of the Year and described the win as “absolutely surreal”.
16-year-old aomi Simon has a diverse repertoire from rock to choir and wants to win a gold medal again after reaching the semi-finals in 2021.
She won Sunday as the standout competitor on the six-chorus shortlist in the final, presented by Welsh singer Aled Jones and judged by Katherine Jenkins, Howard Goodall and David Grant.
Naomi said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to perform my works in front of an audience.
“That’s almost enough, but to win is absolutely surreal.
“The support I get from my school, family and friends is huge – everyone is there and plays a big part in my success.”
Naomi joined as a boarder at Rugby in 2020 on a Music Scholarship from the Minster School in York and has been coached by Head of Vocals, Matthew Sandy, since her arrival.
The Music Director, Richard Tanner, Mr Sandy, and Naomi’s Landlord, Debbie Horner, all came to support Naomi during the filming of the semi-final in Manchester during the October half-term.
Mr. Tanner praised Naomi as “a born actor.”
He said: “Naomi is not only a great player on the team through her contribution to our choir at Rugby School, but also a stylish solo singer.
“She is a born performer who has the ability to adapt to many genres in her own unique way.”
Mr Sandy said Naomi was “determined” after losing in 2021.
He said: “Without any delay in missing last year’s final, Naomi was absolutely determined to take another hit and claim the championship trophy.
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“We are all very proud of her resilience and dedication – she has an amazing talent.”
Naomi’s mother, Frances Simon, said her family was delighted with the support received from Rugby School during the competition.
Ms. Simon said: “Rugby is really a home for us as a family.
“Because Naomi is an only child, she thrived in a supportive and nurturing environment.
“My heart melted seeing Richard, Matt and Naomi’s Hostess sitting in the live studio.
“It was midterms but there they cheered her on.”
Now, Naomi will have the opportunity to star in a range of BBC radio and television shows of the year, share her talents with the nation and work with top musicians – starting with the opportunity to record with the BBC Philharmonic on Wednesday.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/16-year-old-student-overjoyed-to-win-bbcs-young-chorister-of-the-year-42211850.html 16-year-old student ‘overjoyed’ to win BBC Young Choir of the Year