Billingshurst School wins Christmas carol competition

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Back in October Newbridge Nurseries, based in Broadbridge Heath, launched a special competition for schools in Horsham and surrounding areas to create their very own Christmas Carol, based on the theme ‘Why I Love Where I Live’.

The winner was announced on Wednesday evening at an X-Factor style final, which took place at the nurseries.

The three finalists were:

Year One at St Mary’s C of E Primary School in Normandy, Horsham, with their entry, I Love Living in Horsham

Amy Hobart , accompanied by Abbie Macpherson, Hannah Scurr and Sophie White, Year Seven students at The Weald School, Billingshurst, with Amy’s entry, Christmas Song

Ellie Bradbury, a Year Five student at St Mary’s C of E Primary School in Normandy, Horsham, with her entry, The Big Community

Each finalist was required to sing their entry on the night in front of the magnificent Christmas tree in Stooks at Newbridge Nurseries.

The students had written the songs themselves, with Year One at St Mary’s School receiving a little help from their teacher, Sarah Whiting.

The judging panel consisted of Nigel Wait, managing director of Newbridge Nurseries, voice coach Kaytie Harding, creative director of Voice from the Coal Shed, and Karen Roberts, trustee of Midhurst based charity Angels International.

After much deliberation, the judges chose their winner as Amy Hobart, who was accompanied by fellow Year Seven students Abbie Macpherson, Hannah Scurr and Sophie White from The Weald School (pictured), who won £500 towards their school’s music department. Ellie Bradbury and Year One at St Mary’s C of E Primary School each won a runner up prize of £50, also for the school’s music department.

The concert was also an opportunity to raise funds for Angels International, which helps to supply medical aid and promotes education and training for local doctors, nurses and health workers in Malawi, Africa. Donations on the night totalled £128.

Nigel Wait said: “We had a very tough decision deciding who our winner should be, as each of the entries was so fantastic and all of the children performed wonderfully at the concert. I’d like to say a big thank you to all the schools who took part in the competition, to my fellow judges for helping to decide on our rightful winner, and also to all those who donated towards Angels International on the night.

“The concert added a truly magical Christmas touch at Newbridge Nurseries and Stooks was packed to the brim with an enthusiastic audience of parents and local residents.”

The competition was open to children aged five to 14 and entrants were asked to submit either a traditional or humorous Christmas song, which conveyed what is so good about living in West Sussex, whether it be the county as a whole or individual towns and villages such as Horsham or Billingshurst.

Report and picture contributed.