By Alice Clarke
NoteWorthy, youth choir from Wallington High School for Girls, were crowned Jack Petchey’s Perfect Pitch Champions for the second time.
Singing ‘a capella’ style, the troupe, performed at the Grand Final at the world famous Cadogan Hall in March and walked away with part of a £1,000 prize pot. The competition saw young a capella groups from London and Essex perform in front of a packed out theatre as well as an expert judging panel.
Jack Petchey’s Perfect Pitch competition saw twelve groups emerge from regional finals, to take to the stage for the grand final, wowing the audience with their vocals and performance skills. The audience were treated to renditions of The Beatles, Etta James, Dua Lipa, Billie Ellish and more. Performances ranged from a more traditional choir format to incorporating rap, beat boxing, mash-ups and choreography.
NoteWorthy have been together as a complete group of sixteen since July 2019. They were the winners of the first Perfect Pitch competition in 2018 and some of those older members have now left for university so had to be replaced by younger students at Wallington High School for Girls in Sutton. This year they took home a prize of £500.
Noteworthy Director and Head of Music at Wallington High School for Girls, Jennifer Yard said: “The experience at the Jack Petchey Perfect Pitch competition at Cadogan Hall on 1 March was just incredible. The venue was stunning with such great acoustics and great views from all seats. It really was an excellent experience for all of us, working closely as a team and working towards a performance worthy of a grand final. I am extremely proud of NoteWorthy’s professionalism, musicality and ambition and we have all gained an experience that we’ll remember with great fondness for a very long time. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Jack Petchey and all the team that work so hard to make this such a positive experience for all.”
NoteWorthy member Yimika Osilaja, aged 17, said: “Jack Petchey has always been such a fun experience. We’ve been competing as a group since 2018 and each time we perform on stage it’s so exciting and seeing your hard work pay off is one of the best feelings in the world. I really hope to continue performing in the future!”
This year’s Runners-Up prize went to Norbury Manor Celeste from Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College in Croydon. They are an all-girls 11-18 choir and they sing every type of repertoire that choirs can cover. Third prize went to Hapaphonix from Harris Academy Peckham, a Chamber Choir. Second and third place in the competition won £300 and £200 respectively.
Emma Stevens who teaches the choir at Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College said: “Celeste have been so delighted to take part in the Jack Petchey Perfect Pitch Competition this year. The Grand Final day was such a fantastic experience for us all at the prestigious Cadogan Hall. The event ran like clockwork thanks to the team of organisers and so many of the performances in the evening were incredible. After months of hard work the show really did provide a wonderful end to what has been a brilliant experience all round. We are very proud to be runners-up in our first experience of the competition and are looking forward to taking part again in the future. Thank you Jack Petchey Foundation for such a positive experience.”
Hapaphonix member Yeray Pena, aged 15, said: “I really enjoyed performing at the Jack Petchey Perfect Pitch competition! The standard of all the performers was great and to get third place at the Grand final is amazing! I am proud of Team Hapaphonix!”
Associate Assistant Principal at Harris Academy Peckham, Kerry Rogers added: “What a great event! The whole process was excellently planned and the support we received was excellent. Our students loved performing at Cadogan Hall – what a great opportunity for them!”
Sir Jack Petchey CBE, aged 94, said: “It is right that we should support our youth in this way. It is right that we encourage and nurture them to grow their talents – whatever those talents may be and they have as much fun as possible on the way! How I would love to be able to sing like them! With the confidence they gain from Jack Petchey’s Perfect Pitch I hope they will go on to achieve great things.”