Tring Park School choir crowned BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year 2016 

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts have won the prestigious BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year 2016 competition. 

The final, which was aired yesterday (Sunday 24 April) on BBC One, saw the Tring Park School Choir compete in the senior category against Oakham School and St George’s College. 

The choir impressed the judges, which included: world-famous mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins; British choral and orchestral conductor and composer Ken Burton; and West End star Connie Fisher Daniel, with their rendition of Daniel, Daniel Servant Of The Lord. 

The competition final was presented by Aled Jones at Sheffield City Hall.

The choir consists of 16 sixth formers from Tring Park who are pupils from the drama, dance, musical theatre and performance foundation courses, which makes the choir a unique feature of the school, being the only regular vehicle for cross-course performing.   

Tommy Nagra, executive producer from Songs of Praise, said: “This year’s finalists showcased inspiring and spine-tingling performances of the highest quality. The children, teachers and parents of all our entrants deserve real praise for embracing the competition and supporting the fine tradition of singing in schools across the UK .The judges had a tough task picking the winners who demonstrated choral excellence of the highest standard. Congratulations to Tring Park School from Hertfordshire who walked away with the coveted trophy in the senior category as winner of School Choir of The Year 2016.” 

Reflecting on the choir’s achievements, Tring Park director of music Liz Norris said: “This is the first year that we have entered the Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year competition and even having seen it on television, we really didn’t know what to expect. 

“The standard was extremely high however from all choirs competing, and to say that we were surprised and delighted with the result would be an understatement. I am unbelievably proud of the choristers for their talent, commitment, professionalism and passion and feel honoured to be able to work with such amazing young people.


“We only get the chance to rehearse during the lunch times, which, given the length and intensity of the school day, speaks volumes about the choristers’ commitment and dedication.” 

Tring Park School for the Performing Arts has long been the favourite for budding dancers, singers and thespians. And it can boast a glittering line-up of star-studded recent alumni, such as Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) Lily James (Pride and Prejudice and Disney’s Cinderella), Ella Henderson (The X Factor) and Jessica Findlay-Brown (Downton Abbey).


About Tring Park School for the Performing Arts

  • Tring Park is one of the UK's top performing arts schools – the majority of pupils forge successful careers in the performing arts. 

  • Tring Park provides a unique community for talented young people, regardless of means or background, who have both passion and talent for dance, drama, musical theatre or commercial music.  

  • Tring Park also provides a balanced education and has an outstanding academic record: pupils regularly get into the top universities.
    Tring Park one of the Top 100 Independent UK Boarding Schools and ranked in the top tier of all schools for delivering "added value" for pupils' performance.

  • Tring Park's academic performance places it in the top 10 independent schools in Hertfordshire in the published league tables.

  • Tring Park is housed in a former Rothschild mansion in beautiful grounds in Tring, Hertfordshire, and was used as a location (a Russian ballet school) in the 2015 Avengers movie, Age of Ultron. 

  • Tring Park School's history can be traced back as far as 1919. For many years Tring Park was part of the Arts Educational School, which before this was known as the Cone Ripman School, and provided the performing arts training for Dame Julie Andrews.

  • The Principal of Tring Park is Stefan Anderson 


Commemorative sculpture of Sir John Dankworth unveiled at The Stables


A commemorative sculpture of Sir John Dankworth, founder of The Stables Theatre, has been unveiled at the venue in Wavendon, Milton Keynes.

Cast in bronze and positioned at the main public entrance, the life-sized sculpture has been commissioned from the renowned Scottish sculptor David Annand by the trustees of Wavendon Allmusic Plan (WAP), the charitable trust which oversees the work of The Stables Theatre.

Stephen Clarke, Chairman of WAP, commented: “Sir John enjoyed a glittering career that spanned more than 50 years as performer, composer and conductor. His services to music earned him a CBE as well as a knighthood from Her Majesty the Queen. Together with his wife Dame Cleo Laine he established the trust 45 years ago with the vision of making all music genres accessible to all people.  That vision lives on and the current trustees hope that David Annand’s wonderful sculpture will serve as a fitting tribute to their legacy, as well as bringing much pleasure to all our visitors.”

Dame Cleo commented: “It’s fitting that John’s contribution to music and music education has been honoured by the charity we established 45 years ago.”

Wavendon Allmusic Plan Ltd (WAP Ltd) is a registered charity founded in 1969 by world-renowned jazz musicians Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth. They developed The Stables Theatre in outbuildings at their home in Wavendon, Milton Keynes, as a venue for concerts and education activities. The current Stables Theatre opened its doors in 2000. Education is central to WAP’s vision and encourages people of all ages, levels of ability and backgrounds to participate in music-making activities. The Stables Theatre holds National Portfolio Organisation status with Arts Council England.




A multi-million pound development of Elstree Studios to provide new media facilities for the film and television industry and an economic boost to Hertsmere has taken a major step forward this week.The beginning of works on four acres of land at the Studios which is to be levelled to allow the construction of new media production facilities on the world famous site was marked by a ceremony on Tuesday 10 September.

Studios’ Managing Director Roger Morris and Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council and Chairman of Elstree Studios, Morris Bright, launched the beginning of the works. 

Roger Morris said: “The industry needs more production space. Elstree Studios has re-established itself as one of the top UK Studios attracting work from across the film and television industry including many major Hollywood productions. This new development at our site will allow the studios to take advantage of an expanding market. Over the past four years, Elstree has managed to capture many of the major television productions in the UK and a number of major international feature films. We look forward to having more space to meet our clients’ needs in the years ahead.”

Morris Bright added: “This work will increase the size of the studios by 25% and is the first major development at Elstree in over 15 years. The mound has been at the back of the site for 30 years and the investment from the local authority and Local Enterprise Partnership reflects the importance the studios site to the Borough of Hertsmere. I am looking forward to the Studios moving ahead with this exciting project for the benefit of both the media industry and the residents of Hertsmere.” 

Studios-owner Hertsmere Borough Council accepted a £2 million loan towards the £4.5 million project from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growing Places Fund at the end of last year. The remaining £2.5 million for the project is being invested by the council.


Elstree Studios is known as London’s leading film and TV studios, and attracts many top feature films and television shows including Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech and BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, but a lack of studio capacity has meant business has previously had to be turned away.

As well as creating jobs for the local community, the project will bring in additional monies to the national and local economies.

The studios currently generate over £1 million in rental income for the council, the equivalent of almost 20% of the council tax subsidised for every home in the borough. The income from the studios helps to pay for services important to residents and keep council tax charges low.