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St Patrick's Junior Choir through to live Britain's Got Talent semi-finals

Northern Ireland primary school choir will perform for Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden on Monday night

St Patrick’s Junior Choir from Drumgreenagh outside Rathfriland in Co Down have made it through to the live semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent.

It’s been revealed the pupils are among 35 lucky acts joining the five golden buzzer acts who automatically qualified for the semi-finals this year.

Omagh man Ryan Tracey (35), who smashed a world balloon modelling record while blindfolded, is also through to the live semi-finals.

He is joined by Irish teenager Leah Barniville (14), from Ratoath in Co Meath, who gave a rousing performance of the classical song Caruso by Lucio Dalla.

St Patrick’s Junior Choir wowed the BGT panel during their original audition when they performed a rendition of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know.

The eight to 12 year olds received a standing ovation from the audience and four yeses from Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden.

At the time choir director and P4/5 teacher, Patricia McCaughey, said: "We had a wonderful experience at the Britain’s Got Talent auditions in Manchester. We had put in a lot of practice and preparation so we are thrilled that the judges enjoyed our performance."

The primary school choir were asked to audition for the hit TV show after winning Radio Ulster's school choir of the year in 2016.

The school has just 80 pupils in total, almost half of which are members of the school choir.

What song are we going to sing? You'll just have to tune in on Monday night and watch us on Britain's Got Talent. And don't forget to vote! Patricia McCaughey

Mrs McCaughey said: "We’ve had a choir in the school for as long as I remember, but this particular group of children are very special.

"Our pupils just love to sing. You will hear them chirping away in the corridors, in the playground and in the classroom, practising all day long. It creates a really lovely atmosphere in the school."

"They really connect with the music and the lyrics, and you can tell they enjoy every minute of performing.  I think the judges from Britain’s Got Talent could see that and that’s why they loved them so much."

Principal of St Patrick’s Primary School, Mrs Sorcha Lyness, says the children have worked hard to prepare for Monday’s semi-final.

The choir have worked really hard in the run up to the live shows so I really hope everyone can get behind us and vote for St Patrick’s Junior Choir. Sorcha Lyness

"We already knew that we had a talented bunch here at St Patrick’s but it is so nice to have them recognised in this way,” she said.

"The children throughout the school are so excited to be both performing on the night and, for some, to watch their best friends on the television on Monday night.” 

The pupils, who will perform live on ITV on Monday at 7.30pm, hope they make it through to this year’s final. They will find out if they become finalists during the results show at 9.30pm.

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