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Monday, 19 March 2012

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Edinburgh (Greyfriars - Rpt)
March 18
Situated just outside the boundaries of the much smaller original city of Edinburgh, the grounds of the former Franciscan convent were given to the city by Mary Queen of Scots, for the building of Edinburgh's first post reformation church. Today Greyfriars has united with Highland Tolbooth, and is home to a congregation drawn from all over the city, to Edinburgh's Gaelic congregation, and to a number of musical groups, including the Dunedin Consort, who feature in this programme. The Royal Mile includes High Street and Canongate and links the Castle at its head with the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the new Scottish Parliament building at its foot.

Irish Voices
March 25
Eamonn Holmes returns to Bangor in Northern Ireland, where he recounts tales of childhood holidays by the sea, and introduces special guest Daniel O'Donnell, who recalls his own boyhood. Plus rousing hymns from County Down.

April 1
Diane Louise Jordan escapes to the country for inspirational hymns and stories from Pershore in the Vale of Evesham. We meet a cleric who is also a robemaker and visit the spectacular Pershore Abbey where a group of children tour the Abbey dressed up as monks. Hymns include Lord for the Years and Morning has Broken, and the OperaBabes perform Think on Me.

April 6
Aled Jones celebrates the world of musical theatre from Sunderland Empire with special guests Keith Jack and Steve Balsamo.

Paul Nicholas recalls playing the lead role in Jesus Christ Superstar, and Craig Chalmers reveals what it feels like to bring the Bible to life in the touring production of Joseph.

There are favourite songs to sing along to from Godspell and The Sound of Music, and Tim Rice reflects upon the challenge of translating the Easter story onto the stage.

The Easter Story
April 8
Bill Paterson and Tamsin Greig read the Easter Story from the King James Bible. Aled Jones introduces Easter hymns from Wesley Memorial Church in Oxford. Hymns are performed by the Wallingford Parish Church Choir, mezzo-soprano Melanie Marshall and tenor Wynne Evans.

Junior School Choir of the Year 2011 - Semi Final
April 15
Aled Jones introduces the first of three special programmes from Sheffield City Hall. This year's judges are Russell Watson, Suzi Digby and David Grant. New format this year there are six schools performing a hymn of their choice. The judges will decide which three make it to the final.

Senior School Choir of the Year 2011 - Semi Final
April 22
Aled Jones introduces the six senior choirs competing for the top prize as Russell Watson, Suzi Digby and David Grant judge the semi-finalists singing favourite hymns in the grand surroundings of Sheffield City Hall.

School Choir of the Year 2011 - Final
April 29
School Choirs of the Year 2011 Final. The winners of the Junior and Senior School choirs are announced. This annual Songs of Praise competition is introduced by Aled Jones from Sheffield City Hall.

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