A GIRLS choir from Hereford has been voted Children’s Choir of the World – the first English choir to claim the title.

The Cantabile Girls Choir of Hereford Cathedral School won the title at the International Musical Eisteddfod Festival in Llangollen, beating off competition from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and mainland Europe.

The International Eisteddfod, whose patron is HRH The Prince of Wales, was founded in Llangollen, Wales, in 1947.

The Cantabile Girls Choir tied in first place with the British Columbia Girls Choir – each choir will receive a trophy.

Jo Williamson, choir director of Cantabile, said: “I was speechless when I heard how well we had done and I couldn’t be prouder of the girls.”

Hereford Cathedral School’s Cantabile Girls Choir have been past winners of BBC Songs of Praise and were Barnardo's School Choir of the Year in 2017.

Cantabile choir director Jo has been voted conductor of the year at the International Eisteddfod in past years. This year, Jo also led the girls to win the folk song category at the Eisteddfod with Waly Waly and Bobby Shaftoe.

Jo, once a globetrotting opera singer until she became a singing teacher at Hereford Cathedral School, founded the Cantabile Girls Choir at the school over 10 years ago.

Cantabile have automatically qualified for the World Choir Games, which take place in Sweden in 2019, and also dubbed the Grand Prix of Nations.