PROUD young singers from Droitwich beat off competition from dozens of talented school choirs to win a coveted prize.

A choir of 40 Westacre Middle School students travelled to the intu Merry Hill shopping centre in Dudley on Friday to take part in its annual Little Voices Christmas Choir Competition.

After battling it out against rival schools from across Worcestershire, the Droitwich team scooped the prize for Best Choir along with £1,000 for their school.

Helen Jones, who leads the choir which recently took part in Sing The Sound of Music at Chateau Impney, said: "I'm just absolutely thrilled because the children worked so hard. We just pulled this out of the bag.

"They have worked so hard in the last four weeks, particularly because we had got the Sound of Music event. The children had to pull out all the stops.

"They are lovely, I love working with them."

The choir won the judges over with their rendition of four festive tunes, including a special 'mash up' of We Three Kings and Happy by Pharrell Williams.

But perhaps their success comes as no great surprise, as Westacre have won at the competition three times in the past four years.

Headteacher Donna Evans said: "We are very pleased that our children have won the best choir prize at the Merry Hill school choir competition. They have been rehearsing for many weeks and we are pleased that their hard work has been rewarded.

"As part of our prize, the school will receive £1,000 towards enhancing its music provision.

"A big thank you must go to Mrs Jones who has been helping the children to rehearse and to Mrs Riddleston for all the behind the scenes organisation.

"A final thank you to our parents for providing their support and always coming along to cheer the children on."

A spokesperson for intu Merry Hill said: "With over 40 local school choirs battling it out, the judges had a very hard time deciding on the winners this year.

"Westacre Middle School performed fantastically well and can be justly proud of their performances throughout the competition as overall winners."

Westacre Choir is made up of a total of 80 youngsters aged between nine and 12-years-old.