A GOSPEL choir from Oxford attempt to win a top prize on Songs of Praise – conducted by a violin shop owner from Wallingford.

Pete Waters will will appear with Gospel Events Choir – part of Oxford Gospel Choir – on the Songs of Praise Gospel Choir of the Year contest on BBC One.

The 62-year-old lives in Newbury in Berkshire but has run Waters' Violins in Wallingford for 26 years.

He has been part of the choir for 10 years and was asked to become a conductor about six years ago.

He said: "It's very exciting, we had to submit an audio file and the BBC selected the top five choirs to perform for the competition.

"We've been up to the BBC for the filming of the show, one of the songs we played was Oh Happy Days.

Mr Waters said that filming of the show has already taken place so he knows the winner of the competition, but would be keeping the winner under wraps so as not to spoil the surprise.

He said: "It was a long day but terrific fun, we got to meet the other four choirs, we all had to perform two songs, no longer than three minutes, it was a new and exciting experience."

Choir director Jules Francis-Sinclair was approached on several occasions to enter the team into the competition in previous years but this year they were able to get everyone together to enter.

Expert judges from the gospel music community select which choirs go through to the televised final, with a trophy awarded to the winner.

The first show is on Sunday 26th November at 3.15pm, followed by the final on Sunday 3rd December.

Mr Waters added: "It was absolutely fabulous and I wouldn't miss it for the world."

The Gospel Events Choir is a group of semi-professional singers specialising in gospel and modern styles, all of whom are members of the 80-strong Oxford Gospel Choir, which meets at 7.30pm every Tuesday at Wesley Memorial Church in New Inn Hall Street.

This isn't the first TV appearance for the choir as they have appeared on Ready Steady Cook and another BBC show – Last Choir Standing.

Members of the choir have also provided backing vocals for artists such as Jools Holland, Supergrass, Ministry of Sound and James Brown.