Former Chippenham schoolgirl Rebecca Sharp has reached the final of the prestigious Choir of the Year competition.

Miss Sharp, 19, is a member of The Oxford Gargoyles, a mixed a cappella ensemble comprising Oxford University students.

The competition has four categories – children’s, youth, adult and open – and the Gargoyles won the open category.

They and the winners of the other categories, plus two wild cards, will battle it out at the final at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on October 28.

Miss Sharp said she and her fellow choir members were putting in extra hours of practice in between their university studies.

She said: “We are rehearsing a lot. To win our category was just amazing. There were lots of strong choirs and the standard was fairly high. We were just absolutely over the moon to win it. This is probably the biggest competition we have entered.

“We can’t wait to perform in the final, it’s such a huge opportunity. We just want everyone to hear our music.”

The choir sings mainly jazz, but their repertoire includes a token Disney song every year.

Miss Sharp is one of three sopranos in the choir and has been a member for a year.

She has just become musical director of the choir.

Miss Sharp has started her second year at St Hilda’s studying French. She has lived in Chippenham all her life and went to Monkton Park Primary School and Hardenhuish School, where she was head girl. She was in a gospel choir and a close harmony group while at Hardenhuish.

She began singing aged about 14 and also plays the violin and piano, to grade 8.

She took A-level music but has decided to keep singing as a hobby.

Mum Susan is a singer and teacher at Stonar School and Grittleton School and runs Opera Sulis. Her brother, Andrew, 15, is also musical. He plays the trumpet and is in a band where he plays drums, guitar and sings. Her dad, Jonathan, is a commercial manager.

Her mum said: “We are all very proud of her. I think I will be more nervous than her.”

More than 6,000 singers entered the Choir of the Year competition. Winning the competition has proved to be a springboard to success for numerous choirs including the London Adventist Chorale, now regarded as among the finest choirs in the world.