A Solihull schoolgirl is keeping her feet firmly on the ground by concentrating on her studies in earth sciences – despite winning a major national singing contest.

Alice Halstead beat more than 100 other budding singers to be named BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister of the Year 2008.

The 14-year-old wowed judges and hundreds of guests who packed in St Paul’s Cathedral in London last Friday when she beat four other finalists.

However, the King Edward VI High School for Girls pupil says she will not get carried away with the success.

She said: “I really couldn’t believe that I had got to the final and I was very happy with that, so to win was extraordinary. It is was a fantastic experience singing at St Paul’s. I was extremely nervous but also very excited.

“However, I do not really see singing as a career. It will definitely be a major part of my life and if something happens that would be great, but I am very interested in geography and earth sciences so I will concentrate on that.”

Alice, a choir girl at St Alphege Church, Solihull, along with the other finalists sang two pieces in front of judges Andrew Carwood, Carrie Grant and Tim Rhys-Evans.

She sang the traditional hymn When a knight won his spurs, which was arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Ave Maria, by Michael Head. The winners each received a beautiful crystal glass trophy. Past winners have gone on to sing with groups such as All Angels and The Choirboys.

Director of Music at the school, Nigel Argust, said: “Alice’s success is a wonderful achievement and we are all very proud of her.”

The final, presented by Charles Hazlewood was broadcast at 8pm on BBC Radio 2 on Sunday, and is available to listen again on BBC iPlayer at www.bbc.co.uk/radio2