The Military Wives‘ choirmaster described the group’s prize win at the Classical Brits as “the candle on the icing of a very large cake”.

The group – stars of BBC2’s The Choir – scooped the single of the year gong for their Christmas chart-topper Wherever You Are at the glitzy ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

They helped to round off the evening by performing another hit, the Diamond Jubilee anthem Sing. They were accompanied by the song’s composers, Take That star and X Factor judge Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber who both played grand pianos.

Choirmaster Gareth Malone said: “It was very humble beginnings. It is about these women finding a voice and tonight is a great celebration of that.”

Members of the choir, made up of the wives and girlfriends of military personnel, rubbed shoulders with the likes of Sir Anthony Hopkins at the event.

The Duchess of Cornwall was also due to attend the event – officially called the Classic Brit Awards 2012 with MasterCard – but had to pull out due to a middle ear infection and sinusitis.