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Once-in-a-lifetime experience for Richmond School Choir

ByJill Lundberg

Mar 24, 2019

Richmond School and Sixth Form Choir stepped out on stage at the Sage, Gateshead, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Collabro, the world’s most-successful musical theatre group. The 29-strong choir of boys and girls, ranging from Years 7 to 12, were chosen for the performance after Stephen Boyd, Lead Teacher of Music, auditioned for the ‘Collabro search for choirs’, submitting video footage and recordings of the choir.  The choir were delighted to be selected to sing with Collabro, the 2014 Britain’s Got Talent competition winners, as part of their 51-date tour, which culminates at the Royal Albert Hall in April.

Under the direction of Andy Wardale, Music Teacher, the choir performed two songs with Collabro, ‘Electricity’, from Billy Elliott and ‘Faithfully’, at the start of the second half.  Ahead of the concert, the choir spent the afternoon in rehearsals with Collabro, soaking up the excitement back stage ahead of singing in front of a packed auditorium of 1,500 listeners in Hall 1 of the Sage. The choir included Max Ferguson, a Year 7 student, himself no stranger to Britain’s Got Talent, having reached the 2018 semi-finals with the band ‘Bring It North’.

Stephen Boyd, Lead Teacher of Music, said: “It was potentially a once-in-a-lifetime concert for the students, performing on a professional stage set and supporting such high-level musicians. It was a great honour to be selected to accompany Collabro and the effort with extra rehearsals really paid off. The students are rightly very proud of their achievements and I would also like to thank Mr Wardale for his work in rehearsing the choir for this performance and his commitment to music-making at Richmond School and Sixth Form College.” 

A highlight of the evening was when Millie Aston, Year 11, was invited by Collabro to talk to the audience about Richmond School and then asked to sing a short A Capella solo. She chose ‘Skyfall’ by Adele, and she sang it terrifically well and everyone was blown away by her great poise, professionalism and singing voice. Millie commented: “It was a great and unexpected opportunity and it was so incredible to experience the lights and all the action on stage. I was very proud to be singled out.”

Natasha Nixon, Year 10 Choir Member, added: “It was a remarkable experience. We were performing in the middle of a full-on pop concert. The lights, stage smoke, volume of the band and the presence of Collabro made it one of the most-fantastic evenings ever.”

The Choir are looking forward to building on the experience of performing with a world-class group.  They are delighted that the Collabro Tour Director has been in touch to say that they were very professional from start to finish and performed wonderfully well on stage.