On Wednesday morning, 43 very enthusiastic members of the Senior Choir set off for the O2, with Mrs Mrs Izard, Mrs Wilkes, Mrs O' Hare and Mr Lloyd to sing at the Young Voices Concert. We've been learning and practising the songs and medleys for the concert since September, so the prospect of actually performing them with another 7,500 children was very exciting, if not a little daunting.
Every year, schools across the country take part in these massive concerts. Over the last 21 years Young Voices choirs have performed with artists such as Alexandra Burke, Joss Stone, and Gary Barlow as well as raising over 1 million pounds for Children’s charities such as CLIC Sargent. With a full live band and backing singers, it makes for one of the most exciting and memorable musical experiences you can imagine.
We arrived at the O2 in plenty of time and had lunch, before rehearsing in the arena for nearly 3 hours, which seemed to fly past. We were sitting on level 4, at the top of the arena, which gave us a fantastic view of the stage, the conductor, the musicians and later on, the audience. One of the highlights of the rehearsal was singing for the very first time with the other members of the 'choir'. What an amazing sound! We were fortunate to be performing with acclaimed jazz and soul singer Natalie Williams, Beat Box Collective, Irish rock singer and guitarist, Tabby Callaghan from X Factor, and the dance troupe Urban Strides.
After tea, we returned to our seats in the arena and indulged ourselves in a game of 'spot the parent'. Our parents and friends were sitting on the floor of the arena, so with the help of Mr Lloyd's binoculars, we were soon able to locate where the Gateway supporters were and waved energetically.
As the excitement built, we all took part in a huge Mexican Wave, before the house lights were dimmed and the concert began. The Young Voices Choir opened the concert by singing a medley of songs from the musical 'Five Guys names Moe'. All the music is specially selected and arranged to give the children the widest variety of songs to perform. We particularly enjoyed singing the They Might be Giants hit 'Birdhouse in your soul', 'Sing' by the Pentatonix and the rock anthem 'You're the Voice', although the medley of traditional folksongs and 'Pop Medley' were also very popular. There were dance moves to perform too, and Urban Strides director, Andy Instone even managed to get the audience on their feet dancing and clapping!Throughout the concert, there were fantastic lighting effects which really added to the atmosphere.
We were lucky to able to leave the O2 very quickly and our journey home was smooth and swift, with no hold ups - there were lots of very sleepy children on the coach. However, I think it's fair to say that everyone involved had a brilliant day and night, an experience that won't be forgotten for a very long time.