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Upminster Junior School choir that performed at the O2 Arena in front of thousands to feature on BBC News tonight

PUBLISHED: 14:06 31 January 2019

Members of the choir with their banner. Photo: Terry Riches

Members of the choir with their banner. Photo: Terry Riches

Terry Riches

Members of Upminster Junior School's choir that performed along with 8,000 other children, Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet and Beverley Knight as part of the Young Voices concert at the O2 Arena are set to appear on BBC news tonight.

The choir in rehearsals before the big show at the O2 on Monday night. Photo: Terry RichesThe choir in rehearsals before the big show at the O2 on Monday night. Photo: Terry Riches

On Monday (January 28) night, Terry Riches - who has been organising the choir at the school for the last 11 years - along with around 100 children from the school’s choir performed a medley of songs including Viva La Vida by Coldplay and hits from The Greatest Showman in front of a packed O2.

Terry told the Recorder: “It was a wonderful experience, I’m not a musician I just enjoy singing and all the children have been brilliant again this year.”
He said there were even a few special surprises on the night, as Coldplay drummer Will Champion was in the audience, as the Upminster school performed their hit, and Hugh Jackman from The Greatest Showman sent a video message to all the children who took part, as they closed the show with a showstopper from his Oscar nominated movie.

The largest children’s choir in the world, Young Voices will be celebrating their 20th anniversary in style by completing a marathon of 20 arena dates up and down the country with over 120,000 excited singing school children aged from 6-13.

For the past 20 years, Young Voices has staged the largest children’s choir concerts in the world. More than two million children have taken part in a Young Voices concert and each night for the last week, between 5,000-8,000 children have been performing as a single choir at the O2 in Greenwich, to a sold-out audience of family and friends.

Rosie, Chloe and Sia who made the banner. Photo: Terry RichesRosie, Chloe and Sia who made the banner. Photo: Terry Riches

Terry said some of the girls in the choir had been creating a banner so that parents could spot them from the audience, but they came across a fishy problem whilst making it.

The girls had been painting the banner in a school classroom, and after a few days a few teachers commented about a funny smell.

When Terry checked the use by date of the paint on the tins they were actually out of date - and the girls were asked to finish the banner off at home.

He said: “They put in such a lot of hard work and it was all worth it on the night because everyone saw the banner and recognised us all.

Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley performed on the same night. Photo: Terry RichesSpandau Ballet's Tony Hadley performed on the same night. Photo: Terry Riches

“I mean they would have certainly heard us too, but it was all just a funny story.”

The choir from Upminster will feature on BBC news tonight on BBC One at around 6.30pm.

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