Sunderland school choir join The Drifters on stage

Dan Healey, musical director for The Drifters, with the Sandhill View School choir which will appear with the group at the Sunderland Empire in July.

Dan Healey, musical director for The Drifters, with the Sandhill View School choir which will appear with the group at the Sunderland Empire in July.

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TALENTED youngsters are tuning up to take to the stage with one of the world’s longest-running groups.

The choir from Sandhill View Community Arts School will join The Drifters on stage at the Sunderland Empire when they appear for one night only.

Members of the group’s management company went along to the Grindon Lane school to hold a special workshop with the 16 young people to make sure they are prepared.

Sandhill View is the only school which will be joining The Drifters on stage and music teacher Amy Larson said pupils couldn’t be more excited.

She said: “The students are really looking forward to the night.

“We have to be there for 5pm for a sound check with The Drifters and we will get our own dressing room. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The Sandhill View Choir, made up of 11- to 14-year-olds, will perform the opening song in the second half of the concert, Love Doesn’t Ask Why, and also take part in the final song, Saturday Night at the Movies.

The Drifters are offering schools and colleges across the country the chance to join them on tour and Sandhill View has been chosen to join them at the Empire on Thursday, July 4. This year all the choirs taking part will be competing and the best performance will result in a recorded live song with the group.

Now in their 60th year, The Drifters have seen massive chart success across the world, with more than 114 million album sales and 214 million singles sales and a number of hits including, Under The Boardwalk, Save The Last Dance For Me and Kissin’ in The Back Row.

Current band member Pierre Herelle said: “We are very much looking forward to working with the students.

“We have been completely overwhelmed by their enthusiasm and excitement – it is a very special project to be involved in.”

l Tickets to see The Drifters at the Sunderland Empire cost £26 and are available from the box office on High Street West or by contacting the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022.