THE bright lights of London are calling for singers at a Wearside primary school.
Talented youngsters in the East Herrington Primary Academy choir have beaten competition to win one of 12 spots in the final of a national competition, in London next month.
Adding to the excitement, the singing contest is being held over the same weekend as Sunderland AFC take on Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley, so the school’s SAFC supporters are hoping there will be double cause for celebration.
The choir is no stranger to success.
Last year it won The City Sings competition at Sunderland Empire and took part in the Music for Youth Festival in Gateshead, where they were asked to go on and perform at Birmingham Symphony Hall.
Teacher Nicola Hair, leader of music at the Balmoral Road school, said the choir has beaten scores of others from across Great Britain and Ireland to clinch one of the places in the Barnardo’s School Choir of the Year 2014 contest.
She said: “We had to record the children singing and send it off to the organisers. I couldn’t believe it when we had word back that we would be taking part in the final at The Barbican in London.”
The choir master said the school is up against some very tough competition from top prep schools and even some specialised music schools.
She said: “I am so proud. It is fantastic that we got this far.
It will be an amazing experience for the children and we will give it our best shot.” On the day, the choir will perform Can You Feel The Love Tonight from the Lion King, and Italian folk song, Funniculi Funnicula.
After the competition the choirs will put on a small concert where the East Herrington youngsters will sing the Simon and Garfunkel classic, Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
Mrs Hair said the school is busy doing events, such as bag packing and bake sales, to raise money towards the cost of the trip to London for 50 members of the choir, who are all in Years 4, 5 or 6, to take part in the competition on Monday, March 3.
She said: “It is the same weekend as the cup final, so a lot of families are pleased about that and will be taking their children down to make a weekend of it. The rest of the children will come with us on a coach.”