Twenty students from the choir at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe were chosen to sing with Gary Barlow on the Manchester leg of his recent Since I Saw You Last tour.
Proudly wearing their school uniforms, the Saint Paul’s pupils performed Sing in front of the 23,000-strong audience at the Manchester Phones4u Arena, receiving a standing ovation after their performance.
The song, co-written by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber, was originally performed by artists across the Commonwealth in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Saint Paul’s choir, ranging from year 7 to year 11 pupils, rehearsed for more than a month to make sure they were pitch perfect on the night. They did not get the chance to meet Gary Barlow beforehand but the star wished them “good luck” as they arrived on-stage.
Olivia Lingard, a year 10 pupil, sang the solo at the beginning and end of the number.
“It was an incredible once in a lifetime opportunity for the students to perform at such a massive event,” said Saint Paul’s choirmaster and music teacher Daniel Hodsdon, who is in his first teaching post and has been at the school for 18 months.
“I think I was more nervous than they were but I felt so proud when the choir’s performance concluded with thunderous applause echoing throughout the arena.”
Headteacher Ms Fiona Minshall was in the audience for the show, along with choir members’ parents.
“To sing Sing alongside Gary Barlow was an incredible triumph for our school choir,” she said. “It was an amazing opportunity to showcase their remarkable talent and energy.”