STUDENTS from Shoreham Academy took to the stage for a sold-out performance at London’s prestigious Lyceum Theatre.
Conducted by popular composer Alexander L’Estrange, students and staff joined a host of schools from all across the country to perform songs from Zimbe! on Monday.
Those involved were all part of United Learning – a group of state and independent schools located across the country from Portsmouth to Carlisle.
Shoreham Academy principal Jim Coupe said: “It was a joy to watch students from Shoreham Academy participating in such an outstanding and ground breaking performance.
“I am sure that they will never forget the day in which they performed on a West End stage. I feel so proud of the achievements of all the young people involved.”
The musical is an imaginative fusion of traditional African song and jazz in a choral piece that brings communities together.
Given the geographic spread of the schools, students had been rehearsing their parts alone for months, with very few opportunities to practise as one ensemble before the performance.
Catherine Barker, head of music and performing arts for United Learning, said: “I am immensely proud of all the students and staff that have performed in and helped organise such a spectacular event. I am particularly pleased with the feedback from students and staff who have said how much they enjoyed the opportunity to get together with other schools to perform.
“Events like this one show off the uniqueness of a group like United Learning as a true partnership between state and independent schools.”
Jon Coles, chief executive of United Learning, said: “One of the advantages of being a national group of schools is that we can bring our most talented pupils together from all over the country to participate in events like this.
“An opportunity to sing in a magnificent theatre like the Lyceum is an ambition that many have but few have the chance to realise. So it’s been wonderful to see our singers enjoy the experience.”
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