Star Turn: X Factor’s Andrea joins choir at Royal Albert Hall concert
Sydenham High’s Senior School Choir were already excited about performing at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 9 December but their excitement reached fever pitch when X factor finalist Andrea Faustini joined them on stage at their final rehearsal. The girls were even more delighted when Andrea posed for photos with them and signed autographs.
Andrea was a surprise additional act joining the celebrity line-up at this year’s Christmas with the Stars concert, in which the choir has played a central part for a number of years.
The concert is organised by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, in conjunction with TV Times, and each year it raises more than £100,000 for the charity’s life-saving work to help beat blood cancer.
At the evening performance, Andrea was introduced on stage by yet another surprise guest – X factor judge Mel B, who is his mentor. Andrea performed his now-famous version of Hero, with the first verse sung in Italian, in front of a capacity Royal Albert Hall audience.
The choir performed Gaudeamus and All For a Baby to rapturous applause. They were then joined by staff, parents and friends in the African Alleluia and also backed Cantabile in an arrangement of Can You Feel The Love Tonight from The Lion King. Music was provided by the concert brass band, the British State Trumpeters and the Royal Albert Hall organ, conducted by concert musical director Frank Renton.
An array of household names also attended the concert which is a wonderful combination of carols and entertainment. They included: Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers Joanna Clifton, Natalie Lowe and Iveta Lukosiute; actors Patricia Hodge and Anne Reid; impressionists Jon Culshaw and Debra Stephenson; Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr; Dragon’s Den investor Deborah Meaden, Country File presenter Julia Bradbury; singing quartet Cantabile; sport commentator and ex-footballer Graeme Le Saux and members of the cast of Emmerdale.
Headteacher Kathryn Pullen says: “We are extremely proud to be part of this special annual event. Our choirs perform at many events across the year but this is the concert that everyone – students, staff, parents and supporters – always looks forward to. Performing in the Royal Albert Hall, with so many talented musicians and performers in such a good cause, is a wonderful experience for the girls and such a privilege for the school.”