Belfast Telegraph

Jordan's masterclass

Rebecca Petticrew

Singing schoolchildren in Bangor and Holywood were treated to a spot of mentoring from homegrown talent this week, as they prepare to make their TV debut live on the BBC's Children in Need Appeal later this month.

Members of the choir at Ballyholme Primary School were visited by The Voice winner Andrea Begley, while former Britain's Got Talent Finalist Jordan O'Keefe dropped in to speak to Priory Integrated College's singers.

Offering encouragement and a few tips about performing on live television, the reality TV stars were helping prepare the students as they join forces with 2,000 other young singers from across the UK in a nationwide live rendition of Gary Barlow's 'Sing'.

Northern Ireland's 150-strong contribution to the choir will sing live from the BBC's Blackstaff studios in Belfast on Friday, November 15, as part of this year's BBC Children in Need Appeal.

Head of music at Priory Integrated College Heather Ferguson said the surprise visit from Jordan O'Keefe "absolutely delighted" the children.

"We knew we were going to have a special guest but the first I knew that Jordan O'Keefe was in our building was when I saw a wee girl in tears come up to me and ask, 'Did Jordan O'Keefe just walk into the music room?'" she explained.

"He was lovely, he sang for them and answered all of their questions. He was very friendly and down to earth. It was great.

"A lot of their questions were based around the advice he would give for performance in general. But they also wanted to know the advice he would give about going on a reality TV show so it would seem there are a few lining themselves up for something."

Around 30 Priory Integrated College pupils are taking part in the Children in Need choir. Ms Ferguson said the children have been putting in a lot of hard work and are well prepared for the big night.

"We had our first rehearsal at the BBC yesterday (Monday) and the pupils are confident. They know the song well, they know their choreography well.

"They did really well and I think it was nice for them to get together with all the other schools."

Saying she doesn't think nerves will be too much of a problem, Ms Ferguson added: "They're going to be absolutely overexcited on the night but they'll really enjoy it."

The BBC has created a short film about the formation of the choir and rehearsals which will be shown during their Children in Need coverage which starts at 7pm on November 15, ahead of the big performance.

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