On Friday 16 November, 6pm to 10pm, BBC West’s annual BBC Children In Need fundraising evening will be coming live from the STEAM Museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon.
The evening will see a choir of almost 200 children join others from across the UK to perform a simultaneous rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, led by Aled Jones, from BBC Television Centre in London.
Pupils from Lydiard Park Academy in West Swindon will be joined by children from Selwood Academy in Frome, Fairford Primary School in Gloucestershire and Elmfield School for Deaf Children in Bristol and also Fairfields Bristol who will be signing their performance. Pictured above rehearsals by signing children from Elmfield and Fairfields at Lydiard Park Academy. Below, Pudsey photocall on 16 November
Explaining why he had approached a Swindon school to form the core of the big choir, BBC West regional broadcast coordinator Matthew Pick said: "I knew of Lydiard Park Academy after its involvement in this summer’s Swindon The Opera.
"Gareth Malone’s choir slot in last year’s Children in Need appeal was the fourth highest giving moment and we wanted to build on the momentum by including even more people singing together.
"Lydiard Park’s music coordinator Laura Few was happy to take on the responsibility for coordinating the South West’s contribution to the national broadcast; I’m so impressed that she’s taken the idea even further into the Swindon community."
Head of music Laura Few, above, said the night was going to be a great challenge. "We’ll have pupils from Lydiard Park Academy and apart from singers from Frome, Fairford and Bristol, seven local primary schools will be involved. We have five children from each of Brook Field in Shaw, Purton, Toothill Primary and Oliver Tomkins in Toothill, Millbrook in Freshbrook, Tregoze in Grange Park and Oakhurst in North Swindon coming to rehearsals."
Pudsey Bear visited Lydiard Park Academy for a photo call with the school choir before they set off for final rehearsals at STEAM, pictured below.
Headteacher Clive Zimmerman said he was immensely proud of the pupils. "Just three years ago there were about five children in the school choir so it’s fantastic that there will be 50 performing for Children in Need. They have worked extemely hard with Mrs Few to represent Lydiard Park Academy and Swindon."
Year 9 Lydiard Park Academy pupil Abby Cole added: "It’s really lovely to be singing together for Children in Need. We only had a small number rehearsing together before the big day, so it’s going to be interesting on the night."
Andrew Rabbit added: "It’s great to be working with the children from all the other schools."