Six members of Trinity School’s Boys Choir appeared with comedian Bill Bailey just before Christmas on ITV’s The Royal Variety Performance.

The performance took place in the Royal Albert Hall in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during November but the boys were not permitted to reveal their role in the show until just before transmission.

Trinity School’s Director of Music, David Swinson, explains that the event followed a few weeks of negotiation and planning: “We were first contacted by ITV in October and the initial discussion was very ‘cloak and dagger’, with no mention of the celebrity we would be working with. Thankfully, the choir had appeared on the show before so I was able to confirm that we had the right sort of experience and it also helped that we had worked with the Musical Director, Dave Arch, when the boys sang on Strictly Come Dancing. The musical arrangements had to be learnt very quickly and then the boys were thrown into a staged rehearsal where the choreography had still to be thought through.

“On the day itself, intense rehearsals began at the Royal Albert Hall at 8.30am and the dress rehearsal was at 10am. I was so proud of the boys as they had a lot to remember and it is very hard to prepare for the moment when you are suddenly in front five thousand people and a host of TV cameras. The only way to prepare is to repeat your moves over and over so that they become automatic and I was so pleased with how the boys presented themselves. It is recorded live so if anything goes wrong, you are just cut from the show!”

Bill Bailey was very friendly and complimentary about the boys and the show’s producer wrote afterwards to express his thanks. “Thanks for all of your hard work in bringing together the choir for Bill Bailey’s moment this year,” he said. “It was a fantastic moment in the show and the boys were a credit to you all.”

Many congratulations to Freddie Jemison, Lucas Rebato, Hugo Cooper, Arlo Dezille, Savith Peiris and Jack Prior.

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