Voice in a Million: Local students dazzle at Wembley Arena Concert

Last week, children from Thatcham, Newbury and around the country gathered together for a spectacular choir concert at Wembley’s OVO arena. The ‘Voice in a Million’ concert brings together over 5,000 school children from all backgrounds to perform for friends, family and members for the public. It gives the children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sing on the same stage used by superstars like Beyoncé, Madonna, Kylie Minogue and U2.

Voice in a Million (VIMA) was set up in 2009 and aims is to raise awareness of the needs of children in adoption and foster care around the world. The concert has been on hiatus for the past two years since the pandemic, making 2022 its eleventh year. VIMA believes that the power of music and singing can be incredibly beneficial to both the physical and mental wellbeing of children, and that choirs can help create ‘an intrinsic feeling of belonging’ among children in care.

Among the choir’s number, representing Thatcham, were primary schools Francis Baily and Whitlands Park, along with several schools from Newbury and across West Berkshire.

Francis Baily School was represented by Years 3, 4 and 6 this year. Accompanying them to the Arena, class teacher Miss Eleanor Richardson said: “On Wednesday 23 March, the Francis Baily choir made it to Wembley as part of ‘Voice in a Million’ – an organisation set up to raise awareness of the importance and impact of adoption for children who have been orphaned, abandoned, or separated from parents.

“Francis Baily choir rehearsed for weeks during their after-school choir club and also took part in fundraisers to help raise the funds needed to cover the cost of the trip to Wembley. Francis Baily would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Parkway Shopping Management in Newbury for their kind donations and their hospitality when the choir performed there on Saturday 19 March.

“The day itself at Wembley was joyful. All the children had an amazing time and sang their hearts out, performing pop hits with schools from all around the country. The children and audience were also treated to performances from upcoming stars, including Simon Cowell’s ‘golden buzzer’ choice Faith Ifil, plus social media influencer Olivia Mae Mulqueeney and boy band star Brooklyn Wyatt. Francis Baily choir enjoyed the day thoroughly and are looking forward to planning future events.”

Congratulations to all the children who attended and made us all proud! If you would like to learn more about ‘Voice in a Million’, click here to check out their website and find out how your school can get involved in the next event.

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