Sean hits the high notes

Sean Hughes beat hundreds of other singers
Sean Hughes beat hundreds of other singers
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A SCHOOL choirboy has been chosen from hundreds of singers across the UK to perform at an exclusive concert honouring the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

Sean Hughes, 11, is one of only 40 mini choristers nationwide to be offered a part in the once-in-a-lifetime performance at St Paul’s Cathedral as part of its Diamond Choir.

The Craigentinny Primary pupil was selected after local auditions at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, in Palmerston Place, to sing in front of 3000 guests and live television broadcasts.

He and 39 other youngsters aged between ten and 13 will perform a new work, The Call of Wisdom, in front of the Queen, other members of the royal family and senior politicians on June 5 at the world-famous landmark.

Sean, who lives in Craigentinny, said he was “very excited” to have been picked for the celebratory event after his audition in April.

He said: “I’ve been in the school choir since I was eight, and six of us tried out. We went for an audition and a man got us to sing Londonderry Air and Be Thou My Vision. I thought I’d done well as I sang well and didn’t make any mistakes.

“They then phoned my mum when I was on the way down to London with my grandparents. I felt like screaming when I heard but because I was on the bus I contained myself.

“My choir teacher has also started teaching our choir The Call of Wisdom for our school concert.”

Sean added that he was not “too nervous” because he sang a solo piece at the King’s Theatre, in front of around 3000 people, for the Edinburgh Gang Show earlier this year.

Sean’s music teacher and the school’s principal teacher, Jane Nieminska, said: “I saw the opportunity for children across the UK to take part and six of our children wanted to apply.

“Sean is a very strong singer and he’s committed to singing in and out of school. He’s been involved in any extracurricular activities, such as the opening of the National Portrait Gallery, and he’s a member of the National Youth Choir of Scotland’s Edinburgh Choir.

“I would say if this event is anything like the silver jubilee, there will be senior members of the royal family and the top politicians there. Sean is going down to London with his mum, but I’ll be watching from my armchair.”

In February, the talented singer, who likes listening to the Beatles in his spare time, also won a place at the City of Edinburgh Music School, at Broughton High, where he will start in August.

His mother, Irene, added: “We’re just extremely proud of him. He’s achieved a lot this year and everything seems to be coming together for him.”

The chosen 40 will perform The Call of Wisdom at the thanksgiving service. It has been specially written by Will Todd, with words by Rev Canon Michael Hampel, Precentor of St Paul’s.

The piece will be performed alongside the Choristers of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Chapel Royal, with St Paul’s director of Music Andrew Carwood conducting.

vraimes@edinburghnews.com