Voice In A Million concert, O2 Arena, London 28th Jan 2010

My daughter Jasmine and her fellow pupils at Echelford Primary School have been eagerly waiting for this date since last summer when the Voice In A Million project first came to light. They have been practising tirelessly under the tutor ledge of their choir master Mr Bruce and joined other schools on the night to form a mass choir of 4,000 voices (the current number of children in the UK awaiting adoption), who would back a series of soloists throughout the night.

The last time I was at the O2 it was still the Millennium Dome and it has changed so much inside. It is all high quality eateries – no Chicken Cottage here folks – plus a cinema and the smaller Indigo venue for medium sized gigs. Getting in was a breeze and the first thing that hits you is the sheer volume of the choir. They would give the Britannia Stadium crowd a run for their money!

The main aim of the show is to raise awareness of fostering and adoption through the sterling work the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) and to do this through song. To be honest the whole concert was a big highlight as it showed the power of youngsters and music. But picking a few personal highlights first up would be the superb rendition of Foreigner’s ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’. This really benefited from the massed choir and the four soloists gave their all. Echelford School pupil Boaz Dopembu led the singing on a rousing run through ‘Oh Happy Day’ backed by the Hot Gospel choir, who seemed to be wearing clothes last seen in co-host Rick Wakeman’s wardrobe. Boaz is only nine but has the stage presence of someone much, much older and what a voice.

The prog rocker in me enjoyed hearing Greg Lake’s (ELP) and Peter Sinfield’s (King Crimson) song ‘Watching Over You’ and another song that came alive with the choir was the Gerry & the Pacemaker’s hit ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ (also the anthem for the Kop at Liverpool).

In the second half it was great to hear a Stokie accent. It was the parents of Sally Keeler, who was their adopted daughter but it was very moving to hear them talk of how she was their daughter and not one mention of her being adopted. As for Sally she has a fantastic voice and power (but then she is from Stoke!) as she performed ‘Golden Child’. The West End kids did a very enjoyable ‘Oliver!’ medley, complete with neatly choreographed dancing.

Between songs there were a few celebrity guests who were either adopted themselves (Nicky Campbell and James O’Brien), had adopted children (Clare Grogan and Sinnita) or were an adopted uncle in the case of former Yes keyboards wizard and current TV/radio star Rick Wakeman. Each related their own experiences and each one tugged at your emotions in a different way (although Rick Wakeman, bless him, couldn’t resist getting a few gags in).

My daughter and her friends loved every minute of it, as I am sure their teachers and helpers did. One thing for sure it certainly shows that the youngsters of today are a very talented bunch. Full marks to Classic Pictures and their team for putting this event together as it can’t be easy organising 4,000 odd children and keeping them quiet during the solo spots. All in all a very enjoyable night of music and entertainment, that will hopefully raise awareness of adoption and fostering.

Jason Ritchie

The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF)
http://www.baaf.co.uk/

Voice In A Million
http://www.voiceinamillion.com/wordpress/

2 Responses to “Voice In A Million concert, O2 Arena, London 28th Jan 2010”

  1. the people who did the solos were fantastic

  2. taelor parry Says:

    i was there singing in the big choir it was well good.the best experience im my life so far n im only 10.the biggest concert our choir have ever done.st john with st marks choir ws the best bt the other schools were amazing.the people who did the solos were fantastic. my nan was there it was the best night of my life 🙂

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