Youngsters perform at the Albert Hall

BUDDING stars from an Ipswich arts school took to the stage by special request to sing with superstars Gabrielle and Sir Cliff Richard at a star-studded charity performance in London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall.

BUDDING stars from an Ipswich arts school took to the stage by special request to sing with superstars Gabrielle and Sir Cliff Richard at a star-studded charity performance in London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall.

Youngsters from the Stagecoach Theatre Arts School, Ipswich appeared alongside Patti Boulaye, Pop Idol finalist Rik Waller, Boney M, The DOHL Foundation as well as Uri Geller at the spectacular concert, which featured a 3,000 strong choir.

Model Emma Noble, footballer John Fashanu, recently crowned Miss World Agbani Darego from Nigeria, novelist Frederick Forsyth CBE, Michael Portillo MP, Paul Boateng MP and Iain Duncan Smith MP were among the celebrity line up who turned outto show their support.

Patti Boulaye, who founded the Support for Africa charity, invited 1500 students from Stagecoach, which operates the largest network of part-time performing arts schools in the UK to perform at the sell out reaching for Africa concert.

Louise Player, Lucy Clougherty, Sara Southgate, Lucy Beals, Lauren Penn, Natasha Drury, Hannah Olley, Holly Svendsen-Cook, Sarah Hardman, Harriet Dobinson, Bronwyn Jones-Cooper, Kirsty Harrison, Rebecca Wright, Laura Holden, Rebecca Worsop, Jacalyn Race, Letitia Thomas, Sophie Holden, Catharine Carey, Vicky Sherman, Leannie McMurray, Nicola Rayworth, Summer Clover, Pamela Mardle, Natalia Olafsson and Francesca Sherman joined the choir of 3,000 voices. They raised the roof at the moving event, which will raise much needed funds to help fight HIV/ AIDS and malaria in Africa.

In total 46 children from Stagecoach schools in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Chelmsford took part.

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Karen Player Suffolk based principle of the Stagecoach Theatre Arts said: "They are still all buzzing with excitement."

Children aged four-16 attend Stagecoach weekly at Copleston High School on Fridays during termtime.

Anyone wishing to find out more should speak to Karen and Rick Player on 0870 2415676.

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