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Macca picks out choir

Sir Paul McCartney gives special mention to Welsh singers at the Classical BRITS

A TEACHER and one of his pupils are still on a high note after the chart-topping Welsh male voice choir they are part of was given a special mention by music legend Sir Paul McCartney.

Fron Choir members David Jones and 17-year-old Luke Laker were shortlisted for best album at the Classical BRIT awards and attended the star-studded ceremony that was televised last week.

Music legend Macca took home the gong for Ecce Cor Meum, a collection of musical pieces inspired by his late wife Linda. But Mr Jones claimed his night was a real personal triumph after Sir Paul acknowledged the 60-member Fron Choir.

"No one told me Fron Choir would be here," the former Beatle told the celebrity-filled audience, adding: "Sorry lads."

Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins and Sting were in the same category, making Macca's acknowledgement even more of an honour.

The night was the highlight of a surreal six months for Mr Jones, an ICT teacher, who attended the event in between marking GCSE papers. Ever since the male voice choir, with ages between 17 and 85, was spotted by the manager of boy-band Blue six months ago, he has had to fit sell-out concerts around his teaching and marking.

"It's been hectic but we've coped," said Mr Jones. "Having Paul McCartney acknowledge us at the Brits made it all worthwhile."

Fron Choir, from the Vale of Llangollen, has won a gold disc for its Voices of The Valley CD, been number one in the classical music charts and number nine in the pop chart.

"When we toured for a week, I left school at the end of classes each day and managed to make the soundchecks in the evening," he said. "There was a tricky one booked for Gateshead, but luckily it was at the start of the Easter holidays.

"I finished all my GCSE marking the day before we went to London last week, but the bank holiday was spent catching up on my A and AS-level papers.

"When we record our next CD I'll be working on the e-learning programme via my laptop, but it's worth it. We've had a lot of fun."

Luke, Fron's youngest member and a sixth-former at Ysgol Rhiwabon, joined just before the choir hit the big time.

"My school and parents are OK about it so long as I get all my work done, which is sometimes stressful," he said.

A Welsh bac student, he is taking A-levels in music, drama and biology and plans to do a music degree. "My mates gave me a bit of stick and called me a choirboy at first, but now it's 'Wow'," he said.

"I didn't know what to expect at the Brits and then Paul McCartney acknowledged us. How many people my age have done this?"

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