It's Hollywood for wedding singers

20th October 2006 at 01:00
An information and communications technology teacher and a catering student may sound like unlikely members of a band recording on Eminem's record label. But singing and movie stardom beckons for both.

David Jones and Matthew Hayward's story reads like a modern fairy tale - overnight fame without even the X Factor.

Both are members of Fron Choir, based in Froncysyllte in the Vale of Llangollen, north Wales. The choir was talent-spotted singing at a wedding by the former manager of boy-band Blue.

The 60 members, aged from 18 to 85, have now made a CD, Voices of the Valley, with Universal Records and are looking at Hollywood stardom.

Zygi Kamasa, a producer on Bend it Like Beckham and co-producer of George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck, has snapped up the film rights to their story.

"It's a bit bizarre," admits 18-year-old tenor Matthew, who three years ago joined the choir his grandfather set up in 1948 for soldiers returning from the war.

"When I first heard the rumours that they wanted us to make a CD and a film I didn't believe it."

The choir is well known in Wales for it renditions of traditional choral pieces and Tom Jones and Rod Stewart hits.

The envy of his friends, Matthew admits he would relish a part in the film.

"I don't know who they would get to play me but I wouldn't mind playing myself," says the graduate of the catering department at Wrexham's Yale college. His pre-Hollywood ambitions were to be a front-of-house manager.

"Last week some friends on the college's performing arts course told me they had got parts as extras in something on telly. I was able to say 'yeah? well I've got a part in a Hollywood film'."

Meanwhile bass baritone David Jones, 52, has his feet firmly on the ground at Ysgol Ruabon, where he has taught for 20 years, first woodwork and now ICT.

"If it happens, it happens, but I don't know when we would fit in the filming," he says. "We managed to record the CD at the beginning of the school holidays when the choir breaks for the summer.

"I don't think they realise we are amateurs and I can't see them flying us out to Hollywood."

Whatever happens, he is still working towards his pension.

"There's a covenant that states the choir can profit but not us as individuals, so I won't be retiring just yet," he says.

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