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Pupils Sing at SHINE Benefit Dinner

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Two Year 7 pupils, James Hopkinson and Olivia Sample, have performed with the Halle Children’s Choir at a SHINE Benefit Dinner held at the Natural History Museum in London. 

SHINE, which is supported by the Halle and by Bolton School, aims to change the lives of disadvantaged young people by providing them with extra English and Maths support and creative learning opportunities after school, on Saturdays and in the school holidays. James and Olivia have both been with the children’s choir since Junior School and together with other young boys and girls they opened the evening along with Box 9 Drumline, a percussion marching band.  

Reflecting on the experience, James said: "We spent the afternoon rehearsing and getting used to the huge setting, but to return to the steps of the main Hintze Hall in the evening was awesome. There seemed to be tables everywhere; I spotted Sir Alex Ferguson at one of the tables, and Nick Robinson hosted the evening. We all assembled together in our red Halle uniforms and sang out really well under our conductor Shirley's guidance. It was an amazing opportunity to sing at such a prestigious event and in such an amazing place, and we even had a little time to explore the dinosaur rooms of the museum before returning home."

Olivia was equally thrilled, saying: "As we entered the main hall of the museum, I was blown away by the sight of the whole area filled with people, all sitting down for dinner at large, candlelit tables around the famous dinosaur, Dippy. I spotted Sir Alex Ferguson in the audience and I think Boris Becker was also there. We took our position at the foot of the main stairway, just below the statue of Charles Darwin, and sang our hearts out. It was like performing in a cathedral - the acoustics were amazing. We got a massive round of applause at the end of our song Time to Shine and I felt completely exhilarated at being there." 

The museum had been transformed into a stunning education themed party, with guests arriving to dine and dance around Dippy the Dinosaur in the main Hintze Hall. The evening was all about celebrating the achievements of SHINE’s last 15 years and was attended by their supporters, trustees, patrons and project staff. The evening was hosted by Radio 4’s Today Show presenter Nick Robinson, who did an excellent job in rallying for giving at the event which saw £720,000 being raised on the night! The amount will help towards SHINE’s next ambitious goal of doubling its reach to 200,000 children.

During the course of the evening, there were some fantastic prizes on offer, including a live auction of three once in a life time experiences - Nick Robinson, Sir Alex Ferguson, and Boris Becker all offered experiences with themselves as prizes, and brought in an amazing £240,000 from their items alone!

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The Halle Children

The Halle Children's Choir opened the evening

The Benefits Dinner was attended by Patrons of SHINE including Sir Alex Ferguson, Boris Becker and Nick Robinson

The Benefits Dinner was attended by Patrons of SHINE including Sir Alex Ferguson, Boris Becker and Nick Robinson

Olivia and James are in Year 7 of the Girls

Olivia and James are in Year 7 of the Girls' and Boys' Divisions