On 25th January 2016, students from Paddington Academy took to the stage for a sold-out performance at London’s prestigious Lyceum Theatre.
Conducted by popular composer Alexander L’Estrange, Paddington Academy students and staff joined a host of schools from all across the country to present songs from Zimbe! Those involved were all part of United Learning – our umbrella organisation - a unique group of state and independent schools located across the country from Portsmouth to Carlisle.
Zimbe! is an imaginative fusion of traditional African song and jazz which as a choral piece seeks to bring communities together. Two of Paddington Academy students Satra and Tomas were specially selected to present the show and what a brilliant job they did in front of over 1000 spectators.
Catherine Barker, Head of Music and Performing Arts for United Learning, said:
‘I am immensely proud of all the students and staff that have performed in and helped organise such a spectacular event.
‘I am particularly pleased with the feedback from students and staff who have said how much they enjoyed the opportunity to get together with other schools to perform Zimbe! Events like this one show off the uniqueness of a group like United Learning as a true partnership between state and independent schools.’
Jon Coles, Chief Executive of United Learning, said:
‘One of the advantages of being a national group of schools is that we can bring our most talented pupils together from all over the country to participate in events like this. An opportunity to sing in a magnificent theatre like the Lyceum is an ambition that many have but few have the chance to realise. So it's been wonderful to see our singers enjoy the experience and come together to perform.’
Tarani Ariyanayagam, Head of Performance Arts at Paddington Academy, said: “Tomas and Satra as presenters were absolutely brilliant; their professionalism in presenting to nearly 1000 people was second to none! I am extremely proud.
About presenting such an important event, Satra-Sia Sumana Kisson, Year 11 student said: “It was a great experience! Although I was nervous at first, the high energy of the performers and the crowd made it feel a lot more natural.”