Youth choir to perform at Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in Wales

2012-06-18 00:00

EXCITEMENT shone on the faces of Sihle Gule and Maryam Watson, pupils at Carter High School, when the BBC came to interview them on Friday.

The S4C Welsh language channel was filming the pair for a documentary, and travelled across the Midlands to capture the lives of the youngsters who will be singing at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Wales.

They fly to Wales on June 28.

The pair are part of the PMB and Midlands Youth Choir who have been chosen to sing for the queen.

Sihle, a bubbly matriculant and head of the choir, said: “This is probably the only chance I have to fly abroad before I become a pilot”, which is his ultimate dream.

When he was 13 his father “forced” him to learn to play a piano, he told The Witness.

“I’d play for three hours every Sunday after church. Then the person that was teaching me said I must try singing as well.

“It was then that I realised I had a singing voice.”

It was this realisation that made his love of music take off.

Maryam, a Grade 9 pupil, has only a one-way ticket because she’s going to the UK for good.

“My mother got a job in the United Kingdom,” she said.

Besides being sad about the life she is leaving behind, Maryam said she was over the moon about the tour.

“It is fantastic. I wish every teenager could have this opportunity.”

Both teenagers said being in the choir had changed their lives.

The trip did not come cheap. They each had to raise R21 000.

Sihle said his church and family helped him, while for Maryam her grandmother and mother’s uncle donated the funds.

Maryam said she saw herself coming back to South Africa as a social worker to help the needy.

S4C presenter Wyn Davies said they had visited 14 schools in Pietermaritzburg and the Midlands.

“We had a warm welcome in South Africa. You could see that all these children are proud of their nation and excited about the future,” said Davies.

PMB and Midlands Choir conductor William Silk said: “There’s still money outstanding and a bit of stuff to organise, but everything is on track.”

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