A YOUTH choir performed alongside Britain’s Got Talent winners as part of a nationwide competition.

Collabro, the operatic boy band who won the ITV talent show in 2014, invited youth choirs from across the UK to perform alongside them on their Road to the Royal Albert Hall tour.

Southend Boys and Girls choir, which is supported by the Jack Petchey Foundation through its Achievement Award Scheme, secured the opportunity by applying to the group’s competition.

Matt, a member of Collabro, said: “We had well over 300 choirs apply for slots on the 52 dates of the tour which was amazing. We sat with our team and watched all the videos everyone sent in – and made our selection. It was difficult as the standard was so high.”

Fellow member, Michael, explained how the Southend youth choir joined the group for two songs of their set.

He said: “It’s great to have that wall of sound behind us. I also get a chance to chat with them onstage too, which can sometimes lead to some impromptu, funny or heart-wrenching moments.”

The Southend youth choir clearly made an impression on the Collabro lads as they had previously performed with them at the Cliffs Pavilion, in Westcliff, last year, before they were selected to return for the musical-theatre group’s Road to Royal Albert Hall tour.

The youth choir offers young people the chance to explore their performing arts skills, develop their confidence and form strong friendships.

They regularly sing at one-off performances representing Southend and have sung at venues from St Martin’s in the Field and the Royal Albert Hall to venues in Hong Kong and Australia.

Rosemary Pennington, the choir’s accompanist, said: “We were approached by Collabro’s agents last year and performed with them at the Cliffs.

It was a great experience and when we saw they were doing another UK tour we applied to be considered.

“The singers are part of a large team where everyone is working together to produce the finest performance wherever we are.”

The singers come from different schools and different backgrounds and there are no barriers to anyone who wants to join and become a member.”