Joe Stilgoe trains Dalston pupils ahead of Christmas Eve Classic FM performance

PUBLISHED: 19:17 03 December 2013 | UPDATED: 11:05 04 December 2013

Jazz singer/player Joe Stilgoe visiting Colvestone Primary School

Jazz singer/player Joe Stilgoe visiting Colvestone Primary School

Tolga Akmen

Critically-acclaimed singer, pianist, composer and entertainer, Joe Stilgoe, has been helping Hackney youngsters prepare for their performance in a prestigious charity concert which will be broadcast by Classic FM on Christmas Eve.

Jazz singer/player Joe Stilgoe visiting Colvestone Primary SchoolJazz singer/player Joe Stilgoe visiting Colvestone Primary School

This Monday the 7-11 year olds from Colvestone Primary School will join the likes of actors Amanda Holden and Brian Blessed for the concert hosted by Classic FM presenter John Suchet in Holy Trinity Church in Sloane Street, Kensington.

The idea is to raise funds for The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts (Children & the Arts), a charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales with the belief that every child should be inspired by the arts.

The charity, which works with children from areas of social and economic disadvantage and builds partnerships between their schools and local high quality cultural venues.

It has been working with children from Colvestone School in Colvestone Crescent, Dalston through its Start Arts engagement programme, which introduced children from to the Arcola Theatre, nearby in Ashwin Street.

Jazz singer/player Joe Stilgoe visiting Colvestone Primary SchoolJazz singer/player Joe Stilgoe visiting Colvestone Primary School

Many of the children had never before seen a stage performance.

Joe Stilgoe met youngsters from the school’s choir on Tuesday to help them rehearse and to select a soloist who will open the concert with the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City.

Mr Stilgoe picked out seven-year old Nova Glyn to do the honours, and said it was great to see music flourishing in a primary school.

“I listened to them sing a couple of songs, they sung white Christmas, then I played them my song called We Should Kiss, which they all got very embarrassed about,” he laughed.

The son of entertainer Sir Richard Stilgoe and opera singer Annabel Hunt, who began his classical music training at the age of five, said Children & The Arts stands for all the things he believes in.

“It’s all about exposing children who might not have had the opportunity to performing and going to see performances and being inspired.

“It gives them the conf to be able to tackle other things, to see a part of life they might not have seen before and it might open up a different direction for their lives.

“With talk of government cuts to music and drama to see this happening in a primary school and seeing it done so well is really encouraging,” he said.

Tickets for the concert are priced from £16.50 (£8.50 for children under 16), call the box office on 020 7730 4500 or purchase online at

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