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Chart hopes for students' festive hit song

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

By Geraint Thomas

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YOUNGSTERS in a Swansea school are hoping that Santa will bring them a number 1 hit this year.

But to make it easier for the big fella in the red suit the talented young vocalists, from Pen y Bryn Special School in Morriston, have already recorded a cracker of a Christmas carol thanks to the help of a special friend.

Carmarthen-born classical singer and actor Mark Llewelyn Evans has helped the pupils every step of the way and now shares their Christmas wish as proceeds from the song will go to the school.

Mark, who is the brother of price comparison website Go Compare crooner Wynne Evans, first visited the school two years ago to hold a workshop on behalf of the Welsh National Opera.

He said: "I visited the school a couple of years ago to hold a singing workshop and the children loved it. Then last year I had a part in the movie called Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which starred Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law.

"The school called me and asked if I would go back in so that the pupils could interview a real film star.

"I went in and it was lovely, as I was leaving I heard the school choir sing, it was so inspiring hearing these children with learning difficulties sing. I told them I would love to work on a project one day."

The school took Mark at his word and enquired about him singing on a Christmas song with them to raise money for the school.

Recorded

He said: "Lorraine King, a Swansea-based singer- songwriter and friend of mine, came onboard and she said why don't we write a new song as a present for the children?"

The school agreed and last week they went into the studio for a day and recorded their first ever single, If You Like Christmas.

Mark said: "We had so much fun. Their faces lit up, they were recording stars."

Of the song itself, which can be heard live for the first time at the National Waterfront Museum at 7pm this evening , he said: "The song just leaves a smile on your face, it's what Christmas and what humanity is all about.

"I just hope that it raises the profile of the school and the amazing job that the teachers do, it's remarkable.

"All we need now is for radio stations to pick it up, give it airplay and make it a Christmas number one."

James Williams, the school's community co-ordinator, said: "We have known Mark since before he was famous and he has been brilliant with our pupils. We are really grateful for all he has done. We had a fantastic day and our choir was basically able to go into a studio and record its own single.

"The way he has used the pupils on the record is brilliant, it's a very funny track and the children absolutely loved it."

If You Like Christmas is available to download from itunes and Amazon.

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