CUSTOMERS at a shopping centre were treated to Christmas carols with their coffee courtesy of the talented choir from a Wrexham primary school.
The young songsters from Ysgol Alexandra were invited along to the Costa coffee shop at the Odeon at Eagles Meadow shopping centre to make their public debut.
They duly obliged by serving up a rousing selection of seasonal favourites for people to enjoy along with their skinny lattes and Americanos.
And one of the junior choristers was so eager to ensure that the show went on that he shrugged off a bout of illness to take part.
A 15-strong ensemble from Alexandra went along to Costa at the invitation of manager Carl Hughes to sing traditional carols such as Silent Night and Away in a Manger plus more contemporary offerings like the hit Maria Carey version of All I Want for Christmas is You.
At the end of their half-hour set the applause from their large and appreciative audience of customers and parents were so loud that the choir was called on to perform a number of encores before heading back to school.
Teacher Kelly Walker, 33, who was accompanying the Santa-hatted singers, said: “The choir was formed in October after one of our parents suggested we get one together.
“They’ve since been rehearsing hard for their appearance at Costa, which was the first time they’ve ever performed in public.
“We had 15 choir members from the Key Stage II group whose ages ranged from seven to 11.
“We originally planned for them to sing just seven songs, including Let it Go from the new film Frozen which they insisted on doing, but things were going so well that they were delighted to do a couple of encores at the end.
“They were all looking forward very much to singing to an audience in Costa and they really enjoyed themselves with the performance.”
One of the choir members determined to join in despite being a bit unwell on the big day was eight-year-old Keegan Roberts.
His mum, 27-year-old Steph Jones from Southsea, Wrexham, who was in the audience at Costa, said: “He had an ear infection but he was determined not to miss singing with the rest of the choir.
“I know he wasn’t feeling too great but he insisted on coming as he’d been working so hard on rehearsing all the songs. It was definitely a case of the show must go on and I’m really proud of him for being so brave.”
Also glowing with pride as she watched the performance given by her 10-year-old daughter Leonie Mahan was mum Sarah Hayes, 27, from Wrexham. She said: “All the choir have been rehearsing hard for the past few months and it was a delight to see them singing their Christmas songs.”
Choir member Seren Gormley, eight, from Wrexham, said: “It was great performing for all the people in Costa and the song I enjoyed singing most was All I Want for Christmas is You.
“I feel like I might want to be a singer when I grow up but I also want to be a vet.”
It was the carol We Three Kings which was the personal favourite of fellow choir member, 10-year-old Aimee Breton from Wrexham, who said: “I loved singing that one and all the other songs we did.
“It’s also great to sing in a choir with other people as it’s better than singing on your own.”
Costa manager Carl Hughes, 27, who invited the Alexandra choir to perform, said: “I’m delighted they were able to come here and perform for our customers who were thrilled to hear them.
“We’ve gradually been developing a working relationship with the school and we went along there earlier this year to give the children a presentation on the rain forest and the part Costa plays in sustainability.
“A few weeks ago one of our supervisors at the shop, Claire James, whose daughter Megan is in the choir, suggested we get them along here to sing for the customers just before Christmas and that’s exactly what we did.”
And the woman who took on the role of TV choir conductor Gareth Malone in putting the choir together says their performance at Costa may not just be a one-off.
Teaching assistant at Alexandra, 27-year-old Karen Davies, has a deep love of music and has just been accepted for a post-graduate place at London’s Trinity College to pursue it.
She said: “I’ve been working with the choir since it was formed in October and they’re doing very well so far. The idea has been to try to get them singing the kind of songs they wouldn’t be familiar with just by listening to the usual pop music.
“They’ve done so well singing at Costa that there are very likely to be more performances in the future.”