INTERNATIONAL opera star Sean Ruane switched sports stadia for the arts theatre at Fearns Community Sports College, Stacksteads.
Sean, originally from Bacup, introduced Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils to the world of singing and opera, though an interactive workshop.
Even though some were a little embarrassed at first, by the end they were all singing along to Clean Bandit’s anthemic No Place I’d Rather Be.
He explained own personal history recounting how he grew up on Pennine Road and had sung in front of thousands in sports stadia and millions of TV viewers.
Now, through his own music company Chant Productions he is offering pupils the chance to sing in front of thousands at key sporting occasions.
He works in many primary schools promoting a love for music but in high schools there is a different challenge.
“The boys are often reluctant to sing because it might be considered not cool and the girls are often not keen on PE because they are self-conscious doing sports. Chant’s programme combines both sport and singing together.
“I came from Pennine Road and I have sung all over the world.”
Sean answered a string of questions from pupils and urged them not to give up, to follow their dreams and they would succeed.
He was also critical about the X-Factor route to success describing it as ‘instant gratification but two years down the line they don’t want to know you’.
Year 7 pupils Sophie Faulkner, 12, said: “It was good because it got everyone involved and in the last song everyone got into it and there were two pupils behind me shouting the song out. It was really good fun.”
Temporary Head of Performing Arts Tracey Ward is now looking to start a singing group at school and hopefully work further with Sean so they can have the chance to sing at a sporting event.
“It was absolutely fantastic,” she said. “He has really mesmerised the children. It is about breaking down barriers. I will be speaking to the pupils over the next few weeks to see who wants to take part.”