Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwyncelyn Choir Stars in the 2019 M&S Christmas Advert

Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwyncelyn Choir

New Directions Education would like to congratulate Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwyncelyn in Porth, Rhondda Cynon Taff, for being chosen to take part in the brand-new 2019 M&S Food Christmas advert. Account Manager, Ifan Dupuy, works with the school and he is delighted by their incredible achievement.

Ifan commented, “I first heard Ysgol Gynradd Llwyncelyn’s choir whilst attending the regional Eisteddfodau back in late March as part of our sponsorship agreement with the Urdd. It was a great opportunity for New Directions to support a long-standing tradition within the Welsh community and one that has given Llwyncelyn the stage to showcase their incredibly talented choir. The recent success of the school choir follows on from the decade of talent that has stemmed from past pupils who have inspired the next school choir group to continue to hold the high values and commitment to be the very best. The advert itself is absolutely superb and has us all feeling ready for the festive period!”

This year’s M&S Christmas advert features famous faces including Emma Willis, Amanda Holden, Rochelle Humes and Paddy McGuinness, alongside the school choir singing Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross in the background of a cosy Christmas market scene.

This is very exciting news for the school, following on from their recent choir successes. The choir was chosen for the starring role following a series of award-winning performances by the previous choir generations at the Urdd Eisteddfod, where they managed to scoop first prize for the last two years in a row, alongside winning the national Songs Of Praise Choir of the Year 2018 award. On the back of these impressive accolades, a simple but surprising phone call was made to Headteacher Mark Rees, inviting the choir to a recording studio in London to be the stars of the long-awaited 2019 Marks & Spencer Christmas advert.

For many of the children, this was their first experience of performing in a choir, but ahead of their rendition of Albatross for the festive advert, they were treated like stars, receiving specialist singing coaching from Justin and Dan Hawkins from the Darkness. Their beautiful voices were then recorded at the Acapela Studio in London – a nerve-wracking but unforgettable experience for all involved!

Director of ND Education, Howard Burge, attended a celebration evening on 7th November for Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwyncelyn’s official launch and premiere of the new M&S Food festive advert, with a live performance from the choir on the night. The launch evening was attended by local press, including S4C, BBC Wales and Heno, allowing the children the opportunity to participate in TV and radio interviews to talk about their success and their incredible experience. Following the launch, the advert was first shown commercially during breaks in between This Morning and we all felt very proud to see children from our local school as stars on our television screens.

The school’s participation in the festive advert is a great success and with a big target audience in the run up to Christmas, it will undoubtedly put Rhondda Cynon Taff and Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwyncelyn clearly on the map. With an estimated 12 million people viewing the advert over the Christmas period, we are sure you’ll see and hear the Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llwyncelyn Choir on your TVs soon enough if you haven’t already!

Watch their inspirational performance here: