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More than 750 Birmingham school children will 'take to the stage' in their own homes this Christmas, as two festive concerts - traditionally hosted at University of Birmingham’s Elgar Concert Hall - go live online instead.

The two free-to-view Services For Education Festive Concerts, featuring young musicians and singers from throughout the city, will be streamed live on the evenings of Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 December.

And in a first for the city, the young musicians will be joined live by one of the oldest and most famous military bands in the world, The Band of the Grenadier Guards - perhaps best known for their performances at Buckingham Palace.

Both nights will also feature Services For Education’s ensembles, orchestras, bands and sinfonia. The first night, The Greatest Show, will include Andante Festivo by Sibelius alongside the popular Unchained Melody. The second night, All I Want For Christmas Is You, will include Livin’ On A Prayer and Les Toreadors from Bizet’s Carmen.

The Festive Concerts follow in the footsteps of the highly acclaimed and hugely successful 2020 Birmingham Virtual Youth Prom Festival, held at the end of the summer term. This replaced the Birmingham Youth Proms, which, in a normal year, would feature 3,500 young instrumentalists and singers, aged eight to 18, performing at Symphony Hall. The four-online concerts attracted an audience estimated at 2,500, with some 750 hours of viewing - the equivalent of 31 days of viewing time.

Sharon Bell, Chief Executive of Services For Education, said: “Of course, we’d much rather be in the concert hall, but one of the benefits of being online is that friends and relatives can enjoy the music and witness great performances no matter where they are in the world.”

The concerts will be free to watch, but Services For Education is hoping that many will donate the usual ticket price - £12 - to the charity to enable it to continue its work with schools. Registration for the live streaming from 7pm each evening is available at servicesforeducation.co.uk/festive-concerts/