Fit for a King: Belfast's Methodist College schoolgirls to sing at King Charles' coronation

Girl choristers from Methodist College Belfast have been invited to perform at King Charles' coronation.

The pupils from Methody will travel to London nine days before 6 May to rehearse.

Ruth McCartney, director of music at the school, said: "I got a call a few weeks before half term from the Director of Music at Westminster Abbey and he told me he had something quite startling to tell me, I wasn't expecting what he did tell me.

"I was very surprised because no girls have ever been singing at any coronation since 1066 in the abbey so it was quite a shock that something different was going to happen this time and an even bigger shock that it was going to be some of our girls.

"I felt very honoured, very privileged and I still really can't take it all in that we are going to be travelling to London and we're going to be learning this beautiful music that's going to be performed at the coronation.

"I just couldn't believe it, I still can't believe it."

The schoolgirls will perform along with the choir of Westminster Abbey, His Majesty's Chapel Royal, St James's Palace and the Truro Cathedral choir.

50 pupils from the school auditioned for the choir. UTV spoke to three lucky enough to be selected by Ms McCartney.

Maggie Gilmartin, Hannah Gheel and Sarah Johnston said it will be a memory they will cherish forever.

"It's a really great feeling to be selected I think we're all very honoured and privileged," she said.

"There's a lot of rehearsals and a lot of practicing to do...a lot of hard work required we'll be rehearsing every day before and after school.

"We're very excited and nervous, obviously there is a lot of nerves but we're just all really excited to be part of it, it's very surreal because we're going together it's not as bad because we're together and we'll be well prepared.

"Our families are very excited, I rang my mum straight away and she nearly cried she rang all my family and they were all very happy, my grandparents as well."

The girls have 18 pieces of music to learn between now and 6 May. One piece is ten minutes long.

The staff at Methody say they do not know how the choir came to be selected to perform at the coronation but they are delighted for their pupils.

Principal Jenny Lendrum said it has given the school community a real boost:

"I'm just so proud, it was just such an amazing conversation that I had with Mrs McCartney whenever she came in and said that she'd just received the phone call and I was just so pleased that the girls were getting recognised for the fantastic music that they continually allow us as a school community to experience at all of the wonderful concerts that have been over the last number of years.

"The music here has been so rich for a number of years which is why I believe that Methody has been chosen for the coronation, I'm so proud."

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