Students from Stagecoach Weston-super-Mare
and Stagecoach Portishead
recently had the exciting opportunity to feature in a music video from Britain’s Got Talent
superstar Tom Ball. The music video is for Tom’s cover of Radiohead’s Creep, Tom sang the song on America’s Got Talent All-Stars
and wowed the judges. Now the video is out in the world, we caught up with Principal Patrick from Weston-super-Mare, Principal Fae from Portishead and their students to find out what the experience was like.
Principal Patrick took us through how the opportunity came about, “It's been a bit of a whirlwind couple of weeks! We first met Tom a month or so ago when he popped down to our school with Stage 2 student Nova (the link being that Nova's dad Jay is Tom's manager). It was great to meet him, and it was also refreshing to find that he was exactly as he comes across on the TV. You never quite know with talent shows whether they're exaggerating a story for effect, but in Tom's case his back story was completely real - he was indeed a teacher that happened to have a sensational singing voice! And he really is a genuinely nice guy with a big heart, and has a passion for music and education.
“He was great with our kids when he came down to Stagecoach. He took the time to chat to everyone and was happy to have selfies with the kids (and some parents!). When his manager Jay called me a couple of weeks later asking whether our students would be interested in filming a music video with him, of course I said yes immediately! It was a rapid turnaround - between that day and the filming, there was only three days to get everything sorted logistically. We were inundated with families that were willing to give up their Sunday to be a part of the video - I only wish we could've included more students in the process.
“When the filming day came around, we had a lot of nervous and excited students in the room! We did some "icebreaker" games with them, and Tom Ball himself led some of the games which the students thoroughly enjoyed! It was quite a long day, especially for the younger children - but the children and their families were so fantastic. They waited patiently while we got all the shots we needed, and were always attentive and professional. I was very proud of the students who represented Stagecoach in a fantastic light - Tom, Jay and the film crew all commented on how wonderful the kids were. Proud Principal moment!"
Patrick wasn’t the only one feeling like they were onto something special that day. A standout moment for many was when Tom sang for the group of young performers during their break. Clare, student Grace’s mum said, “Personally, having Tom Ball sing for us at the end was such a great privilege. Just amazing! My daughter wants to be a singer and she was hugely inspired watching his performance. Student Tillie said, “I loved it when he sang to us all too, I looked at my mum and said WOW!”
Everyone had an amazing experience including Lana, the mum of student Tillie who said, “The proudest moment for me was when I told her that she had been chosen to be part of the video. She cried and said, “They want me”. When we arrived she was so happy. Stagecoach has given her a newfound confidence that I see lights up her wee face every Saturday.”
Some students would even like Tom to become a singing teacher at their school! Student Sophie said, “Tom works very well with kids and is an amazing singer, I would like him to be a teacher at Stagecoach”. Another student involved, Ella, agreed and said, “I thought Tom was super good and that he would make a great Stagecoach teacher.... is this possible?”.
Another lovely story from the day involved student Sanae’s grandmother who was especially excited to hear her granddaughter was working with superstar Tom. Sanae’s mum Maria told us the story, “My 75-year-old mum who lives in Sacramento, California is currently with us. To be honest, I didn’t know Tom Ball but when my daughter said that Tom Ball stopped by during Stagecoach lessons, my mum’s face lit up. She was very excited and asked my daughter if he sang for them. So, when my daughter was invited to be part of the music video, my mum was more excited than me. I was not planning on taking her with me during filming day but when I read the email from Patrick that there may be a chance for Tom Ball to sing and have a photo opportunity, I brought her along. I did tell her that we will be waiting in the car and it’s still possible that we may not see him nor hear him sing. She said with energy that it’s okay, she’ll take the chance. Indeed, it was a wish come true for my mum as she had her photo taken the moment she saw Tom Ball at the car park when he arrived and she heard him sing live!”
Ultimately, it was the message of the music video that truly captured the hearts of all involved. Aurora’s mum, Emma, said, “It is an important message for all the kids out there that feel like they are different, the world can feel really lonely. It's important that they know that the world isn't a lonely place, they just haven't found "their people" yet but they are out there. But also for the kids that don't feel like they are different, to make sure they are making everyone feel welcome.”