MORE than 650 school pupils from across Gwent took centre stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London this week.

On Wednesday night students from 25 schools performed together in one of the main segments at the last night of the National Music for Youth Proms festival.

In the second half of the night’s performance, the group performed the only urban contemporary –mixed song of the event.

Alongside five rappers from Llanwern High School, the display also included an orchestral choir, jazz and string sections, disc jockeys and two types of percussion.

Head of Gwent Music Service Emma Archer said: “It was incredible to see, they have been working on this piece for many months and it was fantastic. The kids played, sang and performed their socks off.

“The response they got from the audience and the organisers was one of the best of the night and it’s safe to say they smashed it.”

The 10 minute piece, called #CONNECT, was written by Cardiff composer Daniel Bickerton and centred on a collaboration of styles exploring classical music in a modern technological setting and how it can be refreshed and reconnected with new ideas.

The event was the first time a combined performance by the Gwent and Caerphilly Music Service had taken place, after being specially approved by organisers.

Head of music at Llanwern High School Andy Newell, 37, said: “It’s been a two to three month project, bringing our rappers in and having a final composed piece to perform.

“They were absolutely exceptional, the performance was quite different in style from a lot of the other acts but they were really well received.

“It was great to see them hold their own and get a standing ovation.”

The kids also took part in a rendition of Land of Hope and Glory during the festival’s finale.

It was the third night Gwent musicians featured, with Isca Linea Senior Strings playing on Monday and Croesyceiliog School’s senior choir on Tuesday.