University of Portsmouth's gospel choir perform for the Queen

MEMBERS of Portsmouth Gospel Choir have said that they are still in shock after performing in front of the Queen.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 1:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 3:00 pm
Portsmouth Gospel Choir at the Commonwealth Day service
Portsmouth Gospel Choir at the Commonwealth Day service

The group described feeling ‘overwhelmed with pride’ after being selected to appear alongside a handful of artists including popstar Liam Payne at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day.

The choir, from the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union, mingled with the Duke of Cambridge, Duchess Kate, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Singer Ingrid Bukirwa, 22, said: ‘I’m still reeling from it. It felt so powerful.

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‘I stood there singing and looked around at the beautiful venue and my friends singing with me. That’s when it sank in.

‘It’s something I will never forget and I feel privileged to have been given such an opportunity.’

Choir member Cathryn Jackson, 22, told how the group was approached in February and they jumped at the chance to perform in front of the queen.

She said: ‘I received an email in February from a man who works for the Royal Commonwealth Society, asking if we would perform at the event.

Portsmouth Gospel Choir at the Commonwealth Day service

‘He had seen a video of us singing our own rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water, a tribute we’d made to the victims of the Grenfell disaster.’

The choir performed the song at the special service before meeting members of the royal family.

‘We wore black but tied African print bands around our waists,’ Cathryn added.

‘Our group is diverse with singers whose families come from across the globe.

Portsmouth Gospel Choir at the Commonwealth Day service

‘As the flags came out, I could hear people saying “There’s my flag! There’s mine”.’

Speaking about the performance on Monday, Cathryn added: ‘I feel incredibly blessed. The royals were incredibly welcoming.

‘Prince Harry and Meghan were so down to earth, even mocking each other.

‘Meghan said she keeps using American phrases like ‘freeway’ instead of motorway and Harry has started picking them up accidentally.’