It’s rare that a group act can make the entire auditorium of “Britain’s Got Talent” go silent with awe. They might make them cheer or applaud, but one group of schoolgirls had the audience sitting in stunned silence. They didn’t want to miss a note.
The group, Angelicus Celtis, was made up of female students from South Wales.
The girls were between the ages of 12 and 17. Filing onto the stage in their floral dresses, they looked sweet. But they didn’t look like superstars.
One of the girls took center stage to introduce the group. She also introduced their singing teacher, Mr. Williams who was sitting in the audience.
“Our inspiration is our teacher Mr. Williams,” she said.
“He’s our hero. He’s just such a great teacher and he brings out the best in all of us. But he’s had a difficult year. Mr. Williams was in a terrible car crash. He was badly injured, but he fought back to be there for us and make Angelicus happen.”
In fact, the accident was a little more serious than that.
It also killed his wife, Jean Williams, who had worked alongside him. Together, the two of them chose the members of Angelicus Celtis from Hywel Girls’ Choir.
In spite of it all, Williams was there in the audience of “Britain’s Got Talent,” watching the 17 girls as his eyes filled with tears.
The girls stood in groups of two or three around the stage.
Then the music swelled. It was the song Nessun Forma from Puccini’s Turandot. The song is classically sung by a man but the moment the lead soprano began to sing; the audience fell silent.
The judges wore expressions of awe. Even Simon Cowell, who’s often skeptical of acts, listened with reverence.
As the music reached its climax, the audience couldn’t help but leap to their feet and applaud.
The judges soon followed while Simon Cowell smiled from ear to ear.
“Okay, I want to say something — and I’ve heard this song a lot,” said Cowell. “This was, in my opinion, the most beautiful, incredible version. Really, really. It touched me. It was sensational. I am very excited for your future.”
The other judges also had high praise.
Judge David Walliams said he couldn’t believe they were schoolgirls. They seemed more like they were professional musicians.
“You are the most lovely bunch of girls,” said judge Amanda Holden. “It was so beautiful. The harmonizing was gorgeous. I thought it was a stunning performance. Really, you did Wales proud.”
The group was voted through to the next round with four enthusiastic yeses.
But the best part of the night came when Simon Cowell asked to speak to Mr. Williams.
He shook the music teacher’s hand and asked him how he was doing. Then he congratulated him and thanked him. Everyone had tears in their eyes.
Seeing his girls pass through to the next round might not have healed the suffering of the past year but for Mr. Williams and Angelicus Celtis, the night was a triumph.
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