An Eastbourne choir welcomed the Springboks with a impromptu performance of the South African national anthem as the team took over an Eastbourne pub last night (September 15).
Members of the Voiceworks Company of Singers were rehearsing in Eastbourne when they heard the international rugby team was eating nearby.
The team had sat down to a private dinner at the Tally Ho Two Bulls Steakhouse on Church Street where the choir asked if they could perform for them.
Musical director for the choir, Haley Stevens said, “A little bird told me the team was having dinner at the Tally Ho, so we decided to go down and sing for them.
“Everyone was clapping and filming us on their phones. A couple of the team were singing along. It was really special.
“It was only ten of us there that evening, usually we have a lot more but a lot of people are off on holiday, so it was only a little group of us there.”
The choir regularly performs the anthem – Nkosi Sikelel I’Africa – as part of its set and learnt the song before the team announced it would be staying in Eastbourne.
Haley said, “It’s just by chance we had learnt the song, I‘m not a big follower of sports so it was quite a pleasant surprise when I heard they were coming to town for the world cup. It’s total serendipity.”
Oli Smith who owns the restaurant with his wife Delphine Dupraz, said the choir was well received by their guests.
Oli said, “It was already a lovely atmosphere but they really stopped the show. They went down really well.”
The team had booked a sit down meal at the popular restaurant at 7pm on Tuesday and players and team staff were treated to a full steak dinner with extra portions offered around to the team throughout the evening.
Oli said, “I’ve never seen so much steak put away at once, I suppose if you’ve been shouted at in a muddy field all day you would be hungry as well.”
For more information about the choir visit www.voiceworkshops.co.uk.
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