Talent shines through in Forest Gate

A rock band of students from a school in Forest Gate have made it to the London finals of a talent competition.

Eager students from all over Newham auditioned over two days to take part in the The XLP Newham Showcase 2012 on Saturday May 14.

XLP is an urban youth charity formed in 1996 by Patrick Regan, who was the headmaster of a school in Peckham, following a stabbing in his school playground.

Now the faith-based charity runs programmes dealing with a wide variety of issues including drugs awareness, anger management and violence, poverty and fairtrade, prejudice and racism, sex and relationships, and image and identity.

The Arts Showcase is run in inner London boroughs, including Newham, for students who may not be able to express themselves academically to showcase their talent in dance, music, or drama.

Forest Gate Community School, in Forest Lane, had seven pupils picked by XLP representatives to compete in the Newham finals.

Rachel Keen, Year Nine, sang solo and she is well known in school for her performances at events such as Prize Day and the opening of the new climbing wall.

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Year Seven Hannah Aremu performed Birdy’s version of “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver unaccompanied.

Year Nine Alice Kerfoot did something a little bit different by displaying her talent at contemporary dance.

But the winners of the showcase, who are going through to the London final at the Mermaid Theatre in Blackfriars on Saturday July 7, is rock band Overcast which is made up of Year Nine students Brandon Walsh, Ivan Repishevski and Arun Dhingra with Milo Gorman from Year Seven.

They secured their place in the final with their performance of “Numb” by Linkin Park.

Videos of the Forest Gate students, and the other performers from Newham, can be viewed on YouTube by searching Newham Showcase 2012.

More information about XLP-run arts projects can be found at www.xlp.org.ulk/projects/arts.