Photo gallery: Norfolk schoolchildren sing about the real spirit of Christmas

Joyous sounds of the spirit of Christmas rang out around St Andrews Hall tonight, as 270 children gathered to perform a story about a young orphan.

The Voice in a Million Choir project arrived in the city, with schools from Drayton, Little Plumstead, Pulham, Marham and Hockering among those taking part.

They performed two 45-minute parts to a sell out show called the Orphan's Christmas Wish, which included a range of traditional and modern songs and aims to raise awareness about children in the care system.

Pulham primary school pupil Isaac Low, 10, said he was excited to be playing the lead role, an orphan named Jake, during the performance.

He said: 'It was really nerve-wracking but really fun.'

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His mum Claire, who also looks after the 19-strong Pulham Young Voices, said: 'He was so excited and it's lovely for him. He sings all the time but not in front of this many people.'

Katy Leigh, choir leader and music coordinator at Drayton Junior School, said the story had made an impression on the 26 children in her group, while also boosting their confidence.

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She said: 'It's singing but I like the fact it's a good cause, raising awareness of fostering and adoption.

'I thought that was a good message for the children.

'They have really enjoyed learning the songs, but I think they have taken away the meaning of Christmas and it's more than getting presents.'

Robert Garofalo and his wife Jo were inspired to create the project in 2009 after their own struggles to adopt.

Mr Garofalo said they were doing 12 shows around the country and he was delighted with the Norwich production.

He said: 'The children love it. It gives them lots of confidence.'

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