A Brazilian-style samba band has been hand-picked to launch this year’s Schools’ Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.

The best young musical ensembles in the country have been chosen to take part in this year’s event in front of a 5,000-strong audience at the famous London concert venue.

Following two qualifying rounds in Halifax and Birmingham, Beckfoot Samba Skool were given the nod by judges and will start tomorrow’s showcase event.

Members of the band, all pupils at Beckfoot School at Bingley, have been practising hard with peripatetic drum teacher Mark Lewalski since being told of the honour.

Mr Lewalski, who set up the band four years ago, said: “We entered a competition run by Music for Youth which was open to all youth ensembles in the country aged 18 and under. We played in the regional heats and got a good reaction. But after the second heat in Birmingham we heard nothing and thought that would be that.

“Then we had a phone call inviting us to play first at the Schools’ Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. It took us by surprise. It’s a massive honour. I am very, very proud of the children – it’s a pleasure working with them. I am sure the nerves will hit them but they have risen to the occasion before and I am sure they will do again.”

Pupil Aron White, 18, plays a surdo – a large bass drum – in the band. Aron, who has also achieved the elite grade eight on piano, saxophone and clarinet, said: “It’s very exciting to be playing at the Royal Albert Hall. It’s one of the most prestigious venues.

“The biggest place I have played before is St George’s Hall.”

Abbie Marsh-Naylor, 16, of Sandy Lane, plays a smaller drum – the agogo. She said: “We have been practising at break and dinner times and are all really excited.”

Bingley will also be represented by rock and pop band The MarmoZets. Talented siblings Becky Macintyre, 16, and her brothers Sam, 15, and Josh, 13, along with Jack Bottomley and Joe Doherty, both 15, all pupils at Bingley Grammar School, have also been chosen to perform.