Shropshire Star

'It's gone crazy!': Telford teacher feeling the love as cover of Sir Elton’s classic goes global

It has been a 'crazy' few days for a Telford music teacher and his students who have found themselves in the world's media spotlight after receiving Sir Elton John's seal of approval for their version of 'I'm Still standing'.

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Telford Priory School Head of Music Ben Millington

The rock legend said he had been "blown away" by the version of the track recorded by Telford Priory School's head of music, Ben Millington, and his students.

In a heartfelt message, Sir Elton told the youngsters he had "loved" their version so much he had watched it three times, and invited them to a gig when he plays in England after the coronavirus crisis is over.

Since the video was published on Ben's Facebook page, he and his students have seen their story go around the world, with interest from US, Australian and New Zealand TV networks, as well as legendary music publications Rolling Stone and NME.

Watch Sir Elton's message to the pupils:

Ben said they had been overwhelmed at the interest in their story and praise of the song – which Sir Elton has now posted on his own Facebook and Twitter accounts.

"If I am totally honest I have not slept for two nights!"said Ben,

"When I uploaded the video online it has gone crazy. I have had the mainstream media in the UK, BBC and ITV, the regional and the nationals contacting me.

Watch the students' performance of I'm Still Standing:

"I have had Billboard in the US, ABC News, Rolling Stone, NME. I am a musician and played in bands all my life and now I am in Rolling Stone, it is unbelievable.

"This morning I woke up and the Australian news wanted to do an interview with me, there is nothing I can find that we are not on!

"What recognition for the students. It is incredible."

The video was created entirely on Zoom as part of Ben's own efforts recording songs throughout lockdown. He has posted more than 30 videos of songs and collaborations on his Facebook page

He said that the students were still coming to terms with the praise for their performance from a global star.

"Their response is they just cannot get over it, but of course because lockdown is essentially still on they have not been able to go out and shout about it to the world," he said.

Ben said that seeing Sir Elton post the song on his own social media accounts had been another boost.

He said: "It is amazing and Sir Elton and David Furnish have been so nice for what they have done. They have linked everything back to the school, it has all been about praising the children and the work they and done and I have done."

Ben also praised the support from the school, which he said had focussed on music while others were cutting provision back.

He said: "I cannot speak highly enough of the school and the headteacher. The support they give for the arts is amazing and this would not have happened without them."