ARCHBISHOP Desmond Tutu gave high-fives to environmentally-friendly students who performed a concert on the world stage.

St Augustine’s RC High School pupils flew to Switzerland, courtesy of former music teacher Peter Rose, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the World Wide Fund for Nature.

In Zurich, the group of 15 students from the Billington school sang to some of the world’s most influential people.

They included Micheline Anne-Marie Calmy-Rey, the President of Switzerland; David Nussbaum, chief executive of the WWF; and the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Archbishop of Capetown and Primate of South Africa, Desmond Tutu, who congratulated members of the choir.

The school was invited to the celebratory concert to congratulate it for its commitment to raising awareness of environmental issues.

It has consistently performed musicals such as Yanomamo, African Jigsaw, Ocean World, Arabica and One Sun, One World, which were written by the school’s former head of music Peter Rose, in collaboration with Anne Conlon, former head of English at John Fisher and Thomas More Catholic Humanities College, Colne.

Both Mr Rose and Ms Conlon accompanied the students on the all-expenses paid trip, alongside the school’s two current music teachers, Toni Hudson and Matthew Haworth.

The pair were themselves taught by Mr Rose when they were pupils at the school.

In a letter to St Augustine’s following the performance Mr Rose said: “These 15 youngsters sang their hearts out to some of the most influential people on the planet.

“From eminent international scientists and world-famous environmentalists, through to city financiers and billionaires, here was an audience of real influence and real power.

“As well as giving so much pleasure and food for thought to the audience, the choir had the wonderful opportunity to meet and then listen to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, surely an occasion they will remember for the rest of their lives.”