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Sing Together - March 20 2010
Blackburn Cathedral's Music Outreach Project team worked with over 400 Primary School Children and their teachers to produce a concert on a grand scale in King George's Hall on Saturday 20th March at 5pm. Fifteen schools from around Lancashire took part in the project that was the result of a partnership between Blackburn Cathedral, Sing Up, The Choir Schools' Association and the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
Over a period of many weeks our Animateurs - Jeff Borradaile, Joy Fielding, Gill Fourie & David Scott-Thomas - have been busy rehearsing the children in their schools and also holding workshops to train teachers to lead the music teaching themselves.
Schools participating in the event were:
St Leonard's CofE Primary School, Balderstone; Baxenden CofE Primary School, Accrington; Benjamin Hargreaves CofE Primary School, Accrington; Hawthorns Junior School, Blackburn; Meadowhead Junior School, Blackburn; St Mary CofE Primary
School, Mellor; Our Lady and St Hubert's RC Primary School, Great Harwood; Salesbury CofE Primary School; St Anne's and St Joseph's RC Primary School, Accrington; St James CofE Primary School, Blackburn; St John with St Augustine CofE Primary School, Accrington; St Leonard's CofE Primary School Langho; St Mary's RC School Osbaldeston; Wellfield Methodist and Anglican School, Padiham; St Leonard's CofE Primary School, Padiham.
The Programme comprised seven items for all 400 singers and four songs performed by clusters of schools. The Cathedral's "Lantern Voices" choir performed a song about Mozart. Other songs included: "Little Shop of Horrors", "Shoes", A Gospel Medley, A Disney Medley and "We are the Young".
The singers were accompanied by David Scott-Thomas (keyboard), Joy Fielding (keyboard), Andrew Kellington (percussion) and Ben Lalgee (Bass guitar). The conductor and presenter was Jeff Borradaile, supported by Gill Fourie and a number of school teachers who took turns to conduct songs, following their training sessions.
Richard Tanner, Cathedral Director of Music said: "It was a wonderful occasion. The outreach team were outstanding and the children learnt so much from them. You could tell that they enjoyed every moment and they sang their hearts out. The teachers did an amazing job too, confidently conducting the massed choir. Our own "Lantern Voices" were superb. There were well over a thousand people in the audience enjoying the fruits of such hard work."
Jeff explained to the audience that "In partnership with the Cathedral over the past three years, the Outreach team has visited 72 schools and put on 9 concerts, working with over three thousand children. This is the biggest concert we've done. It's all about the children, but it's also about the teachers. So much is going on at the Cathedral. Richard and his team have so many groups that you can join."
Jeff even put the audience through their paces in a rhythmic exercise and a song. At the end of the concert he thanked the children and their teachers, the outreach team and the rest of the Cathedral music staff, the band, Peter Jelley (the outreach project's managing co-ordinator) and the Dean and Chapter.
Cathedral Organist Emeritus, Dr John Bertalot said "it was an amazing undertaking - superbly organised".
Some feedback from participants:
"I know lots of thanks were expressed on Saturday but I must pass on our
thanks to you and all of the staff who have worked on this project. The
staff and parents who watched on Saturday were really bowled over with how
marvellous the singing was and what a superb event it turned out to be.
You should all feel very proud about how many lives this has touched."
"The concert was a great success (better than the Guild Hall!!!!)
The feed back from the parents and children after the concert was amazing. I have learnt such a lot from you all over the last 12 months+ and I know all the children will miss you coming in for the hour sing song!!! Our Head is keen to maintain a link with you, so please keep us informed of the ' new venture' that you mentioned.
"Thankyou for a fantastic day. We had a brilliant time...when's the next one?!"
A big thank you for all your enthusiasm and hard work put into organising yesterday's performance at King Georges. It was a wonderful experience for the children (they were buzzing afterwards, even the quiet ones) and the parents were thrilled! It's so good to see how the singing 'comes alive' when the children sing together. Thank you for an enjoyable day, and please let me know if any other events are planned."
"Saturday was fantastic and an experience which the children really enjoyed being part of. Looking forward to next year's!!"
"It was the most fantastic experience for everyone involved. I have had so many positive comments from the children and parents. The most important one being that the children enjoyed it! Thank you to you and all the team for all your energy and enthusiasm. I
hope there will be other oppotunities in the future to help us to continue to promote a love of music and singing."