Seven School Massed Choir 'exceptional' performance at Manchester Sings

12 Dec 2019 12:11
Published by: Kian French

A sea of colourful t-shirts, smiling faces and the heart-warming sound of a massed choir of young voices filled Manchester Cathedral as pupils from seven schools came together to perform for an  audience of dignitaries, school staff, parents and visitors at the inaugural Manchester Sings.

This exciting new schools' partnership brought together pupils from primary schools across Greater Manchester and the Withington Girls' School senior 'pop up' choir to support two local charities, the Booth Centre for the homeless and the Wood Street Mission. Through six emotive songs, accompanied by readings, the medley chosen by Manchester Sings organiser and WGS Director of Music Mrs Gilly Sargent told a human story of dreams, life's setbacks and, ultimately, hope.

The participating choirs - from Broadfield Primary, New Islington Free School, St Kentigern's RC Primary, St Luke's CofE Primary, Wilbraham Primary, Whitefield Community Primary and Withington - have been bust rehearsing in recent months but the first time they all sang together was at the event itself.

Withington Girls' School's Headmistress, Mrs Sarah Haslam, paid tribute to all involved in Manchester Sing. "We were expecting it to be a special performance, but the children exceeded even those expectations - they had memorised the words to all the songs and performed from the heart with such commitment."

Mrs Haslam's view were echoed by teachers, parents and the pupils themselves.

The enthusiasm of the Year 6 pupils from New Islington Free School in Ancoats shone through in their comments:

"It was so exciting to sing amongst lots of other children  from other schools."

"It was really good and should be done again."

"It was lovely to have schools come together."

"My mum nearly cried when she heard the first song."

A parent at Wilbraham Primary in Fallowfield wrote to the Headteacher, Mr Steve Wheeldon: "I'm so very proud and was super emotional watching it. I would love for you to pass on our heartfelt thank you to both the teachers and the school for bringing the joy of singing to (the pupils) of the school." And another Wilbraham parent whose children, aged seven and ten, took part commented: "This has been a brilliant experience for them. They're been rehearsing so hard at home and were both nervous and excited beforehand. But the performance was so joyful and it was lovely for them to be part of it."

A Withington parent said: "This was the best of performances. The co-operation between all the schools working together has been fantastic - and the message of peace and love that came across throughout the event was just so fitting in this great place."

Manchester Sings was opened with a welcome from the Dean of Manchester and attended by the Lord Mayor of Manchester and the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester. A total of £724.46 raised during a collection at Manchester Sings has been donated to the Botth Centre, a day centre for homeless people, while families supported by Wood Street Mission will benefit from over 150 Christmas gift donations by the Withington Girls' School community to mark the charity's 150th anniversary this year. Beaverbrooks The Jewellers is the sponsor of Manchester Sings.

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