A spectacular singing project involving children from five Monmouth schools has been declared an overwhelming success – and could become an annual fixture.
Children from Overmonnow, Osbaston and Kymin View primary schools joined pupils from Monmouth School Girls’ Prep and Monmouth School Boys’ Prep for a special concert at The Blake Theatre last Friday (23rd March).
Gwent Music’s North Monmouthshire Music Centre Junior Ensembles performed alongside the singers from the schools – highlighting the opportunities for local children.
The project was organised by Mr Mike Steer and Mr Joe Walton, Music teachers at Monmouth School Girls’ Prep and Monmouth School Boys’ Prep, respectively.
Comedian, actor and presenter, Miles Jupp, compered the concert and spoke about the importance of music and singing in offering a rounded and balanced education.
“The children sang with great enthusiasm and the concert and the project, as a whole, was a great success,” said Mr Walton.
“It was inspiring to see them walking on stage – row after row of children from five different schools all assimilated and working as one body of singers.
“It was also great to hear a few stories of how the children were getting to know each other over tea, of how one child was transformed by the experience from a tearful start to rehearsals to performing centre stage on the night.”
The massed choir sang seven songs from the Friday Afternoons’ initiative, including Jonathan Dove’s Fire, Three Little Birds, Fast Car and Laura, which they had been rehearsing together on a weekly basis throughout the term at Monmouth School Girls’ Prep.
British composer Jonathan Dove composed all the songs recently with the exception of Benjamin Britten’s Oliver Cromwell – part of the original set of Friday Afternoons’ songs in the 1930s.
The choir finished with a performance of Mad Moon which included, at the children’s suggestion, a dance, otherwise known as the internet craze, flossing.
Mr Walton added: “It was a joyful occasion and greatly appreciated by audience and children.
“It’s definitely something that we will seek to repeat, hopefully, on an annual basis.”
He thanked Mr David Lawson, the Director of Music at Monmouth School for Boys, for playing the piano and Gwent Music for their help and support.