5th March 2015
Young Voices 2015
On Monday 2nd March 2015, the Music Department took 21 Sir Thomas Boughey pupils and 20 Woodlane Primary pupils to perform as part of the Young Voices Tour at the Manchester Evening News Arena.
Young Voices is the biggest school choir event in the WORLD! It runs for several nights in February/ March at each of four arenas – Birmingham, Sheffield, London and Manchester. This event is for both primary and secondary school choirs.
At the start of the school year, Young Voices share the words and music with all of the schools taking part and they start learning them! It’s incredible how much they have to learn. The mixture of music is brilliant – there’s a pop medley of up-to-date music, songs from musicals (an Andrew Lloyd Webber medley and When I Grow Up from Matilda), a themed medley (this year’s was food) and some classical music too. Some of the songs also have dance moves, demonstrated by the Urban Strides on the practice DVD and also on stage in the Arena concerts.
The STB Harmonize girls, in years 7-10, had given up numerous hours of their own time both in and out of school to practice for this event.
On the big day, we set off from school at 10.30, with two packed lunches, some sugary treats and a lot of drinks – the pupils would not be home until after 10.45pm. There were over 7,300 children taking part and so it was important that we all stayed together in the Arena. We were seated on the upper tier of the arena and so the height of the seats took everyone some adjusting to! We took a large school banner with us, made and designed by the Harmonize girls and Miss Kay, so that parents could pick us out form the huge numbers of pupils when they came to watch in the evening.
The concert kicked off with the Andrew Lloyd Webber medley. This was one of the first songs that we had learned– the girls were determined to get the colours of Joseph’s coat right and had worked hard on it.
Young Voices isn’t just about hearing the pupils sing, it’s actually a concert for them (and the parents) where they get to see professional singers and dancers perform. This is not something many children would get otherwise – and it’s free for them!
A man called Tom Billington, who seems to be a very hard-working singer/ songwriter performed Let Me Entertain You to get the children all excited (not that they weren’t already VERY excited!). Urban Strides are a brilliant old-school street dance crew who made the children cheer wildly every time they did a back-flip – they also encouraged the parents to have a little dance! They were the first ever dance crew to open the Royal Variety Performance. Mic Lowry are a young, five piece male vocal harmony group.
Topping the bill was Lucy Spraggan, who just happens to be a previous XFactor contestant. Her influences are folk, rock and hip hop. She sang her own singles and the children joined in on backing vocals. The sound was incredible and what a thing for them to be able to say ‘Oh yeah, I did backing vocals for Lucy Spraggan’. I’m in awe of the thought that goes into the musical choices and arrangements for Young Voices. The Mandela tribute medley was beautiful, despite containing a lot of unfamiliar words and being quite difficult for the children to sing.
The show finished off with the children’s favourite, the Pop Medley, which included Happy and Rather Be. Unsurprisingly, they sang a lot louder than they had on the rather challenging classical Latin songs.
It was a fantastic show and an incredible, memorable experience for the children and we headed home on the coach in the rain, very tired, but as very proud teachers.
Miss Miller, Mrs Trender and Miss Kaye – who also came along – would like to say a HUGE well done and thank you to the Harmonize girls for all of their hard work, enthusiasm and maturity both in rehearsals and on the day – and hope that the girls will remember the fantastic experience of both singing in a concert venue such as the Phones 4U Arena and singing with over 7000 others for a long time. We also would like to thank their parents for supporting the event and hope to run it again next year.
Miss Miller, Mrs Trender and Miss Kaye.
Links to videos: