Just back from Sainsbury’s on the Headrow, where some of our choir have been carol-singing on behalf of St George’s Crypt.Ã‚Â Statistics – 34 songs, Ã‚Â£179.65 raised, 17 exhausted children, 5 even more exhausted grown-ups…Thanks to Sainsbury’s, and especially their manager Graham, for asking us back and for their kind and enthusiastic support for us today.Ã‚Â See below for some of the pictures.
The choir are busy rehearsing again for ChristmasÃ‚Â – school assemblies, old people’s homes, carol singing in Sainsbury’s on the Headrow (dinnertime on December 6th, in aid again of St George’s Crypt, back by special request of the manager after last year!) and our main outside event, a Christmas celebration at St Aidan’s with other local school choirs.
As the nation remembers the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, many of our songs are related to our desire for peace in these turbulent times.Ã‚Â Our songs include ‘Silent night’, with the choir singing a verse in German to recall the famous 1914 Christmas truce;Ã‚Â ‘Do you hear what I hear?’, written in response to the Cuban missile crisis Ã‚Â of 1962;Ã‚Â and a new setting of the ancient church prayer ‘Dona nobis pacem’ – ‘give us peace’.
The celebration is built around Carol Ann Duffy’s poem ‘Bethlehem’, and includes carols to sing as well as to listen to, readings from the children, and a special appearance by the British Legion brass band.Ã‚Â We’re looking forward to our return visit to this lovely building, and it should be a great event – don’t miss it.
After the success of our CHESS Ã¢â‚¬ËœFestival of LightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ musical celebration last year. We are proud to be involved in the celebration once again this year. Ã‚Â Along with children from 5 other local schools the children will be performing a mixture of songs to celebrate the festive season. This yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s celebration will be even bigger with more schools involved and The British Legion brass band will also be performing. It is a fantastic opportunity for our wonderful students to share their talent with the local community.
The concert will be held on the evening of Sunday 7th December at St. AidanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Church.Ã‚Â The performance will start at 5.15 p.m. you are very welcome to come along and join us at St AidanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on what promises to be a lovely celebration evening.
The choir has had a very busy year this year.Ã‚Â In school weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done four big assembly performances, with about eight songs in each mini-concert; and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve also made a lot of out-of-school appearances.Ã‚Â In the very busy run-up to Christmas we sang at two different old peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s homes; we took part in a big multi-faith Ã¢â‚¬ËœFestival of LightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ celebration at St AidanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s church; and some of us went carol-singing at SainsburyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on the Headrow, raising money for St GeorgeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Crypt.Ã‚Â We also performed a short set for members of the clergy, where we sang in three different languages before we sang our first word of English!Ã‚Â And then…in the short space of three weeks after the Christmas holidays we had to get another set of (mostly new) songs ready for another service at St AidanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s supporting Poverty Action Week. At least ten choir members have sung solos in our various performances, and our repertoire has included modern show material, Finnish carols from the sixteenth century, pop songs old and new, and music from a host of different countries, traditions and religious backgrounds.
None of this would have been possible without an astonishing level of commitment from our choir members Ã¢â‚¬â€œ not only are they prepared to give up most of their Happy Time each week, but theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve given up a lot of weekend time as well.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been a busy and very satisfying year so far, and without the efforts of all the choir members we couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have managed any of it.Ã‚Â We look forward to a short time of relaxation at the end of this half term, but then itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on with getting ready for the summer show.
Some things people have said about us:
- On behalf of Leeds CAP can I thank you for Bankside’s wonderful contribution to Sunday afternoon’s P&HAW event at St.Aidan’s…the Brightest and Best as ever!!Ã‚Â (Father Paul Payton, St AidanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s)
- And from someone who heard us sing at Gledhow Lodge:
I thought I must write following the visit made by your children to Gledhow Lodge where my mother lives. I happened to be visiting her when the children were singing and I have to say they were a credit to the school and their parents. It was obvious that a lot of work had gone into the preparation and it really showed.
Music, as we all know, raises our emotional spirits and it was clear that the performance lifted the mood of everyone who attended and they all really enjoyed it. Once again, thanks for taking the time and effort to spread a little joy to those who may not be quite as fortunate as ourselves.
While the school was split into two sites it was impossible to produce the kind of concert which had become a Bankside tradition for so many years. Although the choir were understandably disappointed, they showed great loyalty and commitment in continuing to practise every Friday, after school. My sincere appreciation and thanks go out to them.
Now we have a fantastic new hall just waiting for its very first concert, and the choir have already started learning songs for the show.
An excellent paperback version of the story is available from: http://www.starshine.co.uk/
(Author: Jo Sands. Publisher: Starshine Books)
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