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 cathedral visitors at the inaugural Manchester Sings.
The new partnership brought together pupils from primary schools across Greater Manchester and the Withington Girls’ School senior ‘pop-up’ choir to perform a programme of six emotive songs that told a human story of dreams, life’s setbacks and, ultimately, hope.
A series of readings, written and performed by Withington pupils, picked up on the themes expressed in the songs.
Manchester Sings was attended by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and was opened with a welcome from the Dean of Manchester.
Withington headmistress, Sarah Haslam, paid tribute to all involved in Manchester Sings.
“Those who were fortunate enough to be in the audience were amazed that it was the very first time the pupils from the seven schools had performed the six songs together as a choir,” she said.
“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. It was exceptional.”
The participating primary school choirs – from St Kentigern’s RC Primary, Wilbraham Primary, New Islington Free School, Broadfield Primary, St Luke’s CofE Primary and Whitefield Community Primary – have been busy rehearsing in recent months with Manchester Sings organiser and WGS Director of Music, Gilly Sargent. The first time they all sang together was at the event.
“Watching these children practising so hard, enjoying their music and growing in confidence has been incredibly inspiring,” said Mrs Sargent.
“It was wonderful to see these young pupils from different parts of Manchester performing as one with such passion and energy at this magnificent venue in the very heart of our great city. It was truly inspiring.”
A total of £724.46 raised during a collection at Manchester Sings has been donated to the Booth 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.