A two-day singing festival for around 600 Key Stage 2 primary school children took place in the Assembly Hall Theatre Tunbridge Wells on Monday February 11th and Tuesday February 12th 2019. This biennial singing festival has been going for nearly 30 years and some parents who came to hear their children sing, took part themselves back in the early nineties.
Children from 12 primary schools around the town sang together five songs and medleys on a theme of ’Songs from the Shows’. Each school also sang its own favourite song from a show including old favourites such as ‘Doe a Deer’ from The Sound of Music, ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ from Mary Poppins and new songs like ‘From Now On’ from The Greatest Showman.
Two concerts took place over the Monday and Tuesday to allow a space for all of the children on the stage. The Mayor and Mayoress of Tunbridge Wells joined parents and friends of the children in the audience on their final performance.
The children were aged between eight and 11 and for many of them this was the first time they had set foot upon a proper stage and sung in a massed choir. They were directed by local musician and teacher, Mrs Elisa Harrod (Director of Music at Rose Hill School) and accompanied by professional pianist Alexander Metcalfe and talented young drummer, Andreas Purse.
Younger children were not left out – there was also an infant singing workshop on both days, also lead by Mrs Harrod, for pupils aged 6 and 7. 550 infants came along to sing fun action songs and rounds which they learnt on the day.
The total number of children from both KS1 and KS2 who took part was approximately 1150.
The event was organised by the Tunbridge Wells Network of Primary School Music Teachers, a voluntary body made up of local music teachers, supported by Kent Music. The main organiser and planner, Mr Peter Cornish, has run this event every time since it began in 1991. The Satellite Rotary Club of Southborough and Pembury help in the preparation of the event and after each evening make a bucket collection in aid of ’Shelterbox’.