Schools serve up a musical treat at annual festival

Children taking part in the music festival.
Children taking part in the music festival.

More than 1,200 school children came together to perform four spectacular concerts for Lancaster & District Schools Music Festival 2015 at the Ashton Hall in Lancaster Town Hall.

The concert involved children aged between five and 11 from 23 different primary schools from Lancaster and Morecambe, singing pop songs and songs from around the world.

Two new songs written by More Music’s Pete Moser were performed with 200 children from eight schools.

The events were put together by the Festival Organising committee, supported by the Lancashire Music Hub with new ideas by More Music for the hub, as part of the ongoing development of the countywide singing strategy.

The children had all learnt their parts in school with help from their teachers and the project’s leaders.

The festival project is led by Debbie Pilkington, chair of the organising committee, who conducted the Key Stage 1 concerts.

She was joined by Emma Williams, singing leader for the Lancashire Music Service, who compered and conducted the Key Stage 2 concerts.

Pete Moser, artistic director, More Music, said: “I am so pleased that we are involved with the singing festival this year, and that we are able to bring some new energy and ideas. With Emma Williams as the compere, new songs and a band, this year’s festival was four inspiring nights of music making.”

The festival started 67 years ago. Originally for secondary schools, the festival switched to primary school age more than 25 years ago to raise participation in singing in primary schools.

Debbie Pilkington said: “The organising committee are very proud to have played our part in keeping the festival alive into its 67th year. We have constantly been evolving the festival, whilst being mindful not to lose sight of traditions.

“This is one of the few remaining festivals in the county, indeed in the country. We were pleased to welcome the input of More Music and the Lancashire Hub this year, and the resources they have been able to bring to the event. We hope the children involved had a memorable experience, as in previous years.”

Teacher Kate O’Neill said: “Westgate Primary School was thrilled to be the host school for the junior festival launch events.

“On the day, the children were very excited and were not disappointed. The rehearsal session was well organised, and having a live band there added an exciting and professional element to the morning.

“Thank you very much to all involved. It’s been a wonderful experience for the children, and we can’t wait for next year.”

Ian Gittins, a teacher from Torrisholme Primary School, said: “The music festival was vibrant – it was lovely to see children, staff and parents joining in the singing and dancing so enthusiastically.”

The festival this year was supported by the Lancashire Music Hub, with new ideas by More Music for the hub, as part of the ongoing development of the countywide singing strategy.