Thursday, 15 March 2007

Last year's Festival choir

Primary school children from Cherry Trees School and Risby Primary School were perfecting their pitch yesterday as they were joined by members of South African jazz band Mbawula to rehearse their opening night performance at the renowned Bury St Edmunds Festival. The pupils have been learning songs in several African languages in preparation for the celebrations, which last year saw 200 school children work alongside adults to form the Bury St Edmunds Festival Township Choir.

The group, together with Mbawula, proved so popular on the festival's opening night that the celebration will be repeated this year. Youngsters from primary, middle and upper schools in the Bury area have now been rehearsing for two weeks during fun-filled and energetic rehearsals led by Mbawula's Musical Director Paul Bartholomew (who has formerly worked as a saxophonist for Jools Holland) and Veronica Cowper, a singer from South Africa.

The pupils are learning South African Township songs in a variety of languages including Xhosa, Sotho and Zulu, and many have no previous experience of choral singing. I was delighted to join them yesterday, where I was allowed to accompany their musical chant, Nelson Mandela.

Further info about the Festival at:

No comments: