In preparation for a busy term ahead, Henley Youth Choir ran a free singing workshop last Saturday, (18 May) which saw 35 children attend to learn songs for their performance on 14 July on the floating stage at Henley Festival’s Family Sunday.
Throughout the workshop last Saturday afternoon, the young singers, aged between 7 and 14, split into smaller groups as well as singing together in one group. The children were served squash, biscuits and pizza in the breaks to keep their energy levels up! Anita D’Attellis provided accompaniment on the piano throughout the afternoon.
The workshop started with a fun warm up and then the Juniors learnt ‘Danny Boy’, while the Seniors learnt a gospel song called ‘Freedom’ which incorporated elements of two well-known songs: ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ and ‘Oh When the Saints’. Both groups learnt ‘We are the Champions’ and ‘When I close my eyes’. Parents and grandparents joined for the last 15 minutes to hear a rousing performance from the singers which was a fitting end to a great afternoon.
Jessica Norton who led the workshop said, “Saturday’s Come and Sing afternoon was a joyous event to be involved in. Children of varied age and singing ability came together to learn music from all genres, giving an energetic performance to friends and families at the end. This event showed the sense of community that choirs evoke, welcoming newcomers as well as those who already sing in Henley Youth Choir. I passionately believe that singing is the best activity to be involved in, as it brings people together and allows us to forget any problems, spending an hour or so flexing our creative muscles”.
Albie Ball, 8, enjoyed the workshop so much that he has now joined the junior section of the Youth Choir. He said, “It was such a fun afternoon. The singing was brilliant and I loved learning ‘We are the champions’. It made me feel really happy. Everyone was so nice I can’t wait to go back.”
Fi Harding, manager of the choirs added, “We were delighted to welcome so many new singers and we plan to repeat the Come and Sing afternoon in the future and continue building on the community with the Henley Youth Choir. Our next performance is at Henley Festival on the Floating Stage during the Family Sunday on 14 July and would welcome all to come along and hear us.”
During the performance on the Henley Festival’s Family Sunday, the Youth Choirs will be joined on the floating stage by members of Sacred Heart school choir. They will be singing one of the musicals written by Alfie Hay, former headteacher of Trinity School and one of the founders of Henley Youth Festival. Each group – Juniors, Seniors and Sacred Heart – will sing some songs individually and others will be sung by everyone. Narration will also be included between songs too. The performance starts at 11.30am and is open to all who attend the Family Sunday.
Anyone who is interested in finding out more about Henley Youth Choir can contact Fi Harding on Fi.firstname.lastname@example.org or call Fi on 07947 658252. Details are also on the website http://www.henleychoralsociety.org.uk/youth-choirs/