Kenton Carols Gives School Children Opportunity to Sparkle and Shine

Local schools came to together for the inaugural Kenton Carols event on Monday evening at the theatre.

Choirs from Valley Road, Rupert House, Sonning Common, Shiplake and Gillotts Schools performed two songs each before coming together at the end to sing Silent Night followed by the upbeat Sparkle and Shine from the Nativity film.

Valley Road opened the show with It was on a Starry Night nativity song and Sonning Common Primary closed the first half with A Child in a Manager Born with two of the pupils Makaton signing along to the words with the others joining in, in the chorus.  Gillotts School opened the second half with Adiemus with a beautiful opening solo and superb harmonies.  Shiplake School closed the individual school performances with Carol of the Bells.

Kenton Theatre Manager Lottie Pheasant said afterwards, “It was incredible how brilliant all the schools were.  It was amazing how each school’s performance was so different.  Well done to all the schools. I hope you all enjoyed the experience of being on the Kenton stage.  There’s a lot of work gone into planning this event.  I started talking to Sarah Miller, our former Henley Mayor who sadly can’t be here tonight back in March. This would also not be possible without the wonderful Steph who gave up her time to go into every school to do the choreography and be here this afternoon doing the dress rehearsal.  Thank you for all your time, energy and enthusiasm for the project.”  She also went on to thank Emily for all the administration, David and the technical team, Tara, Chair of Kenton Trustees for doing the stage management, teachers and schools.

Henley Mayor, Councillor Kellie Hinton added, “I’m so touched.  It was an incredible performance.  I wanted to thank you all and your parents for supporting you. Performing on this stage, when you’re a child in Henley is a right of passage.  It is something that I and Lottie have both been through in our childhoods.  This is actually only possible because there is a theatre here so on your way out, please grab a programme and if you see something in there, get some tickets or if you’re looking for a local gift, perhaps get some tickets for a show next year.  We can only do things here when there is a theatre here so we need to keep supporting the theatre.  Everyone plays a part in it in the town.  Thank you to Lottie, Steph and Sarah for creating and making this event happen and I can’t wait to come back again next year, not as Mayor, but as audience member and seeing even more schools on this stage.”

Annabel Blackwell, Valley Road School Choir Leader said, “Steph Maxwell is amazing and it was brilliant collaborative performance.  Lovely to see the schools together and a great opportunity for the children to go on stage and it was very well organised.  Thank you also to all the parents.”

Kenton Trustee and Principal of Divas and Dudes Academy, Steph Maxwell commented, “I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed working with all those children.  That song (Sparkle & Shine) is a classic so it didn’t take them long to learn it.  I had one visit to each school over the last 3 weeks where they videoed me doing it so that they could then practice in their own time. What was lovely was to go around to all the schools and see that they were so excited about it.  They had so much energy and enthusiasm.  I had the most fun.”


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