Henley Youth Festival Marks 30th Anniversary with Joyful Sing-a-Thon

Henley Youth Festival celebrated its 30th year with a special sing-a-thon at Holy Trinity Church. The special event, which took place on Friday afternoon, saw children from 10 local schools come together for a memorable musical extravaganza.

The schools took it in turns to take centre stage, each performing a song they had rehearsed in advance. The audience were also invited to join in for the choruses, with lyrics projected onto a screen.

Badgemore kicked off the event with ‘Believe’ by Ballard and Silvestri, followed by Kidmore End Primary with ‘Mr Blue Sky’. Nettlebed ‘ooo-’ed their way through ‘Best Days of my Life’, whilst Peppard sang ‘I am Everyday People’ by Sly Stone.

Similarly, Rupert House ‘doo-doo-doo’-ed the house down with Coldplay’s ‘Something Just Like This’. Sacred Heart had some fantastic actions to accompany their rendition of ‘Lazy Days/Summer Sunshine’, as did Shiplake as they sang ‘My Lighthouse’. The latter was extremely popular with the audience, who joined in with both the singing and the dance moves!

Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ was St Mary’s’ song of choice, which had the entire room bellowing along to the chorus. Trinity chose another Coldplay number – ‘Viva la Vida’ – before Valley Road rounded off the school’s performances with the comical ‘Little People’ from Les Miserables.

Amidst the individual school performances, the children also came together to learn several songs as a group, which they were challenged to sing in rounds. These were taught to them by event host, Alfie Hay, one of the founders of the Henley Youth Festival.

For the grand finale, all the schools joined to sing ‘Jewel of the River’.

Jo Dickson, one of the trustees of HYF, said, “The afternoon was a wonderful celebration of young people and the joy of singing together. It was lovely to see schools joining in with each other and the spirit of collaboration. The Committee and Trustees are so proud to continue the Festival that was started 30 years ago by Alfie and others. The week has been fantastic and shown the talents and achievements of the young people of Henley. We aim to have reached all primary children in Henley and surrounding schools with our workshop programme too.”



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