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What a night…Young Voices 2020

I am still buzzing from Friday night and our amazing experience at Young Voices. Young Voices is an organisation which has been running for the last 24 years, enabling children to perform in arena concerts as part of a 5000-8000 strong choir. Over two million children have taken part over the years and Eastcombe Primary School has been lucky enough to take part the last three or four years (I’ve lost count!) This year we took Years 4,5 and 6 and had a truly memorable day.
We start learning the songs months before the concert date and this is quite some task. This takes dedication, commitment and enthusiasm from the children and staff involved. At Eastcombe Primary School we use Music lessons as singing as a choir is part of the National Curriculum, we also offer an after school club and sneak in other rehearsal times as the performance date gets closer. Not only do you have hundreds of words to learn, but there are specific dance moves too! For a few songs, Urban Strides (a street dance crew) set a routine for the choir to perform as they are singing. This group also perform on the night, inspiring the next generation of dancers to take to the stage and fulfil their dreams.
On concert day we leave school at 11am and go to The Genting Arena (Resorts World) Birmingham by coach. We arrive and are ushered in to find a space to eat lunch. After registration and lunch we are able to take our seats in the arena for the rehearsal. The look on the children’s faces as they see for the first time where they will be performing is priceless. Sheer delight, disbelief, excitement and terror are a few emotions shared!
The rehearsal is a time to warm our voices up, practise the songs, improve a few tricky pieces and meet the accompanying stars. This year we were lucky enough to perform with Tony Hadley, The Shires and Ruti. We also learn a new dance routine with Urban Strides…something else to remember and perform later with confidence.
After a 3 hour rehearsal we take a break and eat our tea. This is a chance to let off some steam, recharge and refuel. We also change into our concert t-shirts; now we look and feel like a choir. This is also one of the stressful parts as a member of staff as 8000 children are all wearing the same outfit!
The audience arrive at 6pm and we spend the next hour looking for familiar faces in a huge crowd. Thank goodness for binoculars, homemade signs and Mrs Monks rule breaking pink skirt! The excitement mounts and then the lights dim and we hear the opening notes of the band. It’s time…
Two hours and many songs and dance moves later the concert is over and with tired children we make our way back to school. The memories will last a lifetime, the experience will be forever in the hearts of our children and their families, the countdown to next year begins…
Thank you to the staff who make this happen, the ESA for helping fund the experience, the families who support and the office staff who organise the trip. My last and most important thank you is for the children. The all behaved beautifully, performed amazingly and made everyone very proud. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!