Songfest tours Cornwall with songs of the Stage and Screen

The Cornwall Music Education Hub’s annual celebration of singing, Songfest, returned to Cornwall for a fourth year.  The theme for this year’s event was songs of the Stage and Screen, featuring favourite hits of classic musicals. 

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Picture: Peter Glaser Photography

The series of concerts started in Penzance with 2 nights at St Johns Hall in late February, followed by 2 nights in Newquay, 1 night in Launceston,  1 night in Redruth, 1 night in Falmouth, culminating in a supersized choir at Plymouth Pavilions on 2nd April. 

Each concert featured a different massed choir of young singers from local schools as well as performances by students from local secondary schools and colleges.  In all, over 1200 students from  78 schools performed  in the 8 concerts  as well as singers Cornwall College St. Austell, Cornwall Girls Choir, Cornwall Boys Choir, Cornwall County Youth Choir, Saltash Training Choir and the Plymouth Hub Legacy Choir. The choirs were accompanied by a four piece band made up of professional musicians who also teach for the Cornwall Music Service Trust. 

The Songfest  project is organised and managed by the Cornwall Music Education Hub, which is led by Cornwall Council, and has been created by Angela Renshaw , the Hub’s Vocal Strategy Lead: “Songfest 2019 lived up to all expectations again with fabulous performances given by all  primary schools taking part and as well, the magnificent vocal showcases by the secondary and college students in each act 1 of Songfest.  Songfest continues to reinstate the importance of singing in schools, raising expectations and quality through an inclusive working partnership with schools, the Hub and its partners. Songfest is about retaining the energy and passion for singing in schools and for the children and teachers to not only enjoy the thrill of working collectively, but for children to inspire other children through inspirational vocal performances.”

Angela was supported in the development and delivery of Songfest by local composer, conductor and multi-instrumentalist, Patrick Bailey: “Songfest really did cover the whole county! I visited schools from Sennen in the west to Morwenstow in the north east and Fourlanesend in the south east. Every one of the 40 schools I went to were really engaged with the songs and they and their teachers wanted to sing them as well as possible. The concerts were wonderful experiences for all the children, their teachers and the families. I know I enjoyed them. The large choirs were accompanied by a professional band and the live music making was spontaneous, thrilling and memorable. I can’t wait for the next one – to revisit all those wonderful schools and, hopefully, to meet new ones too.”

About the Cornwall Music Education Hub

The Cornwall Music Education Hub is a partnership of arts and music organisations led by Cornwall Council.  The Hub is funded by Art Council England to raise the standards of musical learning and encourage young people to take part in high quality musical activities.  For further information about the Cornwall Music Education Hub, visit www.cornwallmusiceducationhub.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.