West Sussex youngsters converge for mass choral event

Sings Live - pic by Sarah HicksonSings Live - pic by Sarah Hickson
Sings Live - pic by Sarah Hickson
More than 420 young people took part in a choral project that saw three public performances and numerous workshops across West Sussex.

West Sussex Sings Live!, organised by music charity West Sussex Music, was a huge project that involved 16 secondary schools and colleges from across the county performing at Worthing’s Assembly Hall, The Hawth in Crawley and Horsham’s Drill Hall to a combined audience of 690.

“These wonderful performance opportunities brought students together for an afternoon of rehearsals, followed by a concert for family and friends to attend,” said spokeswoman Lisa Brace.

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The massed choir was joined by bands from Northbrook College, The College of Richard Collyer, Oathall Community College and St. Wilfrid’s Catholic School that accompanied the singers as well as having opportunities to showcase their own songs.

“This year’s theme was One World, One Voice and the concerts featured four songs for massed choir; Green Green Grass by George Ezra; It’s All Right by Curtis Mayfield from the Disney film Soul; Something to Say by Emily Barden; and the première of a vocal body percussion piece Breathe (One World, One Voice) by Ollie Tunmer & Emily Barden. Alongside this, the concerts featured performances by each of the participating schools’ choirs.”

James Underwood, chief executive for West Sussex Music, said: “The Sings Live! events are so special because they give young people the opportunity to come together and perform as a massed choir at a professional venue, often for the first time to a live audience. Experiences like this are an ideal way to build confidence and enjoy the sense of joy and camaraderie that comes with choral singing.”

David Skipp, chairman of Horsham District Council, added: “I was delighted to join the audience at Horsham Sings Live! at our historic Drill Hall. It was wonderful see the building filled with the joyful sound of so many young people making music together. I commend all the music teachers in schools that prepared their students for the performance, the head teachers for recognising the value of events like these and Rachel Maby and Emily Barden from West Sussex Music for their infectious enthusiasm and inspirational leadership of the event.”​