Watch Horsham children perform their new school song as part of the Here! Our Song project

More than 300 children from Horsham came together to celebrate a songwriting project which began three years ago.
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Pupils penned music and lyrics as part of the Horsham District Council’s Year of Culture in 2019 but the songbook was never launched due to the pandemic.

They made up for it at the Horsham School’s Music Festival at the Hawth last week.

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Parents packed the theatre to hear the long-awaited premiere with lyrics celebrating the towns, villages, rivers and hills across the Horsham district.

Northolmes School at the Horsham Schools' Music FestivalNortholmes School at the Horsham Schools' Music Festival
Northolmes School at the Horsham Schools' Music Festival

It was led on the night by choral leader and songwriter Emily Barden who said: “The ideas are theirs and the subject matter they wanted to write about is theirs, the way in which the words are crafted are theirs and the style of song that’s theirs and the melodies all came from within our sessions. Essentially the children are singing songs they’ve written so it was really brilliant to hear it all come together.”

Of the 13 schools that took part, Northolmes Junior School was lucky enough to win a competition whereby they worked collaboratively with West Sussex Music to create their own school song for the event.

Matthew Ruffett from Northolmes Junior School said: “It was really nice to hear the premiere of the song. We explained the process involved and why we did it and now it’s one of our favourite songs to sing as it encompasses our school's values and motto!”

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Ms Parkinson added: “We’ve found it really wonderful, post covid, to join together with other schools. It’s been the first event we’ve joined together with other schools to do something cohesively and it’s been a really nice project - a heart-warming and uplifting thing to be a part of. Every child came off stage with a buzz.”

Emily BardenEmily Barden
Emily Barden

The schools involved were: All Saints Church of England Primary, Arunside Primary, Castlewood Primary, Colgate Primary, Greenway Academy, Heron Way Primary, Kingslea Primary, Leechpool Primary, North Heath Community Primary, Northolmes Primary, QE2 Silver Jubilee School, Southwater Junior Academy and St. Mary’s Church of England Primary.

If your child, or the child you care for, has a passion for singing and is between the ages 9-12, they would be welcome to come along and sing together as part of West Sussex Young Voices choir. Find out more and sign up: