For the second consecutive year, Chamber member Hipperholme Grammar School and Bradford Cathedral were delighted to open their doors on a Saturday to over 90 children and 11 staff from 18 different primary schools in the local area.
The event, a joint project between the School and the Cathedral, was a Choral Workshop for Primary School children in Years 3 – 5 held at Hipperholme Grammar School and which concluded with a performance for parents at Bradford Cathedral.
The Workshop began at 11 am at the School, and parents were invited to stay and enjoy coffee and pastries over a chat in the Dining Room whilst their children made their way to the School Hall.
Mr Alex Woodrow, Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral, opened the Workshop with a welcome and warm-ups before the children and their teachers split into two groups to begin their work. One group was led by Mr Woodrow and the other by Hipperholme Grammar Junior School’s Music Teacher, Mrs Joan Zarneh. The programme included singing in rounds, learning a mini-anthem, singing a hymn and a chant in Latin and practising a whole group song to conclude the evening performance. As well as learning singing techniques, the children also learned what it is like to sing in a Cathedral Choir.
After a busy start to the workshop, the children and staff were ravenous and happily tucked into a delicious meal prepared by the School’s catering team Wilson Vale. Another practice followed, then the two groups joined together in the Hall to perfect their interpretation of "Sing" composed by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber before boarding buses to take them to Bradford Cathedral.
There was just enough time for another run through of the programme in the awe inspiring Cathedral before parents arrived for a performance of their children’s work. The Cathedral was packed! Residentiary Canon, The Reverend Canon Mandy Coutts, welcomed everyone to the glorious venue.
At the heart of the musical programme were the pieces the children had learned during the day which they performed perfectly for all to enjoy. There were also solo performances by Hipperholme Grammar School pupils Emilia Cooper and Lia Brehmer who are both Cathedral Choristers and Choral Scholars at the School. A further outstanding solo piece was sung by Chorister Henry Stansfield who had joined them especially for the performance. The children’s day concluded with their heart warming performance of ‘Sing’, and there was barely a dry eye in the Cathedral!
The event was well supported by local Headteachers and Music Teachers. In particular, Hippeholme Grammar School was delighted to welcome staff from Cragg Vale, Christ Church Pellon, Withinfields. Luddenden Cof E, Sowerby Bridge and Sacred Heart Catholic Primary Schools.
One parent emailed after the event: "I am writing to thank you for your wonderful Choral Workshop on Saturday. Our daughters came to the workshop for the first time. They both had an amazing day filled with new experiences, and to end the day singing in the Cathedral was magnificent. The singing was breathtaking - what you managed to achieve in such a short time was incredible."
We hope that all the other children enjoyed the experience just as much!
Alex Woodrow said on behalf of the Cathedral, "It was an excellent day with a really good take-up and loads of positivity. There was much to celebrate!"
Hipperholme Grammar School offers a Choral Scholarship to pupils joining the Senior School in Year 7. The Scholarship is awarded to children who have completed a period as a probationary Chorister at Bradford Cathedral and are promoted to full Chorister. For further information about the Choral or other Scholarships awarded by the School, please contact Mrs Sue Oliver, Admissions & Marketing Manager.