Singfest Young Singers is a project to encourage schoolchildren in Berwick and the Borders to get involved in singing, through the creation, promotion and development of school choirs.
We believe strongly that participation in musical activities is beneficial for children. Research clearly shows the correlation between educational attainment and participation in music activities for children. These benefits are particularly important in present circumstances, where the combined effects of lockdown and budget cuts have substantially damaged children’s educational opportunities and given rise to lower academic outturns and increased mental health problems in schoolchildren.
Singfest Young Singers has a number of components:
- We are auditioning and training candidates for a Young People’s Choir (ages 11 – 18).
- We are training a group of 14 – 15 year olds (“Young Singing Leaders”) to learn how to run choirs in First Schools.
- We have commissioned a choral work, with parts for both beginners and more advanced singers.
- There will be a gala performance of this new work as the culmination of Berwick Singfest, featuring the First Schools Choir and the Young Peoples’ Choir, as well as local adult choirs.
Young Peoples’ Choir (YPC)
Local school music teachers have put forward singers aged between 11 and 18 to audition to be part of the YPC.
The YPC offers a range of activities and experiences not available to children at school level, it builds bridges between schools and gives those involved a sense of purpose and achievement that can translate into career paths or an aid to future careers.
Young Singing Leaders (YSL)
This a series of workshops for 14 – to 15 – year olds to teach them how to run a choir in First Schools. They receive an internal certificate on completion of the course and a chance to use their experience as part of the Trinity Arts Award Scheme if they wish.
Commissioning an original piece.
This has generated enthusiasm and interest from potential participants, as they will have the opportunity of learning a piece that has been specially written for them and taking part in its first public performance.
The showcase evening will begin with the YSL First School Choir performance, followed by individual and group choir performances, and after an interlude, we close with massed choirs, including YPC, performing the new choral work, True Thomas, based on the story of the Borders folk hero, Thomas the Rhymer.