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Thank you for the music: Carlton choir donate musical instruments to Arnold school

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Children at Burntstump Seely Church of England Academy pupils are enjoying a new set of percussion instruments thanks to a kind donation from the Carlton Male Voice Choir.

The gifts were a thank you to the Burntstump Children’s Choir who shared the stage with the renowned Carlton Male Voice Choir in front of a packed audience at their Christmas Concert.

Ian Watts, musical director of Carlton Male Voice Choir, said: “It seems an age ago now with all the recent events affecting the arts and entertainment world. But the Christmas performance with the school choir sticks in my memory as one of the highlights of 2019 for Carlton Male Voice Choir out of the 25 or so concerts performed in that year.

“It was an absolute thrill to hear the children perform in full harmony and a real high point to perform a song together with them. It was a real ‘hair on the back of the neck’ moment when the children were singing and the power of a large male voice choir suddenly joined in around them.”

“The gift to the school includes a wide-ranging set of percussion instruments,” said Heather Gabb, head teacher at Burntstump Seely C of E Academy.

“Music plays a vital role in life at Burntstump as it allows all children to express emotion in a safe and fun way.  We encourage the children to explore their own feelings and spirituality through music, instruments, and the voice. We find music nurtures confidence, the first of our school values.

Pupils try out their new musical instruments donated by Carlton Male Voice Choir

“We are very grateful to Carlton Male Voice Choir; firstly for the wonderful experience they gave our school choir when they invited them to sing with them at Christmas, and secondly for these instruments which are a great boost to our classroom music making. They are accessible for all ages from our 3-year olds up and will be used by the children throughout school for performance and composition.

“We send a big thank you to Mr Watts and all our friends at Carlton Male Voice Choir.”

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Ian Watts said,  “Mrs Gabb is doing an amazing job with music in her school and Carlton Male Voice choir wanted to support her efforts with the purchase of some brand new percussion instruments; to enable a great start for the children at the basic level of rhythm. It was the choir’s pleasure to let my son Alistair present these instruments to his own school on behalf of Carlton Male Voice Choir.”

Alistair Watts (Yr 6) who presented the instruments is currently a pupil at Burntstump Seely C of E Academy and said he thinks every school pupil should have access to musical instruments. “I play 5 or 6 instruments altogether including a bit of Piano, Trumpet, Violin and Ukulele but my favourite is probably the Drums.

“I think other children should try an instrument because it is nice to have a bit of a play in the classroom. They do that at Burntstump, and these new instruments will mean pupils can learn about rhythm.” Alistair said his older brother Dominic is a former pupil at Burntstump Seely C of E Academy too, and is now learning the bass guitar.

Alistair said he is happy that he can share the musical instruments with his fellow pupils and explains where his own passion for music stems from.

“There are a few reasons I like music,” said Alistair. “One, because I am following my dad who is a very good musical person. Two because of Paul McCartney, -I want to be like him! Three, I think I was born to play music.  I want to be a rock star playing my drums in a band!”

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