Young choristers from Burntstump Seely C of E Primary Academy were in fine voice as they won the ‘Key Stage 2 Own Choice’ class at the annual Mansfield Music and Drama Festival which took place at the Palace Theatre Mansfield.
Following their success, the Arnold school choir were invited to return with winners from other categories to perform at a winner’s concert the following week, and scooped the Pamela Cook Award for the best school choir!
Pupil Connie Newman (age 11) from Hucknall, is a member of the school choir and said she was a little bit nervous before performing on stage. “On the day we sang ‘The Rose’, ‘Let’s go fly a kite’, and ‘Let there be peace on Earth’.
She said: “It helps knowing all of your friends are singing with you, and it actually went well because we came first! I really like being in the choir and singing with my friends at school.”
Joni Clare (age 10) from Sherwood said she had a special task at the festival. “I had to introduce the first song and I got scared that I would forget what I had to say. That was nerve-wracking!”
Fellow pupil Sienna Wilson (age 11) from Mapperley said she had loved taking part. “The best bit was when we found out we had won. Everyone started to get really excited and jumping up and down. We went with Mrs Gabb and she was really excited too!”
Sophie Goodridge (age 10) and Florence Whittington (age 10) both live in Papplewick and said they enjoyed the experience. Sophie said, “At the end my family said they were proud of me. I was shocked that we came first because all of the choirs were so good.” Florence said, “I was pleased when we finished first. I was nervous before each performance, but I am so glad we did it!”
Head teacher at Burntstump Seely Church of England Primary Academy, Heather Gabb, said the children were a credit to her school.
She said: “The choir are really strong this year and we were fairly confident, but we know it’s a challenging competition and you never know how it is going to go on the day. The choirs we were up against were stunning and I was possibly more nervous than the children were!
“We performed one song in the morning, which we didn’t do so well at. Then we had to perform two more songs in the afternoon. By then we were raring to go and had listened carefully to what the adjudicator had said to us in the morning in the feedback. That time we did much better and won the class.”
Heather says that despite their careful preparations, the win still came as a surprise.
She added: “We couldn’t believe it when we won because the competition standards were so high. When they announced the winners, they did it in reverse order, so it was all very exciting. I am very, very proud of them all!”