St. Mary’s School is blessed with two wonderful choirs. The award winning Junior Choir, now in its seventh year, has just over 50 loyal and enthusiastic singers. We are particularly pleased that our year 6 membership is so strong as they contribute a depth and strength that only experience can bring. We are also pleased to have a number of boys, many of whom are particularly strong singers. Our infant choir was started last year at the request of the younger children as is proving very popular.
Singing is one of the first experiences children have as creative and self-expressive beings. Singing as a group creates a sense of togetherness and can be the source of great comfort to children. Singing banishes grumpiness, fosters community and prevents boredom! Our aim is to encourage boys and girls to use singing as a means of self-expression and a source of deep satisfaction, pride and contentment.
Even better than just singing, though, is to teach songs with actions and encourage children to move and dance along to the music. St Mary’s choir became a signing choir four years ago as a way of introducing and extending the use of Makaton signing throughout the school. This has proved extremely popular and successful with the children finding it easier to remember the songs and extending their Makaton vocabulary every week.
We aim to give the children a varied repertoire of beautiful songs that they can keep on singing for the rest of their lives. This includes many songs and hymns written by Mrs Thompson for specific occasions and events in school. Songs include ‘Everyone is Different’ which has a strong anti-bullying message and ‘Good to be different’ celebrating the differences that make us special. We are also including songs such as ‘Let it Go’ from the film Frozen as the children really enjoy these.
A song is something you can share, it doesn't wear out or get broken, you can take it anywhere and it doesn't cost a penny. A theme we pick up in one of our most recent pieces Sing! Sing! Sing!
Future projects include sessions at a recording studio to record a new nativity musical (Gold Star Inn) and a song to be sold to raise funds for CAFOD next year. We are also hoping to record a song to raise awareness and funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association. All these projects include music written by Mrs Thompson and will be made available for parents and others to buy with proceeds going to the school.
The choir takes its’ singing seriously and enjoys attending festivals and competitions as well school events such as Confirmation Mass and First Holy Communion. They also provide the entertainment at events such as the Parish Christmas Fete and Mencap Christmas party. We look forward to your continuing support and hope to see you at an event soon.