Welcome to School Choir

History

There has always been a strong tradition of singing at Milton Road.  Before the amalgamation in 2005 there were thriving choirs in both the Infant and Junior Schools.  Traditionally, the Juniors had an upper school choir led by Claire Parker and then Roger Lilley and a year 3&4 choir led by Zubeida Dasgupta, then Roger Lilley and finally Anna Youngs.  In January 2005 Anna-Louise Lawrence took on the year 3&4 choir as Anna Youngs wanted to set up a yoga club.  We put on a performance of 'Captain Noah and his floating Zoo'.  There were several year 6s who were keen to sing this too and in the summer we decided to merge the two key stage 2 choirs into one - this is the format that we have now.  In the summer of 2010, Roger Lilley left after teaching and supporting music with great inspiration and enthusiasm for 11 years at Milton Road.  Two parents alternately took over his place at the piano and we are delighted that Marion Caldwell has continued to accompany the choir since then.  A choir of over 100 takes quite a bit of management and it was a great delight that the new KS2 leader, Becky Sharp joined the early morning throng in the autumn of 2011.

Ethos

We believe that singing is for everyone and are very keen that as many children as possible get the chance to sing in choir and for this reason we decided to try moving the choir from a lunchtime club to before school in September 2007.  Although we realise it is not easy for everyone to get up 45 minutes earlier, we have found attendance to be much more regular and the choir very well supported as children are not having to choose between playing with their friends, footballs or Scoobies and singing. This term (January-March 2014) we are meeting on Wednesday lunchtimes so that the children who can't get to school early have a chance to participate.  All children in KS2 are welcome to start at the beginning of term so they can learn the full repertoire.

Repertoire

We tend to have a different emphasis during the different parts of the school year.  In the autumn we focus on singing skills including pitch and tone, breathing techniques and musicianship with lots of games and rounds to build confidence and competence in part singing.  We like to choose from a wide range of musical traditions - from British folk songs to world music, a capella, jazzy, classical and everything in between.
In the spring we tend to choose a cantata and our past favourites include 'Joseph' in 2006 and 2013, 'Jonah-Man Jazz' in 2007 and 'Swingin' Samson' in 2008.  We hope that many of these are familiar to parents from their own childhoods as we see singing having a unique role as 'social glue' helping to form a shared bond across the school and wider community.  In 2009 we supported Mrs. Cobbe's Drama club in their production of 'Bugsy Malone'.  As well as choosing our own songs from published sources, Mr. Lilley set a wide variety of children’s poetry to music as well as arranged traditional songs and we performed his versions of Allan Ahlberg's 'Not Now Nigel' and 'The Ghost Teacher' at the assembly to mark the retirement of our long standing Head and Deputy Sue Romero and Hilary Hladky in the summer of 2009.  Sometimes we participate in larger groups such as the Chesterton Community College feeder schools group and have performed with their Year 7 choir at West Road which helps support the transition of our singers as they move on to their next school.  We are also part of the Cambridge Primary School's Singing Network (CPSSN), now known as Phoenix network, and have taken part in large concerts with other local primary schools under the inspiring musical leadership of Julian Wilkins and the organisational might of Lesley Ford at the Corn Exchange in 2007, the Wesley Church in 2008 and the Emmaunuel URC in 2009, Comberton Village College with ‘Blast Off’ in 2011, ‘Ye-Haa’ at Great St. Mary’s in 2012 and we hosted the ‘Phoenix of the Carribean’ at Milton Road in 2013.  Some of our children joined the Pheonix chorale in ‘Carmina Buriana’ at Comberton in July 2010.  Many of our most talented and keen young singers join the Phoenix network – ask Mrs. Lawrence for further details.  In the autumn of 2010 we joined forces with other local primary schools as part of the Michealhouse festival in the performance of ‘Paradise Bopped’ led by Sam Hayes at Great St. Mary’s.
When possible we like the children to sing songs they have learnt by heart, so there is a section on the choir webpage where they can download the words to practise at home.
We have also sung songs suggested or composed by choir members and are always open to new material.
 
 
 

Out and about

We like to sing in lots of different places for good purposes.  We have sung at the carol service for the East Anglia Children's Hospice EACH in 2007 and 2008 at Great St. Mary's and in 2009 -2014 at the church in Milton.  We love to sing in our swim suits at Jesus Green pool at 'Sing and Swim for Water Aid' - and on 7th July 2013 we raised over £2000.  We have also sung at the celebration of the turning on of the Christmas lights at the Guildhall in 2007, 8&9.  In 2008 we went to the Cambridge schools music festival at West Road with all 127 choir members and in 2009 despite not being allowed to take so many children we won the competition for best school choir.  The older singers have been part of the Holocaust Memorial Day Event at the Guildhall in January in 2008 and 2009.

Choir outfits

Until 2009 the choir have performed in their PE tops on occasions when we want to have them in uniform, but after a competition with over 30 entries Nicole Ibanez’s design, with a few influences from some of the other entrants was chosen and the t-shirts were produced in record time by Talkin’ Tees ready to perform at St. Faith’s in celebration of the music festival victory.

Concerts

We do a concert nearly every term which celebrates the music we have been learning and the dates for these are in the school dates list and now on the choir page too.

Support

Sometimes we need help with administration, supervising and walking singers to concerts and stewarding events.  If you would like to help, even occasionally, please could you let the office know and we will be in touch with you.