Stadium full of Young Voices


IT promised to be spectacular … and the children who took part will never forget their night in the spotlight.

Thousands of Kirklees schoolchildren showcased the depth of the town’s talent and love of music at the Galpharm Stadium last night.

And the guest star of the show was drumming expert Michael Fish, from Golcar, who shot to fame recently on TV’s Britain’s Got Talent.

The former Colne Valley pupil accompanied the massed choir and set the kids screams of delight alight when he played with his drumsticks on fire.

It was one of the biggest concerts at the Galpharm Stadium since the days the stadium hosted REM, Bon Jovi and Elton John.

The ambitious concert featured more than 5,000 youngsters from 110 schools across Kirklees from junior through to high as a massive double celebration to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games.

The kids filled the whole of the Britannia Rescue Stand and the 7,000 strong crowd watching were on the pitch and sitting in two of the stands.

The compère was TV presenter Kirsten O’Brien.

It began inside with an opening parade led by a massed band from Kirklees Music Centres parading around the pitch joined by youngsters from every school waving flags and banners.

The main stage was then set up in front of the Fantastic Media Stand for the massed bands and a smaller stage for the instrumentalists performing in the middle of the choirs.

All the children wore special T-shirts and baseball caps and this huge massed choir performed such classics as We Will Rock You, Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend, One Moment In Time and finished off with We Are The Champions as the grand finale.

Those starring on the instrumental stage were massed senior wind band, guitar ensembles and strings.

And they performed classics such as Abba, Summer Time Blues and Surfin’ USA.

Signing for the deaf was done by Paul Whittaker OBE, founder of Music and the Deaf,

The entertainment began at 5.30 pm with music from Kirklees Middle and High School students.

There was a massed Haka featuring 600 dancers and a massed dance to the Otis Redding classic Respect.

The choirs were conducted by Kirklees Music School Principal Thom Meredith and the Spectacular was organised by Kirklees Music School with the Primary Schools Music Festival and the Secondary School Showcase.

Amanda Clayton whose sons Elliot, aged nine, and 11-year-old Jake were taking part, said: “They were both very much looking forward to the event and were very excited.  “It’s a fantastic opportunity for the children.  “Elliot attends Skelmanthorpe First and Nursery School while Jake is a pupil at Scissett Middle School.”

Grandmother Mrs Brenda Escreet, from Clayton West, was there to see her granddaughter Sascha Escreet, aged 12, from Kirkburton Middle School. She said: “It’s been fantastic for the kids who seem to have really enjoyed it.