400 pupils from 15 primary schools across the county raised the roof at Wiltshire Music Centre on 20 April as part of a major radio project. Since January, children from 15 schools have learned nine folk songs from Britain’s musical heritage. The nine songs, including such old favourites as ‘Cockles and Mussels’, ‘The Skye Boat Song’ and ‘Scarborough Fair’, have been taught in celebration of the long running BBC Schools programme, ‘Singing Together’.
Ben Occhipinti, director of ‘Singing Together’ said: “We have such a wonderful time bringing well-loved songs to today’s children. The enthusiasm and energy they’ve given to each one will make this a moving and memorable project for listeners young and old.”
Kathrine Hulme, head teacher at Crudwell School added: “This project has given our children a link to other generations and an idea of how songs have developed over time. The songs will live on for us past the radio play and into a school concert too.”
‘Singing Together’ ran for nearly 60 years from 1939 when it was created to bring a sense of community to the evacuees of World War Two. Swindon’s Prime Theatre and the Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival have joined creative forces to provide professional singing leaders for each school. The recorded songs will then be part of a specially commissioned radio play featuring both professional actors and members of Prime’s Youth Theatre. The play has been written by Vicky Ireland MBE and will be broadcast by BBC Wiltshire on Monday 6 June at 11am as part of the 2016 Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival.
The 9 songs are:
1. Cockles and Mussels
2. Men of Harlech
3. Over the Hills and Far Away
4. Scarborough Fair
5. Skye Boat Song
6. What shall we do with The Drunken Sailor
7. Wild Rover
8. Wraggle Taggle Gipsies
9. Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron