Primary Songwriting and Performing Inspired by Beer Quarry Caves

The first in a series of four concerts featuring young singers from West Dorset and East Devon, this concert included 92 primary school children from St Michael’s, Mrs Ethelston’s, Marshwood and Bridport St Mary’s.

Each group of singers sang an original song written at a series of in-school workshops and then came together for a shared piece. The words and music were inspired by a visit to Beer Quarry Caves and included lines about smugglers, slaves, being trapped in time and more philosophical thoughts about working together, seeing the sun, friendship, being free and whisky galore!

Each group gave a magnificent performance, raising the roof at St Michael’s Church and moving the audience to tears of laughter and moments of complete silence as soloists took centre stage and sent a range of emotions around the packed pews.

Composer and music leader John K Miles engaged all the children in such a way that each and every one of them stood tall and gave it their all, singing from their hearts. You could see that every singer felt as important as the others.

Guest musician Adrianno Adewale lifted the whole event to another level with his expert percussion and ethereal sounds, while bassist Dave Mannington added a jazz edge to the truly professional and awe-inspiring proceedings.

“It has been brilliant to see my class grow in confidence, be proud of themselves and go from a shy group to a group of performers,” said teacher Becky Rolfe from Bridport St Mary’s.
“The children gained so much, there are 12 boys to eight girls in my class and having a male role model for singing was really significant for them,” said teacher Tracey Scott from Marshwood Primary School.

This concert was in the true spirit of collaboration, which is the essence of what B Sharp is about.
Amazingly, at the same time this explosion of energy and music was happening in the church another B Sharp project was running next door in The Hub, with an older age group of 45 young musicians who meet on a weekly basis, making nearly 150 musicians playing live music in Lyme Regis on a Tuesday night, which must be some kind of record and reflects a significant achievement.

The next stage of this singing project, which is made possible by funding from Youth Music, West Dorset District and Lyme Regis Town Councils, is for keen singers aged 11 and up who want to build experience and confidence working with professional vocal and music coaches. There are two further concerts later this year as well as the finale in Exeter Cathedral in January.

FRAN WILLIAMS, B Sharp




CLICK HERE FOR IMAGES FROM THE PROJECT OR HERE FOR THE FULL SONG LYRICS

A recording of the song has been made and can be heard by clicking on the following link:



   

 

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JCTSA Partner Schools: Acorn Federation, Axe Beacon Federation, Axe Valley Community College, Axminster Community Primary, Bridport Primary, Budmouth College, Chard Area Federation of Schools, Charmouth Primary, Clyst Vale Community College, Colyton Grammar School, Hawchurch Primary, Holyrood Academy, Honiton Community College, Marshwood Primary, Payhembury Primary, St Mary’s Primary Bridport, St Mary's Primary Thorncombe, Sir John Colfox, South Dartmoor Community College, St Michael’s Primary, The King’s School, University of Exeter, The Woodroffe School Working in close partnership with Babcock LDP and Dorset LA