DCSIMG

African musical extravaganza

Steyning Primary School children at Zimbe! and, below, Upper Beeding pupils

Steyning Primary School children at Zimbe! and, below, Upper Beeding pupils

CHILDREN from Upper Beeding and Steyning joined a choir of about 700 for a musical extravaganza.

Zimbe!, a 40-minute choral piece by British composer Alexander L’Estrange, was performed as part of the Ardingly ArtsFest.

The music celebrates the songs of Africa, combining traditional African song and jazz.

Pupils from Upper Beeding and Steyning primary schools attended a workshop led by Alexander at Ardingly College in February, then joined the community performance at the Haywards Heath venue at the end of June.

Choir leader Corinne Wellby said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for the children from Upper Beeding and Steyning primary schools.

“To be part of such a big West Sussex venture doesn’t happen very often and should be grabbed with both hands. To watch was limitless.

“The work forges links between adult choirs and massed children’s choirs, placing singing at the heart of the community, as it always has been in Africa.”

She said Zimbe! was touching and moving in places, and funky and grooving in others, but was at all times incredibly uplifting, both for performers and the audience.

“The morning went incredibly quickly, as Alexander led the children through a whistlestop tour of all their songs,” she added.

“He was captivating to watch and music teachers looking on definitely left the college feeling inspired and greatly enthused by this marvellous work.”

 

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