Wednesday 5 June 2019

Children Throw the Spotlight on Racism and Demand to Kick it Out of Touch

Bring together the performing power of 140 Year 4, 5, and 6 children from four Ipswich primary schools and brace yourself for an explosion of glorious singing!

The hall at St Joseph’s College Prep School rang to the rafters when boys and girls from Sidegate Primary, Springfield Junior School and East Bergholt CEVC Primary joined youngsters from St Jo’s to sing out a message of hope.

The occasion was a masterclass run by the Director of Music at St Joseph’s College, Mr Layton, and Drama teacher, Miss Evans, who had spearheaded the senior school’s sell-out production of Hairspray at DanceEast in January.

Alongside its annual musical, St Joseph’s runs the Spotlight initiative aimed at inspiring primary age children with a zeal for performance – both its own Prep children and those from local schools wishing to take part. The youngsters are invited to a special matinee performance of the College’s show and then charged with working up a performance response of their own.

These finished works will be played out at Red Rose Chain’s Avenue Theatre later this month. The recent masterclass came halfway through the process when the visiting schools showed how far they had come. The results were impressive – with energetic singing and a very clear understanding of what Hairspray was all about – civil rights and racial integration.

In fact, the children of Sidegate Primary were so taken up with the anti-segregation message they had collaborated on a protest song of their own. Working with their Head of Music, Mr Danny Howden, they tackled the issue of racism in football. Their song, ‘Kick It Out’, with couplets supplied by the children and Mr Howden’s music proved an absolute showstopper.

The afternoon masterclass gave everyone a fresh burst of ideas to work on and up before curtain up on June 26 – and everyone had an absolute blast!

Mrs  Clarke, Principal of St Joseph’s College, said, ‘It is always a pleasure to see children take an idea to heart and run with it. The messages of inclusiveness and hope coupled with the upbeat rhythms of Hairspray made this a truly joyous afternoon.’

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