Express & Star

Primary school pupils belt out notes in annual city centre event

More than a thousand primary school pupils have come together to "sing in the rain" at an annual concert in Wolverhampton city centre.

There were plenty of smiling faces throughout the performance

The smiles of hundreds of proud parents could be seen in Queen Square on Tuesday as children from more than 30 primary and special schools united for two performances on the day.

Pupils from Year 2 and above donned colourful ponchos as they belted the notes to six songs including "Singing in the Rain", with the help of Paul Wilcox, vocal lead for the Wolverhampton Music Education Hub.

The children sang along with the help of Paul Wilcox from the Wolverhampton Music Service

The event comes as part of a six-month project led by the Wolverhampton Music Service, which has seen participating schools take part in a number of vocal workshops posted online for teachers to make use of in their lessons.

Ciaran O'Donnell, head of the music service, said: "This is an iconic event that has been happening now probably for about 10 years and it has grown in size, particularly after Covid.

The newly elected Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton, Dr Michael Hardacre and Lynn Plant were also in attendance

"There's lots of research about the emotional benefits and resilience, but really music is just a fundamental part of the human condition. Children from their very youngest age start to dance and start to sing, and really if adults don't mess around with it too much they will still enjoy singing.

"They just make the best possible music that they can because they are children and they enjoy doing it. If they have that enjoyable experience at primary age where they are now, then they will go into their secondary schools a bit more fulfilled and with a bit more interest in music.

"The other aspect of our job [is] teaching children how to play musical instruments – that is when we really build upon their foundations so it's important in a lot of ways, for them, but also for creating a pipeline of interest for future musicians in Wolverhampton."

The pupils sported colourful ponchos

As part of the initiative, primary school teachers from across the city have been invited to the Music Education Hub to learn how best to teach children music as part of a programme led by the service.

Claire Brewer, whose daughter attends St Jude's Church of England Primary School who took part in the concert, said it has helped her child grow in confidence.

The 38-year-old said: "My daughter is quite quiet, no confidence, but to see her there they were laughing, they were singing, they were smiling.

"They've been really excited, learning their words because they bought the words home from school and they have a little WhatsApp group and they've been in the little WhatsApp group singing the songs.

"It's especially [good for] children with SEND needs, I think that needs to be pushed a little bit more. I know they can't sing and join in but they are getting the benefits, the music, the interaction."

La-Taunya Samuels, whose sister is a pupil of Eastfield Primary School, described the event as "uplifting" and "wholesome".