Schools join forces for memorable night

Crockerne Primary School pupils performed a Mary Poppins number during the show

Crockerne Primary School pupils performed a Mary Poppins number during the show - Credit: supplied

YOUNGSTERS from 17 North Somerset schools joined forces for a memorable night of music and dance at the Colston Hall in Bristol.

The MAWS concert featured hundreds of pupils from across North Somerset

The MAWS concert featured hundreds of pupils from across North Somerset - Credit: supplied

Songs from films and musicals were delivered with perfection by more than 600 children at the 39th Music Association of Woodspring Schools (MAWS), which is organised by North Somerset Music Service each year.

Dancers, a string ensemble, wind band and guitar group joined a 350 strong choir to entertain an enthusiastic audience with a variety of numbers ranging from Jungle Book’s I Wanna Be Like You to Mary Poppins’ favourite Spoonful of Sugar.

A concert spokesman said: “The concert is a great example of inter-school co-operation, where the pooling of talents of children and staff leads to a very enjoyable evening for everyone.”

MAWS - A review by Mike Bisacre:

For 38 years youngsters from North Somerset primary schools have been making music at Bristol’s Colston Hall.

And the latest Music Association of Woodspring School’s (MAWS) annual concert continued the tradition of quality entertainment.

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A packed auditorium of mums, dads and grandparents were treated to a 90-minute spectacular of music, singing and dancing by more than 600 year six children from 17 primary schools from Clevedon, Portishead, Long Ashton, Nailsea, Portbury, Pill, Yatton, Flax Bourton, Tickenham and Backwell.

Based loosely on the theme of Walt Disney films and DreamWorks Studios, the concert included items from well-known films such as Mary Poppins, Shrek, Brave, Frozen and Tangled.

It is always difficult to know who is the more excited at these events, the parents or the children. Once the waving-to-each-other ritual was over the massed choir, under the skilful direction of Jan Thomson and Lu Shephard launched into the first song of the evening with a lovely rendering of Touch the Sky from Brave and Do You Want to Build a Snowman from Frozen.

It is never easy to hold dozens of budding instrumentalists together but Alison Welch did wonders with a string ensemble that rose to the occasion with accomplished renderings of the English folk song Bobby Shaftoe and an excerpt from Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

A whole stageful of talented musicians from the windband, under the direction of Rob Heathcote, was spot on with a Mary Poppins selection by Richard and Robert Sherman.

And not to be outdone dozens of guitarists, under the watchful eyes of James Kendrick and Andy Jones, presented a delightful rendition of I Wanna Be Like You from The Jungle Book before the choir were called into action again for the Mary Poppins finale conducted by a dressed-for-the-part Linda Roberts.

The arm-waving, hand-clapping youngsters maintained their high standard with a selection of songs including Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Chim Chim-in-ey and A Spoonful of Sugar.

Beautifully choreographed and creatively costumed teams of dancers from Backwell Junior; High Down Junior, Portishead; St Joseph’s Primary, Portishead; St Francis Primary, Nailsea; Crockerne Primary, Pill; Golden Valley Primary, Nailsea; Mary Elton Primary, Clevedon and Yeo Moor Primary, Clevedon accompanied the choir throughout the evening.

As ever the slick production belied the hours of hard work put in by teachers and children during the preceding months and compere for the evening Peter Treasure-Smith thanked everyone for their support and teamwork in making the show such a success.

All in all a memorable evening in which children, teachers and parents of North Somerset schools can be justifiably proud.