When LP started Year 3 at school she signed up to the school choir. Each week she spends an hour singing after school, learning new songs and spending time with friends from across the Junior campus. It’s a highlight of her week and one of the things that made her sign up was the prospect of being part of the Young Voices concert.
What is Young Voices?
Young Voices organise concerts for school choirs across the country and early in the school year we were assigned a date for LP to travel to the O2 in London with the rest of her choir to be a part of something that turned out to be pretty extraordinary.
As it turned out, our school’s participation in the concert ended up being rescheduled because of the snow and I know the teachers involved worked their socks off with Young Voices to make sure we could still attend – and they managed to fit us in to the last date at the O2 just before Young Voices moved to another venue across the country.
On the day LP went to school dressed in her Young Voices t-shirt, with a backpack full of food and the biggest smile on her face. She has been practicing songs for months, talking about Young Voices constantly and whenever a familiar song came on the radio she would tell us how they were taking that track to London.
We picked Little Man up from school and drove straight to the O2, knowing that he would love to be part of his sister’s big moment too. We got there, picked up our tickets, went through security and waited for the show to start.
To fit all the extra schools and audience members into the O2 they ended up using all of the private boxes and so we ended up in a box and we could see LP and the rest of her choir spread across four boxes directly opposite where we were sitting. In total there were just under 9000 children in the concert when we attended and you can just imagine the atmosphere created by hearing that many children sing in unison. It was emotional.
What is a Young Voices concert like?
The show was full of songs from every era including a Moana medley and ending with a mix of songs from the Greatest Showman. The children sang with Beau Dermott from Britain’s Got Talent, Sharlene Hector and Tony Hadley which is something I don’t think they will fully appreciate until they are much older.
I had tears in my eyes at so many points through the show and I filmed some clips of the songs to hold onto them for as long as possible. I can’t explain the feeling of hearing, and seeing, thousands of children singing such uplifting and motivational songs, all at the same time, in a venue like the O2. I had goosebumps just listening to them.
The show finished after about an hour and a half and we were all sad that it had come to a close. A year ago we hadn’t heard of Young Voices, it’s not something I had ever come across before and it wasn’t around when I was a child. But now, twenty years since Young Voices began it is getting more and more common for schools to participate – and I know LP’s school has been signing up for a few years now too.
I massively appreciate the amount of work that goes into organising something like Young Voices. The Young Voices staff working together with the schools who in turn organise transport to get there, permission slips for the children, t-shirts for the children to wear, helpers to support on the night and then doing it all over again when the snow gets in the way. The amount of work that goes in to each and every Young Voices concert is unimaginable but I am so, so glad that every person involved does all they can to make it happen.
Why should schools get involved in Young Voices?
Since LP started singing she has grown so much in confidence. She will say yes to so much more now and will happily step out of her comfort zone. She’s also made so many friends and has an interest that knows no bounds. She sings when she wakes up, sings before she goes to sleep, sings in the car and pretty much sings at every opportunity.
Singing is completely unrelated to academic ability. Everyone can sing and it can be such an outlet for so many children. I feel like Young Voices is really inspiring so many children to pursue a hobby that is accesible to everyone if given a little push in the right direction. I know Young Voices – and the school choir – has given LP a love of music that will last a lifetime. I left the Young Voices choir feeling so uplifted and feeling like all those children have the whole world at their feet. What an incredible thing to be a part of.
If your child’s school hasn’t yet applied to be in Young Voices then make sure you check out their website. I am in no way affiliated with them – I just think this is something that every school could get behind to open up a whole new world for their pupils.