Midwinter Concert & Festival of Light

Friday was all about celebration at Coopersale Hall. Our Midwinter Concert looked at how people all around the world find joy and celebrate, even in the darkest of times.

Ivy opened the show by singing a beautiful rendition of “In the Bleak Midwinter”, and Stanley;  “In many cultures and societies, midwinter is a time when festivals of light are held, with feasting and festivities to brighten the darkest days.   People also focus on ways that they can show charity and kindness towards others.”

Year 6 then explained the origins of a number of midwinter traditions.  The Coopersale Orchestra played “Good King Wenceslas” representing the tradition of giving to charity and thinking of others less fortunate than ourselves.  All the children sang “I have a little Dreidl” after explaining the Jewish celebration of Hannukah.  A Bible reading telling the story of Jesus’ birth came next with our recorder consort playing “Huron Christmas Carol” and Poppy in Year 5 playing a jazzy version of “We Three Kings” on the saxophone.

Next came readings about how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world.  In Poland the celebrations start when a child sees the first star of the evening on Christmas Eve.  Naya sang the first verse of the beautiful song “Little Star” and then dancers from Year 5 and 6 took to the stage to show the Chinese tradition of decorating the tree with lights and paper lanterns.  Rock Band performed an uplifting version of a Malawi song “Kuyimba” with solos from Blaise and Ruby, great percussion from Oscar and harmonies provided by KS2 choir.

The children then focussed on Diwali, as Jess said “this is a chance for family and friends and all of the Hindu community to come together and celebrate in style. Fireworks are used in Diwali because of the light and how bright they shine. Diwali is also about looking ahead to the future and to think about new beginnings.”

Year 5 then sang the lovely song “Winter Candle”, featuring a number of soloists.  The concert ended with all the children singing a rousing rendition of “Children of the World”.

The children worked so hard to produce a wonderful concert, as Max and George summed up the theme of the evening: “We have looked at midwinter celebrations from all over the world most seem familiar and comforting. Lots of midwinter traditions are to do with welcoming visitors and sharing with families and friends.

We will try to shine our own lights, so our message of peace and hope shines through the whole world.”