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George Watson’s pupils record charity single

Primary 7 pupils from George Watsons College work on the song.

Primary 7 pupils from George Watsons College work on the song.

  • by DAVID MCCANN
 

MUSICAL schoolkids have swapped the classroom for the recording studio to release a charity Christmas single.

Talented pupils from George Watson’s College have written their own festive track which will be sold to raise vital funds for their chosen charity Erskine, which provides support to war veterans.

The song “The Hopes Placed in our Hands”, is described as a pop ballad themed on war and reconciliation which links in with the pupils’ own studies on World War II.

Primary 7 pupils with a gift for poetry were asked to write lyrics over the summer holidays which were set to music by teacher Steven Griffin.

He said: “We got them together and we taught them about song, structure, chorus and rhyme scheme. They were given homework to think how they could construct lyrics based on warfare and conflict.

“When they returned from the summer break they had come up with great ideas and the song spread out from being about World War II to conflicts around the world. They are just 11-year-olds who came back with fantastic lyrics that were mature and the words have a really good flow. You can hear the pulse of the song and I knew this would work set to music.

“My job to write the song was made reasonably easy.”

Asked if he thought it could be a challenger for Christmas number 1, he joked: “That would be lovely but I don’t think we would qualify as an official charting outlet.” It was a particularly exciting week for Mr Griffin, director of music at the school, who also learned he had won a Christmas competition to write a carol for two-time Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble The King’s Singers.

The carol will premiere at an evening concert last this month that will be recorded for broadcast on Classic FM on December 22.

Although written by a handful of pupils, the entire Primary 7 year were invited to sing the song’s chorus and are credited on the CD. Cailin, who sings the opening solo section of the Christmas single, said: “It was an honour to get to sing the opening.

“It was a lot of fun working together as a group on the song. We worked at lunchtimes, and chocolate biscuits were an important part of the process.”

Niki, another Primary 7 pupil, said: “I thought the words of the song hit you and make you think about how much people have suffered just for our lives today.”

Catherine Jack, Head of the Junior School, praised the efforts of the pupils.

“We are delighted to release this innovative CD created by our Primary 7 pupils which has shown Curriculum for Excellence in action,” she said.

“Our pupils have learned many new skills in this cross curricular experience.”

The minimum donation per CD is £5 and can be bought from the school.

 

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