Stage is set for one of Sunderland's biggest singing events

Youngsters from across the city are tuning up for an annual singing competition.

By Sue Kirby
Friday, 22 February, 2019, 10:59
Pupils from Castletown Primary School, who took the title in 2017, performing their winning song.

Pupils at schools across Sunderland are getting ready for the annual singing extravaganza, the City Sings competition, which takes place at Sunderland Empire on March 3.

Now in its 15th year, City Sings sees hundreds of Wearside’s most promising singers aged from 7-16-years-old compete for the accolade of the Dr Gilbert Trophy for Best Vocal Sound 2019.

Last year 485 pupils from 11 schools competed and this year 15 schools with over 600 performers are set to take part.

Sunderland Music Hub, which is funded by the Department for Education and Arts Council and managed by Together for Children, delivers a programme of concerts and events in schools throughout the academic year.

City Sings provides a platform for children and young people who have shown real vocal talent. This year’s categories are Best Primary, Best Secondary, Most Promising and Most Entertaining Choir, with one overall winner selected for Best Vocal Choral Sound.

In addition to the accolade, the most promising choir will receive five sessions over the next year from an expert vocal specialist to support them in developing their vocal and choral skills.

Previous winners, East Herrington Primary Academy, will be travelling to London as finalists for the National Choral Competition at the Royal Festival Hall the next day.

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And the 2017 winners, Castletown Primary School, will be entertaining the audience at the end of the event whilst the judges deliberate.

This year’s judges include representatives from Durham Cathedral Outreach Programme and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.

Rebecca Pedlow, Sunderland Music Hub manager at Together for Children, said: "For many schools and their young people, City Sings is the culmination of many hours of practice and rehearsal and having attended many performances in schools I know judges and audiences will be impressed."

The Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Lynda Scanlan, said: "I am delighted to once again see this event return to Sunderland Empire.

"It’s an event that encourages excellence alongside the joy of participation. We are thankful to our esteemed judges and to the Sunderland Empire."

Any parents wanting to buy tickets for the event should contact their child's school.