Watch the Sunderland school choir crowned winner of annual singing competition

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Sunderland youngsters brought the city to life with the sound of music when they took to the stage in the annual City Sings school choir competition.

This year the event, held at the Sunderland Empire theatre, was in celebration of the City of Culture 2021 bid and based on the theme of friendship.

The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Alan Emerson presenting the Dr. Gilbert Trophy to the City Sings winners, Castletown Primary School received by Gwen Ebdon, assistant, Caoimhe Nichomhrai, choir director, and head teacher Joan Lumsdon (right).

The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Alan Emerson presenting the Dr. Gilbert Trophy to the City Sings winners, Castletown Primary School received by Gwen Ebdon, assistant, Caoimhe Nichomhrai, choir director, and head teacher Joan Lumsdon (right).

Children from nine primary and two secondary schools across Wearside were selected to perform on Sunday, in front of a a packed audience of more than 2,000 people and a judging panel.

Castletown Primary School choir, led by musical director Caoimhe Nichomhrai, was crowned the winning school for their performance of ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ and ‘He Lives In You.’

They received the Dr Gilbert Trophy for musical achievement and a cheque for £200.

Joan Lumsdon, head teacher of the school, in Barons Quay Road, said she was so proud of her pupils and staff.

The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Alan Emerson presenting the Dr. Gilbert Trophy to the City Sings winners, Castletown Primary School received by Gwen Ebdon, assistant, Caoimhe Nichomhrai, choir director, and head teacher Joan Lumsdon (right).

The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Alan Emerson presenting the Dr. Gilbert Trophy to the City Sings winners, Castletown Primary School received by Gwen Ebdon, assistant, Caoimhe Nichomhrai, choir director, and head teacher Joan Lumsdon (right).

“We had 60 children aged between six and 11-years-old take part in the competition,” she said.

“The choir is fully inclusive of all abilities and the children just love it.

“The staff were amazing and I am so proud of the children.

“It was lovely to see the camaraderie between the schools.”

Launched in 2004, City Sings is organised by Sunderland City Council and funded by the Arts Council DfE music education hub fund, delivered through Sunderland Music Hub.

Other schools which took part included John F Kennedy Primary School, St Paul’s Primary School, East Herrington Primary School, Our Lady Queen of Peace and Hetton Lyons Primary School.

St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Diamond Hall Junior School, Red House Academy School, Houghton Kepier School and Newbottle Primary also took part.

New prizes were introduced this year, with East Herrington winning £100 as an extremely close runner up, St Paul’s Primary receiving £100 for most entertaining choir, and a special prize of six sessions with a vocal expert for the most promising choir of the night went to Diamond Hall Junior School.

This year the event saw Marty Longstaff from The Lake Poets perform a song with pupils from St Paul’s Primary School specially written for the culture bid.

Rebecca Pedlow, manager of the Sunderland Music Hub, which provides school music services on behalf of the council, said: “It’s an experience that no-one involved with the choirs will ever forget, performing on the stage of the magnificent Sunderland Empire to a full house of more than 2,000 people.”