Surrey Hills Young Voices Holiday Club Choir strode onto the huge open-air stage at the Cranleigh showground at the beginning of September to kick off the second evening of the inaugural Cranleigh Music Festival. Behind the scenes we had heard wails of “Oh I’m terrified!” as the children prepared to sing to an audience of 1500+ picnickers expected that evening. But as soon as they stepped up to the microphones their fear evaporated, to be replaced by confident smiles and enthusiasm to present to the audience the fantastic songs they had been rehearsing during the previous week’s music holiday club.
The singing holiday club had attracted a number of young people to come and try out choral singing and some great talent was discovered. Two soloists, Victoria Parker and Sophie Stonehouse stole the show with their heartfelt rendition of ABBA’s “Thank you for the Music”, whilst the crowd took up the traditional Abba pose of waving to the chorus. The favourite song vote went to “Rule the World” from the film Stardust, and the most difficult song vote went to the musical number “Hello, Hello”. We all struggled with memorising the choreography but it proved to be worth the effort as the crowd loved it.
A song from High School Musical ended our medley; the words were apt – the children really were singing as one and clearly meant every word when they sang, “We”re all in this together!” More choreography accompanied this song, with the choir starting in a rugby scrum position and the boys blowing their referee whistles. The choir displayed such enthusiasm and commitment that the crowd joined in with the clapping.
Cranleigh Music Festival was launched this year along with a new charity, Local Youth Matters, which aims to support youth-related groups in the Surrey Hills Area. Watch this space for an invite to the next Holiday Music Club. The organisers were thrilled with the choir’s performance and Colin Young, the brainchild behind the charity, personally wrote to express his personal thanks “please make sure you extend my heartiest congratulations to ever single member of the choir – I have received nothing but praise regarding their performance and people saying they hope they have the opportunity of seeing and hearing them again.”