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Chester St Mary's Creative Space filled with hundreds of young voices

Children from 13 school choirs present Angel Voices at city centre venue

Lache Primary School performing at the Angel Voices Choir Festival at St Mary's Creative Space

More than 500 children have helped to bring festive cheer to packed audiences in a city centre venue.

St Mary’s Creative Space played host to a series of evenings which brought together 13 school choirs from across the borough.

Angel Voices was presented by city organisation Theatre in the Quarter, enabling children from a broad spectrum of localities, including Blacon and Mollington, Frodsham and Lache, Hoole, Newton and Waverton, to not only perform their own seasonal repertoire but to unite in performing together.

Artistic director Matt Baker arranged a special Christmas medley which the schools prepared for the event and which delighted the audiences each evening.

St Oswald's CE Primary School

Each event concluded with a mass singalong, led by Matt Baker on his accordion, which involved the combined choirs and the audience singing rousing renditions of festive favourites such as The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Angel Voices was a follow-on activity to the very successful Chester Christmas Voices events, also organised by Theatre in the Quarter, which brought choirs of all ages to sing together in Chester City Centre over the past few weeks.

Choirs involved in performances included those from Belgrave Primary School, Mill View Primary School, St Clare’s Catholic Primary School, St Oswald’s CE Primary School, Highfield Community Primary School, Dee Point Primary School, St Werburgh’s and St Columba’s Catholic Primary School, University Church Free School, St Luke’s Catholic Primary School in Frodsham, Waverton Primary School, St Martin’s Academy, The Firs School and Lache Primary School.

The Firs School performing at the Angel Voices Choir Festival at St Mary's Creative Space

Angel Voices also gave an opportunity for Theatre in the Quarter’s young people’s theatre group Jigsaw to give a taste of their original music score to Rudolph which will be performed in the venue this week.

Jigsaw director Millie Stevenson said, “Our young people were very proud to be able to perform alongside so many wonderful choirs and have a chance to sing some of the songs they have written themselves which tell the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

She added: “Their songs went down a storm with the audience, and our group were simply amazed at the school choirs who sang on our evening.”

One of the evenings also hosted women’s choir A Handbag of Harmonies who filled in for a school which had to pull out at short notice.

Matt Baker, who is also musical director of the well known choir, said, “This was a last minute change but it actually proved to be a perfect decision. It was so joyous to see the different generations performing alongside each other and getting truly excited to watch each other’s performances.”

Lache Primary School performing at the Angel Voices Choir Festival at St Mary's Creative Space

Matt added: “A golden moment was when A Handbag of Harmonies were singing their own arrangement of Wizzard’s I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day when suddenly the school choirs joined in from the wings singing ‘when the kids start singing and the band begins to play’, it was amazing!”

Event organisers Erin Elston and Rachael Borman co-ordinated the programme of evenings and helped to prepare the choirs for their performances.

Erin said, “It was just fantastic to see St Mary’s Creative Space filled with so much colour and sound; each school had obviously worked hard, not only preparing their music, but also turning out in an array of festive outfits.”

Rachael added: “Angel Voices was first launched in 2015, and it was obviously very popular with schools as they were all so keen to take part this year. Fast ticket sales also seems to prove what a popular event this has become. It looks like we may have to repeat this season of events next year!”

Mill View Primary School performing at the Angel Voices Choir Festival at St Mary's Creative Space

Angel Voices is part of a season of festive events entitled Christmas at St Mary’s which fill the December calendar.

The season runs until December 30 and has included music of all tastes, professional and young people’s theatre, theatre for young children, dance and cabaret.

More information can be found on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/creativemarys, on Twitter @CreativeMarys or on their website www.stmaryscreativespace.

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