More than 800 schoolchildren from across Southend-on-Sea joined together to perform for audiences as part of the Southend Makes Music event.
From rock bands to choirs to orchestras, the 24 groups performed over four nights from 27 February to 2 March, to packed audiences at The Palace Theatre in Westcliff-on-Sea.
The children got a real taste of the celebrity lifestyle, with their own dressing rooms backstage following in the footsteps of the likes of Gary Barlow and Lee Mead.
The Worshipful The Mayor Cllr Kevin Robinson, attended and said: “It was great to watch the musical talents of our schoolchildren and for them to have the opportunity to perform on stage and get a real taste for what it is like to perform for a live audience.
“The children were all fantastic and I want to thank them for their hard work and practice to make such a wonderful evening possible.”
Some of the headteachers who brought the children to the event said:
“Thank you very much for hosting this event. The pupils were so excited to sing in a real theatre and they all appreciated the effort that went in to it.”
“It was a great success. It was lovely to see a variety of musical performances from other schools as well. Pupil and parent feedback has been incredibly positive.”
“Everyone loved it, students were really proud to be part of it!”
The event is funded by an Arts Council England grant, but organised by Music-on-Sea, the Southend Music Education Hub run by Southend-on-Sea City Council.
Cllr Laurie Burton, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “Thanks to Music on Sea all children in Southend have opportunities to access music, hire instruments and join out of school musical ensembles, or join musical workshops.
“Music is such a creative outlet and when nurtured, can truly blossom into a lifelong passion, even if the child never follows through with it as their main career. It is also a way of relaxing and destressing from the pressures of studying, which can take its toll on some children, so its good to have a positive creative outlet to channel that and manage the stress.”
For more information visit the Music-on-Sea website.
Photos of the event can be found on our Flickr page.