Primary pupils in Falkirk district invited to join virtual Glee choir

Organisers of the annual Scottish Primary School Glee Challenge have created an online alternative for pupils during the coronavirus pandemic
Denny pupils were among the winners at the 2019 Glee eventDenny pupils were among the winners at the 2019 Glee event
Denny pupils were among the winners at the 2019 Glee event

Primary school pupils across Falkirk district are being invited to join together with others from around Scotland to form a massed virtual Glee choir.

Since launching two weeks ago over 500 children have joined up as they prepare to learn and then record two songs of hope and strength and their own performances.

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The initiative was launched by children’s charity The Frisson Foundation which helps to develop children’s skills and widen opportunities through their very popular Scottish Primary School Glee Challenge.

When the schools closed in late March, the annual challenge was half way through its programme, 111 schools out of 220 had performed in the qualifying heats.

Over 3500 children had performed in packed theatres in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Dundee and Angus, Lanarkshire, Falkirk and East

Lothian but that left another 3500 plus children who had practised and rehearsed without getting the chance to perform.

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Bill Breckenridge, co-founder, said: “We had another 18 events scheduled so the first few days of closure were spent talking to theatres, all of whom were great to work with, and shutting things down.

“We received a few emails suggesting that we put something online but we wanted to do something different and something with an end product.”

The answer was a ‘Virtual Glee Choir’ which aims to connect children across the whole of Scotland and create Scotland’s largest primary school Glee choir.

Bill continued: “It gave us not only the chance to reach out to those children who had experienced Glee before but also the chance to bring Glee to children in areas of Scotland where we are as yet not involved.”

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It seems to be working with children from the Isle of Lewis joining in, home schooled children taking part and a keyworker school hub in Aberdeen planning to take part.

To participate in the Challenge children have to register first to ensure parental consent and then join a Facebook page.

From there they will be able to access online workshops, tutorials, mini-challenges and tasks before being asked to record themselves singing and dancing to the two backing tracks; which were gifted by Junior Eurovision and One Big Voice, Australia originally for the

main Glee Challenge.

The recordings will be put together to make one massed Glee choir.

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Bill added: “The challenge of working towards a final performance it is hoped will help to motivate and engage children at home.

“Working on the challenge should be fun but it does have a serious side by widening the things that children are doing at home, helping them to connect and contribute to something big from their home during isolation.”

Earlier this month 700 children in Italy and Europe joined together to sing ‘Nessun Dorma’ and the organisers of the Virtual Glee choir are hoping for a similar response from Scotland.

Registration is still open here

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