Work and play the US way

There was a big turnout at Camelon Education Centre.
There was a big turnout at Camelon Education Centre.

Hundreds of schoolchildren crowded into Camelon Education Centre last week to learn from the Young Americans.

Around 45 sun-kissed stars of the California-based touring group visited the area to deliver their musical outreach programme and give youngsters a fun lesson in song and dance.

Organiser Yvonne Donaghy said: “I felt I had to bring this opportunity to schoolchildren across the Falkirk Council area.

“Falkirk is the only Scottish date in the Young Americans’s tour, which takes place across the UK and Ireland.”

The Young Americans held three days of workshops in singing, dancing and general performance skills with 200 pupils aged seven to 18 from various primary and secondary schools in the Falkirk area.

The programme featured training in vocal techniques, including important aspects like breathing and care of the voice and tips on getting the best out of your microphone. Participants also learned choreography, staging and the nuts and bolts of putting on a public performance.

They then held a spectacular concert in St Mungo’s High School on Saturday to show off the skills they had learned.

Provost Pat Reid was one of lucky audience members in attendance for what he called “one of the most spectacular shows ever seen” in the Falkirk area.

He added: “The Young Americans themselves took stage for the first half. The lights went down and instantly Broadway came to Bainsford. There followed an hour of non-stop, energetic, colourful, dazzling entertainment, with songs from musicals, pop, rock and gospel and dance from tap to break, all performed with superb talent. “Then up stepped 194 of our children and young people from 20 schools with only 12 hours’ coaching from the Young Americans. What followed was a remarkable display of talent, discipline, effort and sheer joy.

“The utmost credit must be given to the Young Americans for their work with our youngsters and for the response from our children and young people which rightly filled the hearts of those who saw the performance with great admiration and pride.”

The Young Americans, who thoroughly enjoyed their visit, said: “The workshops help give insight and understanding of different cultures and strengthen character and develop self-esteem, self-worth and self-discipline.”