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Students and staff perform in concert for Africa

ByEmily

May 20, 2017

A showcase of music, song and dance to reach across the miles has helped raise £775 towards a student expedition to South Africa.

Students and staff at Bede Academy, in Blyth, performed in the Nokuphila Fundraiser, which was organised by one of the sixth formers who will spend two weeks as a volunteer teacher in South Africa in July.

Nokuphila School, in the township of Tembisa, near Johannesburg, is run by Love Trust for children who are among the country’s estimated 3.8 million HIV/AIDS orphans.

Christie Wilce, 18, had always wanted to take part in the biennial trip for which students have to raise £1,000 each.

A keen musician, Christie turned to fellow students and the academy’s music department for help when she came up with the idea of a concert.

She explained: “I’m really passionate about music and spend a lot of time in the department so I thought a concert would be a good way of raising money. I’ve never done anything like this before and found it really hard, but I knew it would be a good night and I’m really grateful for all the support from the staff, students and families who came along.”

Head of sixth form Stephen Davies, who presented the evening, added: “Christie put an awful lot work into the concert and it’s great that it was so well supported.

“We hope the students’ visit to South Africa will bring the children there a sense of hope as we share with them the core values of the academy and demonstrate our determination to serve.”

Musicians, vocalists and Irish dancer Adam Knight took part in the concert, which had the theme of music from the movies.

The Bede South Choir opened the event with songs from Mary Poppins to Toy Story.

Members of the cast of academy’s production of Les Miserables sang together and there were solo performances from Joanna Swainston, Adam Swalwell and Jake Watson.

The audience of more than 200 got a preview of this autumn’s production of The Sound of Music with ensemble and solo performances by Lucy Wilkinson, Matthew Elliott and Tia Tilmouth.

Pianist Jack Beall played a duet with peripatetic teacher David McRea, Alice Germany and Shannon Hill played a wind duet and staff members Matthew Lowe and Callum Kewen played guitar.

Mr Sheikh brought American rap while music teachers Miss McQuoid and Major Aldridge showed their talent on violin and saxophone.

The concert closed with a performance by the Sixth Form Band, which included Christie on saxophone.

The Bede group – Christie, Jamie Watson, Josh Aisbitt, Louis French, Natasha Johnstone, Adrian Wray and vice principal Andrew Middleton – will join others from Emmanuel Schools Foundation schools – The King’s Academy, in Middlesbrough, Trinity Academy, near Doncaster, and Emmanuel College, Gateshead – when they leave for South Africa on July 1.

By Emily