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Hartlepool youngsters hit the high notes at Exhibition of the North celebration

Pupils from West View Primary School, Hartlepool, joins schools across the North East show off their vocal talents while taking part in The Big Sing at Sage Gateshead
Pupils from West View Primary School, Hartlepool, joins schools across the North East show off their vocal talents while taking part in The Big Sing at Sage Gateshead

Youngsters from Hartlepool were among 2,000 school pupils whose voices raised the roof of Sage Gateshead as they celebrated the ‘Spirit of the North’.

Forty-three schools from across the North, including West View Primary School, sung their hearts out in Sage One at Sage Gateshead’s annual ‘Big Sing’.

Pupils from West View Primary School, Hartlepool, joins schools across the North East show off their vocal talents while taking part in The Big Sing at Sage Gateshead

Pupils from West View Primary School, Hartlepool, joins schools across the North East show off their vocal talents while taking part in The Big Sing at Sage Gateshead

This year’s theme was ‘Spirit of the North’ and was part of the music centre’s Great Exhibition of the North programme.

Two of the songs were specially written for the event, which is supported by The Kavli Trust and partly funded by Art50, a scheme commissioned by Sky Arts.

Peter Brewis of Mercury-prize nominated, Sunderland-based Field Music, wrote ‘Nothing Can Separate Us Now’ and musician and singer Sharon Durant wrote a new World Cup song.

The songs explore the region’s art, culture, design and innovation – all themes of the Great Exhibition of the North.

Other songs included ‘Hold back the River’ by James Bay, ‘Wonder’ by Emeli Sande and folk song ‘Paddy on the Railway’.

The event, which has been running for more than 10 years, has grown into one of the key highlights in the school calendar.

As part of the Big Sing, teachers receive training and support from professional musicians at Sage Gateshead, resource packs to use in the classroom and a workshop delivered by the Sage Gateshead team in school. During the spring and summer term, young people aged between four and 16 learn the set of songs before singing them in Sage One with pupils from other schools.

The Big Sing is just one of a range of Sage Gateshead performances and activities developed by and celebrating young people during the Exhibition. There will also be a day of performances presented by CoMusica - young people experiencing challenging circumstances - on June 30 and some of the region’s brilliant performers with additional needs host the Music Spark Show on July 6.

There will also be Concourse performances by school children, youth groups, choirs and music ensembles from across the whole region running until July 15.