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How you could help Sunderland create a new world record - for singing

A warm musical welcome awaits the ships.
A warm musical welcome awaits the ships.

Sunderland is calling on the UK’s schoolchildren to join them in a world-record singing bid.

And it will all culminate with a massive singalong at the Wearside leg of The Tall Ships Races.

The tall ships will arrive in port to a musical welcome.

The tall ships will arrive in port to a musical welcome.

The Massed Sing is the brainchild of Sunderland Music Hub and NYMAZ and is part of a packed programme of music, entertainment and activities, before the 50 ships taking part in the races depart for the starting line at Esbjerg, Denmark.

And as part of the celebrations, they hope children across Britain will join around 40 Sunderland schools in an effort to break a world singing record.

It will happen on Wednesday July, 11, when 20 Sunderland school choirs will perform on a specially erected stage against the dramatic backdrop of the Tall Ships, with further schools singing at the Sunderland Empire theatre.

The Tall Ships stage performance will be live-streamed to enable other schools throughout the UK to join in from their classrooms and share the excitement of the day.

A wonderful opportunity for children to take part in something that’s fun and that unites them with other children across the country.

John Kelly

The online stream link will go live from 9.45am to 12.30pm on the day and organisers are asking schools wishing to take part to learn three songs; Jack He Was a Sunderland Lad, Three Little Birds and Heroes, We Could Be.

They will then be able to join at 11am and the hope is that sufficient children will take part to set a new, massed singing record.

Theere’s a website which provides information on how to access the lyrics and score for each song, with maritime and musical activity ideas so teachers can also plan lessons around the theme of The Tall Ships Races.

Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture, said the initiative is “a wonderful opportunity for children to take part in something that’s fun and that unites them with other children across the country.

Rickleton Primary School pupils pictured last year, rehearsing for the big sing, with Coun John Kelly joining them.

Rickleton Primary School pupils pictured last year, rehearsing for the big sing, with Coun John Kelly joining them.

“After all, we are a maritime nation,” he said, “and this is a great way for children to learn a little bit about that maritime heritage and to maybe set a new world record at the same time.”

Rebecca Pedlow, manager at the Sunderland Music Education Hub which is run by Together for Children, said: “We are thrilled that we could have thousands of children celebrating The Tall Ships Races coming to Sunderland.

“The aim of broadcasting the event live, along with the choice of songs, is to make it as inclusive as possible so any child in Sunderland and beyond can join in.”

The Massed Sing has been organised by Sunderland Music Hub, Sunderland City Council, Together for Children and digital music education project Connect: Resound which is led by youth music charity NYMAZ, in partnership with Charanga.

As previously reported, Rickleton Primary School is one of those taking part in the world record attempt and, last December, head teacher Colin Lofthouse said: “The children are excited and looking forward to singing the ships in as they arrive.”

For full details of how to take part in the Massed Sing visit www.connectresound.live.

For information about The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 and the schedule of events planned throughout the four-day festival, visit www.tallshipssunderland.com.