Manchester Sings 2023

Seven schools perform as massed choir at Manchester Cathedral 

Withington Girls’ School pupils performed alongside children from six Greater Manchester primary schools as a massed choir in what was the culmination of an inter-school partnership project known as Manchester Sings.

On the afternoon of Tuesday 28th November, over 200 school children arrived in Manchester City Centre full of anticipation and eager to take to the stage. They performed a repertoire of songs on the chosen theme of ‘Our Planet’ and in the warmth of Manchester Cathedral, the choir took the audience on a journey through all the seasons – sunshine, rain, snow, stormy weather and rainbows. The songs were chosen to remind us all of the wonder of the natural world whilst considering the challenges that face our world, but told a story with a message of hope.

Dressed in colourful t-shirts evoking the image of a rainbow, they performed with great enthusiasm and energy in front of an audience of family, friends, school senior leaders, teachers, governors and staff, and distinguished guests including the Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff, Lord Mayor and Manchester Cathedral’s Reverend Canon Nigel Ashworth.

Many children had also written poems inspired by the theme, which were featured in the programme and several were read by their authors during the event.

Performing as part of the Manchester Sings choir were children from Broadfield Primary School (Oldham), Old Moat Primary School (Withington), St Kentigern’s RC Primary School (Fallowfield), St Luke’s C of E Primary School (Bury), West Didsbury C of E Primary School, Wilbraham Primary School (Fallowfield) and Withington Girls’ School.

This was the fourth Manchester Sings which first took place in 2019 and was established to give the opportunity for children and young people from across Greater Manchester to come together to celebrate music and the power of song. The children at the partnership schools work closely with Withington’s Director of Music, Mrs Gilly Sargent, in many weeks of rehearsals before the final performance and it is at the concert itself when the full choir first sing all together.

Mrs Gilly Sargent, Withington’s Director of Music, said: “Music is such a powerful force for good and can be transformative. This is very much the driver of Manchester Sings – everyone has a voice, every voice has a song.

As always, this has been a musical journey for all the children involved. I am very proud of how they performed with such vigour that their voices filled every nook in the Cathedral, but more than that they have grown in confidence and self-belief. They each embraced the community spirit of Manchester Sings which engenders a real sense of purpose through being part of something so special. It’s a real honour to continue to share the power of music in this way.”

Manchester Sings once again acted as a fundraising event for The Booth Centre and Wood Street Mission and was very kindly sponsored by Beaverbrooks The Jewellers.

To learn more about Withington’s Partnerships and Projects work, please see: wgs.org/partnerships/partnerships-and-community-links/