In the summer term Gallions Primary School established the Boys Vocal project, an initiative to get more boys in Years 5 and 6 singing. The initial six-week pilot project was generously supported by the Worshipful Company of Weavers. The project was run as a breakfast club at school after eating breakfast together they had a singing workshop in our new Music Centre. The Vocal Mentors (singers from the NewYVC choir) started the sessions with a range of warm ups designed to focus the boys’ attention as well as get them vocally ready to sing. During the first half term the boys rehearsed a Michael Jackson medley and a Grime mash-up but the crowning glory was the composition of their own song ‘We are one’ (complete with choreography) which they performed to peers, staff and parents at the school half term concert in May. The Vocal Mentors also took to the stage inspiring many Gallions pupils who were watching. Both performances were very well received and both Boys Vocal and the Vocal Mentors were asked to perform again at the end of the concert.
After the success of the first half term we were very keen to continue the project to the end of the summer term. Leading on from their very successful performance of ‘We are one’ we wanted the boys to experience other boys their age and slightly older enjoying singing to further encourage them so we took them to the ‘Boys Can Sing’ event at City Academy in Hackney on Thursday 16th June. The event was a day of vocal workshops with renowned singing coaches and the fantastic beatboxer Schlomo whose performance was a particular favourite of the Gallions boys. This further encouraged the boys’ interest in performance leading some of them to audition for (and win) the school talent competition (Gallions Got Talent!) without any help from their teachers.
In addition to further developing their enjoyment of singing, the aim of the Boys Vocal project in the second half term was to encourage the boys to integrate into Senior Choir. With this in mind, Boys Vocal worked towards two songs, one on their own called ‘Ngo 1940’ which they worked on with the Vocal Mentors and the other was a joint item with the Senior Choir ‘Hymn for the Weekend’.