On Friday 8 and Monday 18 March, hundreds of local schoolchildren came together as ‘Voices for Peace’, an event held at Chichester Cathedral. The children rehearsed together during the afternoon and then performed six beautiful songs to a large audience of family and friends. The climax of the two events, attended by over 500 children from nineteen local schools, was a premiere performance of ‘A Voice for Peace’, written by local singer/songwriter Emily Barden.
Voices for Peace is the theme for the Young Voices Festival 2019 – a collaboration between Chichester Cathedral, local schools, and West Sussex Music which provides musical education to children and young people in the county. Teachers were delighted with how the children enjoyed singing a variety of songs of different genres in the grand and atmospheric setting of the Cathedral and with the Cathedral Choristers.
In terms of how their pupils had gained from being involved in the project, they highlighted “A sense of confidence, and a sense of togetherness as we have come together with other schools.”
The Dean of Chichester, The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, commented, “The peaceful surroundings of the Cathedral with its great musical heritage provided the perfect setting for this musical celebration. We are delighted that so many young people were able to come together to make new friends, learn, and perform.” Chichester Cathedral has an active programme of music not only for schools and choirs, but also hosts popular free lunchtime concerts, and evening performances.