Hundreds of children from primary schools across Burnley and Pendle came together at Colne Municipal Hall recently for the much-anticipated Pendle Schools' Festival.
Despite originally being under threat due to a lack of funding, the festival welcomed children to showcase their tremendous talents for five nights of packed audiences, who were treated to everything from choirs, street dance, and a French play to Harry Potter dancing, musical theatre, and panto
Taking place from June 11th - 15th, each night’s entertainment was judged by a member of the schools’ festival committee, who have worked tirelessly, volunteering their time to ensure every single aspect went smoothly.
“This year the festival was an enormous success, with some very unique and stunning performances,” said Tristesse ‘Tess’ James, a teaching assistant at West Street Primary. “Everything from planning, funding, rehearsals, refreshments and programmes, to staffing the performance is done by the committee, who work all year to make the festival happen.
Not a competition but a chance for children to ‘appreciate each other’s hard work and to experience performing in a real theatre’, the festival was a great opportunity for participants to work with other children outside their usual peer group, with some schools even inviting others to join them on stage.
“Sponsors and additional volunteers have made this year’s festival possible,” Tess added. “Without them, the festival would have been unable to go ahead. The committee are very grateful, it has been an absolute triumph!”
A massed choir of 160 children also sang on the closing night of the event having rehearsed for several months prior. Mrs Sarah Burtoft of West Street Primary School also made a closing speech, reminding everyone how imperative the arts are to children.
“It was an utter delight to hear their glorious voices,” said Tess. “They did all their teachers, families, and the festival committee very proud.”