Students on song for trip

Christie Wilce who organised a fundraising concert at Bede Academy, Blyth.
Christie Wilce who organised a fundraising concert at Bede Academy, Blyth.

A taste of tinseltown came to Northumberland in a fundraising concert.

Students and staff at Bede Academy in Blyth presented music from the movies in the Nokuphila Fundraiser to support an expedition to South Africa.

The show was the brainchild of sixth form student and keen musician Christie Wilce to raise funds to travel to Nokuphila School near Johannesburg next month for a two-week stint as a volunteer teacher with the Love Trust.

She said: “I’m really passionate about music and spend a lot of time in the department so I thought a concert would be a good way of raising money.

“I’ve never done anything like this before and found it really hard, but I knew it would be a good night and I’m really grateful for all the support from the staff, students and families who came along.”

The Bede South Choir opened the event with songs from Mary Poppins to Toy Story, while the cast of the academy’s production of Les Miserables sang together, with solo performances by Joanna Swainston, Adam Swalwell and Jake Walton.

There was a preview of the academy’s autumn show The Sound of Music, courtesy of the ensemble and soloists Lucy Wilkinson, Matthew Elliott and Tia Tilmouth.

Pianist Jack Beall played a duet with teacher David McRea, a wind duet was performed by Alice Germany and Shannon Hill, and staff members Matthew Lowe and Callum Kewen played guitar. Other teachers brought American rap, violin and saxophone music, and there was Irish dancing by Adam Knight.

The concert was closed by the Sixth Form Band, including Christie on saxophone.

More than 200 people attended the concert, which raised £775 towards the expedition.

Head of sixth form Stephen Davies said: “Christie put an awful lot of work into the concert and it’s great that it was so well supported.”