Pupils selected for the Cantata Choir

Members of Bede Academy's Cantata Choir prepare for practice.
Members of Bede Academy's Cantata Choir prepare for practice.

Students in south east Northumberland are getting up with the lark to make sure they are in fine voice for a new choir.

Dedicated singers at Bede Academy in Blyth are showing commitment beyond the call of duty to get to school by 7.30am for an hour’s singing practice before registration.

They have all been selected for the Cantata Choir, the latest addition to the academy’s growing musical repertoire.

Director of music Helen Kerr said: “All of these singers are in our Academy Choir and many play instruments as well so are in the orchestra, wind band or another group or club, so finding time in their busy schedules for practice was difficult.

“They are showing fantastic dedication by coming in early every Friday to learn an intense, unusual and challenging repertoire of songs before the school day begins.

“It’s really paying off because we’re getting amazing feedback from the performances we’re done already.”

The 20 students say the early starts are worth it.

Pupil Olivia Byrom said: “Being part of the Academy Choir has helped us develop the Cantata Choir, which is building our ability.

“The songs are more complicated with four-part harmonies and different keys.

“It can be difficult, but really good too.”

Many of the students return to the music department at break times and lunch time to practice, catalogue music and tidy up.

Jay Routledge said: “I wouldn’t have made the friendships I’ve got without music.

“We look out for each other and it gives you confidence, which means you do well in your other subjects at school as well.”

The Cantata Choir, the rest of the Academy Choir and the jazz band are being rewarded for their efforts with a musical trip to Italy in July this year, where the origins of cantata began.