Pupils from Rickleton Primary were in fine voice to celebrate the launch of the Songs for Sunderland Tall Ships Singing Programme.

The pupils, aged 9 and 10, got together for their first practice as part of a programme that will culminate in a live performance as the Tall Ships begin to arrive on Wednesday 11 July. It is hoped that the July performance will secure Sunderland a place in the record books.

As the ships make their way into the river, pupils from 20 schools, including Rickleton Primary, will be live streamed singing from one of the event performance stages. Pupils from schools across Sunderland will then join in from the classroom, with the hope of breaking the record for the most children singing the same song at the same time.

The session at Rickleton Primary has been organised by Sunderland Music Hub, part of Together for Children, and will be led by The Voices Foundation choral leader Sally Egan. The Foundation works with organisations across the country to deliver music education in schools.

Sunderland is to be the start port for The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018, with up to 80 ships expected to arrive in the Port.

Rebecca Pedlow, Sunderland Music Hub manager at Together for Children, said: “Songs for Sunderland Tall Ships is set to be a fantastic project for primary schools across the city. Not only will the children get the opportunity to be involved in a unique event, singing the ships into Sunderland, they will also get to learn and develop their musical skills in the process.”

Colin Lofthouse, Head Teacher at Rickleton Primary said: “We are delighted our school is able to take part in this exciting, memorable event. Our children are excited and looking forward to singing the ships in as they arrive.”

Councillor Louise Farthing, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Sunderland City Council, added: “For Sunderland to be the start port for The Tall Ships Races is a great honour and it is fantastic that children from across the city get to join in the build up and be part of the exciting event through such a unique project. I hope that they thoroughly enjoy the experience and I can’t wait to see them perform in July.”
A bank of 35 songs linked to the Tall Ships and other themes, as well as choir and vocal tips, has been curated by The Voices Foundation as part of the project. Teachers and pupils can access these online, through School Charanga music curriculum subscriptions, as part of the programme.

More information on the Songs for Sunderland Tall Ships Programme