It was an afternoon of musical fun and festivities at Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School’s inaugural ‘CwR Fest’ which took place earlier this term. Pupils, parents and staff were treated to guest performances from Soprano Rebecca Newman of York Proms, The CwR Stars Junior Choir, Spotlight Dance Academy and the Archbishop Holgate’s School choir.

Families brought along camping chairs and picnic rugs to watch the Last Choir Standing competition which included more than 600 children performing an eclectic mix of choral arrangements to songs with a royal connection, in honour of the King’s Coronation. Special guest judges included YO1 Radio presenters, Chris Marsden and Dave Parker, Molly Newton (Music Lead from Archbishop Holgate’s School) and Claire Bower (Children, Family and Youth Worker at Clifton Parish Church). They offered points and positive feedback on the children’s singing, choreography, participation and costumes in their performances.

Scores were close in the end, but the Year 3 children emerged victorious with their immaculate performance of ‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA and were awarded the coveted ‘Last Choir Standing Trophy’ which they accepted after reprising their song to delighted parents and families in the glorious June sunshine.

As the Last Choir Standing competition concluded, the school opened up in true festival style to welcome their headline act to the stage; Soprano Rebecca Newman who dazzled audiences with her beautiful renditions of O Nio Babbino Caro, Over the Rainbow and her own song, Dare to Dream.

Rebecca’s performance was followed by the school’s very own CwR Stars Junior Choir conducted by Anne-Marie Cockram where the children performed incredibly well with lots of energy and enthusiasm despite the warm weather.

Clifton with Rawcliffe’s Music and Choir Lead, Anne-Marie Cockram, said: “It was an incredible day. I am so pleased that we were able to give the children the opportunity to participate in such a special event and to celebrate all that is singing and music. I believe that music is a gift that can create such a lot of happiness and bring people together in a way that nothing else can. We have the most fabulous staff team at Clifton with Rawcliffe who have pulled together to create these wonderful memories for the children, and we would particularly like to thank our special guests and the many parent helpers for giving up their time on a Friday afternoon to be involved voluntarily at our school festival. It goes to show that there is such a lot of kindness and goodwill in our community.”

Local dance school Spotlight Dance Academy also took to the stage to showcase some of their vibrant and complex dance routines, directed by Issy Stead. The final act to perform was the fabulous Archbishop Holgate’s School Choir conducted by Molly Newton, displaying their talents for singing and harmonies and perfectly accompanied by Chris Barnard on drums and Oscar Rosen on piano.

Throughout the afternoon, entertainment was complemented by a vast assortment of treats, refreshments, stalls, activities and of course, everyone’s favourite classic school fair amusement, ‘Splat the Teacher!’ The CwR Fest was a resounding success with over £2,300 being raised for school enrichment and outdoor learning.

A parent at the school said: “We had a brilliant afternoon, thank you to all the staff, children and volunteers who made the whole thing possible.”

Year 4 pupil, Leah, said: “There were lots of things going on! It was so good performing to an audience and I liked watching all the other people performing too, they were awesome!”