Pupils raise the roof as Big Christmas Sing hits fundraising milestone

Pupils from 40 primary schools sung their hearts out to take fundraising for Christian Aid through the £30,000 barrier.

The Big Christmas Sing took place at Oxford Town Hall over four nights in the final week of November.

Organised by Oxfordshire County Music Service in partnership with Christian Aid, the concerts raised £3,213.09. Over the past 11 years, the Big Christmas Sing has now raised £32,589.59.

Oxfordshire County Music Service’s Head of Service, Angela Turton, said: “It really was another amazing week of concerts and the pupils and schools can feel justifiably proud in helping to contribute towards such a fantastic fundraising total for Christian Aid.

“It was wonderful to see Oxford Town Hall packed on all four nights and we wish to thank everyone who contributed to another amazing Big Christmas Sing.”

Oxfordshire County Council’s Music Service epitomises the council’s vision for thriving people and communities and as a traded service, supported by the county council, its funding is derived from income and grants including from Arts Council England.

The Music Service supports 8,000 children each week and offers activities across a broad range of music genres – including three county orchestras, choirs, ensembles for specialist instruments, Early and Baroque music, junior and senior rock schools, music technology, songwriting clubs, Stringbabies classes for preschool and Reception children, a Dixieland jazz ensemble and four highly-successful Big Bands.

Each Big Christmas Sing started with the traditional Once in Royal David’s City, where a vocal soloist from each participating school processed down the aisle, with candle, in darkness.

Numerous other carols followed as audiences joined in with great gusto, including the hugely-popular 12 Days of Christmas. This year schools brought ever-more extravagant props to represent the presents brought by the protagonist’s true love and those in attendance on Thursday, November 29, were treated to the Lord Mayor of Oxford Colin Cook’s spectacular golden hoop for the Five Gold Rings.

Where Did My Snowman Go? was this year’s solo and eight children throughout the week conquered their nerves and sung extremely well.

Two songs performed by the massed schools’ choirs were included and sung by the children with conviction and joy: Noel by Joy Webb and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Roy Wood.

Concert-goers were sent home on a high with O Come All Ye Faithful as the organ, orchestral percussion, descant singers and audience joined together for a rousing finale.

Angela Turton conducted the massed elements of the concert, assisted by a small band of staff and students and organists Ceri Ngai and Jon Cox.