In the Autumn Term of 2019, the children and teachers of 11 village primary schools near Ripon, were beginning to get excited about taking part in the 2019 Ripon Carol Service, and with good reason. First held in 2016, the Carol Service has proved to be a great success. Andrew Roberts, of Winzer Music, has yet again expertly led the project, including many new ideas about how to involve the 200 children and their teachers.       

The venue provided an ideal space for performers and an invited audience of distinguished guests, including representatives from the Mukherjee Charitable Trust, who were again delighted to be able to fund the event, involving so many village schools from the area.

Work on the project began as early as the summer holidays and original music and songs were chosen by Andrew, suitable for a massed choir. The schools were then contacted and a rehearsal schedule put together. After autumn half term, rehearsals began in earnest, ably assisted and accompanied on the piano by Helen Johnson of Prima Music.

On the day of the Carol Service there was an air of excitement as the children from the  schools prepared for their final rehearsal. The Service began with a rousing rendition of ‘O come all ye faithful’. Each school then performed songs, readings and poems, with great pride and confidence, adding to their great sense of achievement.

The 2019 Carol Service was indeed a major success and testament to the enthusiasm and dedication of the children, teachers, musicians and project leader, Andrew Roberts. The Service brought together children from local village primary schools in a way that is not normally possible on such a large scale. Each of the children gained in confidence during the project and enjoyed the experience of learning new songs and performing in a large venue.