Young voices

[Members of the Voices for Life Children’s choir – pictured in performance at Bath Abbey last year]

The last day of this month falls on this coming Friday – June 30th. And it’s certainly a special date for 250 children from Bath and North East Somerset who will come together in Bath Abbey to premiere ‘Extraordinary!’ – a new work by two of Bath’s most talented artists, Jools Scott and Sue Curtis.

The High Sheriff of Somerset, Bath’s MP and the Mayor Bath are expected to be amongst the audience to listen to this new piece.

‘Extraordinary!’ transports the singers and audience to other worlds of fairy tales, sport, drama, and fantasy exploring what makes each of us unique and experiencing different musical styles along the way such as the waltz, tango and even rap.

Tessa Armstrong, Voices for Life Founder and Executive Director said, ‘We are all so excited to premiere ‘Extraordinary!’ this week in Bath Abbey. The children have worked so hard getting ready for this performance and I’m really looking forward to seeing them come together to create something truly unique!’

Schools and choirs taking part in the concert include Combe Down Primary School, Oldfield Park Junior School, St Andrew’s CofE Primary School, St. Martin’s Garden School, St. Stephen’s Church School, The Paragon School, Bath Young Carers and Voices for Life’s own Bath Choir whose members represent an incredible further 11 local schools!

These groups have been working hard in workshops throughout the summer term to get ready for this incredible performance. 

Also premiering at the concert will be two new compositions from local children Ender and Phoebe, who took part in a competition to compose a tune for the poem ‘It’s a rainy day’.

Children from 18 local schools were involved in the creative process to write the songs, culminating in a competition to compose the final tune.

Having worked with Bath composer Jools Scott and lyricist Sue Curtis, the extremely talented Ender and Phoebe will get to see their final creations performed by children from the Voices for Life children’s choir and The Paragon School in front of a packed Bath Abbey audience!

Tickets are on sale via Bath box office or will be available on the door. 

For your further information:

Voices for Life, founded in 2020 by Tessa Armstrong, has grown into a thriving charity inspiring thousands of children to be happy and confident through music.  Voices for Life’s mission is for every child, no matter who they are or where they live, to have the opportunity to enjoy singing together, build confidence and develop in all aspects of their life, musically and beyond.  Recent support from The Arts Council and the West of England Music Alliance means that Voices for Life will certainly be able to make 2023 Extraordinary! 

Since being founded voices for life has commissioned four new choral works, designed three new singing and wellbeing projects, formed 19 children’s choirs, delivered 350 workshops, and worked with more than 2000 children from 28 schools from across Bath, Somerset, and Wiltshire. 

Extraordinary! celebrates children’s uniqueness, one of their greatest strengths.  It is a 20-minute song cycle written by the writers of Stardust, Jools Scott and Sue Curtis, and forms a school project to help children to understand their individuality and potential to achieve great things. The project is for children in years 2-5. Up to 250 children from 3-7 schools and children’s organisations take part in the project, each receiving up to 10 x 1-hour weekly workshops.  During each workshop, we teach the children the songs as they form their own choir as well as take part in fun activities. All the songs are created to have movement. They are clear and simple songs in a variety of dance and musical styles that are catchy and fun to sing and move to, but also inspirational. At the end of the project, the children all come together for a celebratory performance of Extraordinary! with professional band.  The performance is an opportunity to shine a light on the uniqueness of children.

Jools Scott Jools has worked with the BFI, Brodsky Quartet, Flanders Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir. In 2015, he scored Andrew Steggall’s feature film Departure (“Jools Scott’s tastefully sparse score” – Variety Magazine). The same year, he performed in Sally Cookson’s critically acclaimed production of Jane Eyre (National Theatre). In 2014, Jools and his long-term librettist Sue Curtis, completed The Cool Web : A Robert Graves Oratorio, which premiered in Bath Abbey. The Cool Web opened the Wimbledon International Music Festival in 2017 and closed the official UK and Belgian 1914-1918 centenary programme at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 2018.

Sue Curtis Sue approaches her work as writer and librettist from the solid foundation of a lifetime’s experience of literature and theatre. Sue has spent much of her life as an academic, lecturing at universities in South Africa, Austria, and England, and teaching at King Edward’s School in Bath, where she founded a Drama Department which she ran for twenty years. She has worked as an actor and as an award-winning director and her passion for theatre and her commitment to professional production values communicated itself to her students, over 150 of whom now work in the industry.

Voices for Life’s Bath children’s choir. The Bath Children’s Choir is open to children aged 7 – 12. They rehearse 4.15pm – 5.15pm on Wednesdays at The Church of the Ascension, Claude Avenue, Bath, BA2 1AG. 

The Voices for Life website is: