CHRISTMAS VOICES OF ALLERDALE
CHRISTMAS VOICES OF ALLERDALE.
Allerdale is a scenic area of Cumbria that sits by the Solway coast to the west, bordered by the Lake District National Park to the east and sandwiched between the districts of Eden to the north and Copeland to the south. It’s diversity and beauty is reflected in its people who are as varied and diverse as the landscape.
“Christmas Voices of Allerdale”, was conceived by Brian Melville who, as head of music at St. Joseph’s school in Workington for 34 years, organised the “Christmas Concert” which ran until his retirement in 2004.
The “Christmas Concert” at St. Joseph’s over the years, like many other schools all over the world, became a special event during the year for the music department and on occasions involved as many as 140 pupils singing or playing Christmas songs arranged specially for the event. Some of these arrangements over the years became such a “hit” with school children and parents that to consign them to obscurity would have been a sad option.
After retiring from mainstream teaching in 2004, Brian then established Solway Music, an independent music support service for junior schools in Allerdale. Having already forged a working partnership with Loose Records, it then became apparent that a CD of Christmas arrangements could become a reality. The next step was to secure the co-operation of a number of schools in Allerdale and every one approached was happy to participate in the project which was beginning to take shape. The logistics of bringing together around 50-60 voices from around the district was a problem that would have been difficult and expensive to overcome given that all the schools are situated many miles away from each other. The solution was to work with each school in their own location and bring together each one in the recording studio. In effect, we had an Allerdale choir from six schools who never met. This involved teaching, rehearsing and recording each school in situ. The recordings were then mixed together and mastered at Record X studio.
Loose Records and Solway Music would like to thank the following Allerdale schools for their co-operation and patience during the production of this CD.....All Saints Church of England Primary School Cockermouth.....Cockermouth School....Our Lady and St.Patricks Catholic Primary School Maryport......Raughton Head Church of England Primary School.... Church of England Primary School.....St. Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School Wigton......St.Joseph’s Catholic School Business and Enterprise College Workington.
The ten tracks are an eclectic mix of songs old and new but all given a modern treatment.........
1. We wish you a merry Christmas
2. De Virgin Mary had a baby boy
3. Babe of Bethlehem
4. When a child is born
5. Coventry Carol
6. Christmas Medley
8. Lead our people
9. African crib carol
10. O Little town
Some samples from the CD can be heard at.........
It’s also available from............
http://www.cdbaby.com and iTunes,
About the Author: Brian Melville is a multi-talented musician who recently took early retirement from a long career in teaching in Cumbria having originally gone to school in Wigton at The Nelson Thomlinson School. Wearing another hat many people around Cumbria will have seen him perform solo or as part of his jazz combo.