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The Scottish Primary School Glee Challenge 2023 - Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Final - May 25th

Going to a Glee Challenge event is a bit like going to a concert with great bands of which one of them is your favourite and for which tickets are hard to come by. These are no ordinary children’s events and it was obvious the minute the introductory music started.

Children all 280 of them and their teachers sang, danced, cheered, screamed and took to their feet while the full house of carers/parents and supporters in the balcony of this magnificent venue looked down in amazement at the joy on display below. And the show hadn’t even started.

Nine choirs (see inset) from across Edinburgh and Lothians primary schools took to the stage. To get to the final they had qualified via their sectional heats and having had to learn a new set song (all choirs sing a set song and one of their own choosing) they came ready to sing their hearts out and perform at their best.

With a set list that included the disco mix set song followed by songs from classical musical numbers, pop, hip hop, alternative rock and Disney numbers and which showcased the singing, dancing, gymnastics and performance skills in our schools, there was something for everyone beyond just the school performance they had come to support.

In good old X factor or Britain’s Got Talent style, our host, a sparkly Ali McLaren, introduced the schools and at the end of each performance invited the four judges to comment.

The judges were full of praise for each choir as they commented on key areas of vocals, choreography, team working and performance. All the comments were welcomed to the sound of rapturous applause by an enthusiastic audience.

While the judges deliberated it was Ali McLaren’s turn to sparkle again. Moving from host to mass choir leader he led all nine choirs and the audience in singing a ‘rain’ song with a little bit of body percussion to simulate the rain at the end and echo the climate based theme of the night.

It was time to welcome the judges back. Children watched the stage with anticipation and the audience, supporting banners draped over the balcony sides, caught up in the moment, watched anxiously to see who had would be crowned Edinburgh Regional Champions and would secure a place in the National Final on June 18th in Dundee.

The announcements were made each complete with the compulsory drum roll of stamping feet followed by the clapping, cheering and screaming as the children of the placed choirs came up on the stage. The show finished on the same high as it had started. These are no ordinary school choir performances.

The choirs were placed as follows:

Winners - St Mary’s RC , Edinburgh

1st Runners Up – St Ninian’s RC, Edinburgh

2nd Runners Up – King’s Park, Dalkeith

While the two runners up performances will be compared to other choirs in other regions to await to see if they have done enough to receive an invite to the final, the winners automatically qualify for the National Final.


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