Students release single for charity

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Students at Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy have recorded a single in their classroom to raise money for charity.

Music teacher Dan Quenby and his form group came up with the unusual idea when students were asked to think about how they could support the academy’s two chosen charities.

Mr Quenby wrote the words and mixed the accompanying music before rehearsing the song In This Life and recording it.

He said: “We all talked about fundraising ideas and we thought a charity single would be good because no-one else would do it.

“Originally we did have an idea to do Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid with it coming up to ChristSmas but we weren’t sure where we stood on copyright so I thought I would write the song instead.

“The children wanted it to be a really uplifting song with a Catholic element, it’s quite simple and melodic.

“I used virtual instruments to record the music and then we set up microphones in the classroom and they sang it which took about an hour. Then I mixed it with about six layers of vocals to get it right. The whole process took about six weeks.

“When they heard it for the first time they were so excited, they couldn’t believe it was them.”

Mr Quenby has song-writing experience as he used to write demo songs for his best friend, Andy Coxon, from Derby, who is a West End star and appeared in the film Les Miserables.

He said: “I wrote songs for Andy that he would sing at auditions, he was actually best man at my wedding. He’s an amazing singer and is doing so well now and is very busy in London.”

A total of 31 pupils from form group 7DQ were involved in recording the song which costs £1.50 and has currently raised more than £130 for Street Child Africa and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Student Harrison Powell, 11, said he was proud to have been involved in creating the song.

He said: “We all wanted to record the song and when we came into our classroom one day and there were microphones there we were so excited. When we heard it for the first time we thought it was amazing. It sounds really good and it’s something we’ll be able to keep forever. Our form group is like a second home and we are like a family so it’s an honour to have been involved in this project together.”

Sophie Gillott, 11, said creating the song had been an amazing experience.

She said: “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I’m just so happy to have been involved.”