By Stephanie Rodley
In the Easter Holiday, I went away for a week with the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain (NCCGB) to Shrewsbury school in Shropshire. I was particularly excited to go on this Easter course as I have recently been moved up into the senior choir. This meant I was able to sing a song called ‘Everyday Wonders’ which is about a disabled refugee, Nujeen Mustafa who has cerebral palsy, fleeing Syria and travelling through seven countries with her sister Nasrine pushing her the whole way in a wheelchair.
She was on the news two years ago and has co-written a book with journalist Christina Lamb, called ‘The Girl From Aleppo,’ which I highly recommend. Last year we performed this song for our 20th anniversary concert when I was in one of the junior choirs. Nujeen’s story really inspired me, so singing the senior part of this song was just amazing.
Since the summer I decided to do my HPQ about refugees with disabilities and the factors they face when fleeing their home countries and had the opportunity to skype with Nujeen! However, we also sang new songs on this course such as ‘Breathing Underwater’ by Emeli Sandé in a gospel style which I loved as I haven’t particularly sung in this style before.
Therefore I really learn a lot from going to NCCGB, as we have a brilliant conductor called Dan Ludford-Thomas and additionally each chorister gets a singing lesson during the course of the week.
My singing teacher from this course really helped me improve the emotion I put into my singing. Going to NCCGB has led me into having other friends from all around the country and we are always laughing at each others accents!