Those present at this celebration, which is part of the annual St. Mungo Festival, were left in no doubt as to the healthy state of Glasgow’s primary schools’ musical and artistic talents. It took place this year in Wellington Church, and a total of twelve primary schools*, together with thirty Second Year year music students from Glasgow University’s B.Ed degree course, were involved.
They came despite the dreadful weather – one school’s bus was delayed by fallen trees – and they really enjoyed themselves. Anyone going past the church in University Avenue must have been able to hear the singing and the music and the clapping, and wondered what was going on. I mustn’t forget the cheering at the beginning, as the name of each school was read out and there was clearly a competition going on to see who could cheer the loudest in response to their name.
They sang a mix of well known Scottish “sing-along” songs, such as “Ye cannae shove yer Granny aff a bus” and the “Jeely Piece Song”, led by the music students, who were enjoying singing them as much as the children. These communal songs were interspersed with individual performances by the schools who had put a lot of time and effort into what they presented – there was not a sheet of words in sight as they sang, ably supported by the instrumentalists.
All the songs had a Glasgow link, whether original – “I Belong to Glasgow” – or adapted (“Do you know the Way to Amarillo” became “Do you know the way to Glasgow Central” and “Letter from America” became “Letter from Glasgow”!). Bankhead Primary premiered a new song in praise of Glasgow written by their teacher “Glasgow is a Wonderful City”. St. Paul’s Whiteinch gave us some brilliant acting to go with their rendition of “Sam the Skull” (aka The Glasgow Cat), a great comedy song written by Harry Hagan.
St. Mungo was not forgotten in this celebration – indeed he made a guest appearance in the shape of a pupil from St. Monica’s Primary – young Szymon – who made a stately progress round the church before presenting a poem on the life of St. Mungo. His presentation would have put many an adult to shame. He was later joined by his fellow pupils and they recited “We’re the children of St. Mungo” with gusto.
The celebration ended with the Glasgow Song, written for the Commonwealth Games “Glasgow my Home and my City” and as the children waited their turn to go out to their buses, the students had them singing “Three Craws Sat upon a Wa’”. There was a real buzz in the church as the children filed out to go back to school, and thanks are due to Glasgow Churches Together who sponsored the event, and all those involved in the organisation, particularly Maria Warrington and Moira Summers
*Schools Taking Part
Avenue End Primary; Bankhead Primary; Dalmarnock Primary; Garscadden Primary; Haghill Park Primary; Our Lady of Lourdes Primary; Our Lady of the Annunciation Primary; Royston Primary; St. Conval’s Primary; St. Mary’s Primary; St. Monica’s Primary; St. Paul’s Primary