Carlisle Festival - pupil report

When my Mum told me Carlisle Festival was coming up I was really excited, as last year I wasn’t successful in winning a prize. So this year I was aiming high.

Mrs Taylor sent a letter out for Carlisle Festival, straight away I started looking at the categories I wanted to get involved with. I was entered in to Orchestra, Choir, Choric Verse, Solo Verse Speaking [boys], Duologue and Vocal Ensemble.

Monday 11th March

Choric Verse

For the Choric Verse Y5 and 6 had to practise extremely hard to get this piece perfect we used up all of our lessons to practise, practise, PRACTISE!

When we arrived at the Carlisle Festival we were all very nervous as the church was packed and it was only the first day!

We were on 4th out of 6 schools. Our piece was called “The Three Little Pigs” by Roald Dahl.

When Lola had introduced it all of the boys froze and didn’t start, I looked at Callum and whispered “Come on!” Callum nodded and we led the group along.

We all did amazingly well - we were so impressed with ourselves as we walked off.

We waited until the adjudication, there was joint 2nd and 1st place to be awarded. All of us thought we were going to come second but we didn’t get called. They announced 1st was Hunter Hall Y5 and 6, we all jumped up with excitement - we were so happy, we’d done it!

At the end I got interviewed for the News and Star [a local newspaper!]

Day 1 Success!

Tuesday 12th March


In band practice we had been working very hard since before half term on our songs: James Bond theme and Mamma Mia by ABBA.

I played the saxophone. Other instruments included: flutes, guitars, drums, clarinet, piano, viola, violin, recorder and more saxophones.

We were the last group to perform which was good because we could listen to our competition. Mrs Wrightson said, “We are not here to win we are here to take part.”

We soon realised how amazing some schools were and the nerves started when the judge called us up. We had to tune our instruments which took up a bit of our time but when we had finished tuning we were ready to go.

Both our pieces went brilliantly I was so happy with our performance, sadly we didn’t get a place but we were all still happy with the way it went.

Wednesday 13th March


My partner for the Duologue was Oskar. We both got all the practice in we needed for the showcase, we even performed at the school Words and Music night with an audience.

Oskar and I had done duologues many times before with each other in school so we thought we would work very well together. We were right.

Our piece was called ‘The Cool Factor’ I played the part of Anthony who was teaching Charlie [Oskar] how get a girl to like him.

Whilst we listened through others acts we were so nervous we couldn’t stop tapping our feet.

Our performance went amazingly well. We were so happy when the judge stood up she talked about what she was looking for and how she enjoyed all the performances. Then she read two girls’ feedback and then she read out ours. I thought that meant she liked us but we hadn’t got a place. Then when she announced 2nd place it was the girls whose feedback she read out, then Oskar and I knew what this meant…

We had WON!

Day 3 Success!

Thursday 14th March

Solo Verse [boys]


When my mum got the timetable we knew we had a problem. The choir and the solo verse were on at the exact same time we thought I was going to have to miss one, I really wanted to do the solo verse but I also wanted to do the choir.

In choir we had to practise a lot for our songs. The set piece was called ‘Sicilian River Song’ and the song we chose was ‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite’ from Mary Poppins.

Every night at home I read though my poem before I went to bed. The poem was called ‘The Owl Man’s Visit’ by Mal Lewis Jones.

My mum and I had to arrive early to try and sort out what to do about the times,

We went straight to the judges of the solo verse who were very understanding. They said I could go anywhere I wanted in the programme and then we spoke to the judges of the choirs they said if there was a person missing from one of the choirs they wouldn’t start until they appeared.

In the end I went 2nd in the solo verse and it was all fine with choir.

I performed my poem then headed straight to the choirs. Thankfully I was just back in time and we were brilliant then I rushed back for the adjudication of the solo verse and came 1st!

4th day Success!

Friday 15th March

Vocal Ensemble

Several weeks before the Carlisle Festival Mrs Wrightson asked the Y5 choirboys to perform at the Festival. We all liked the idea and agreed the songs we chose to sing were Hakuna Matata and The Rose by Bette Midller.

We put loads of practice into perfecting our pieces, all together we sounded brilliant. We all loved the songs and were all really happy. Before we sang we had a pre performance feast at Michelangelo’s [an Italian restaurant near the church]. After we had eaten we all made our way to the church and when we sat down we looked around; everyone who was singing they were all teenagers or adults except us!

All the other groups were amazing and we didn’t stand a chance. We did our best on stage and Mrs Wrightson was really proud at us for going out there and trying our best.

The judge said there was highly commended and we thought we might have achieved that - we didn’t but we all were happy we had done it.

Saturday 16th March

Showcase Gala

All the Y5 choirboys were invited back for the showcase performance, Oskar and I were also invited back to do our Duologue.

The gala is a show where all the best acts throughout the festival get invited to come back and perform their pieces.

None of us got nervous because we knew there was no competition so we all relaxed and listened to other people’s performances. All our pieces went as planned - we even thought our choirboy singing went better than Friday.

When everyone had performed some trophies were handed out for special accomplishment but I didn’t get any.

Even the mayor of Carlisle was at the gala!

Altogether Carlisle Festival was amazing and I had a great time, I am definitely going to take part again next year.

Zachary Pallister Year

in Arts & Culture

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