A choir of 250 ex-pupils from St. Augustine’s RC High School, Billington, are singing together for the first time in two decades – all in aid of CAFOD.
Just One World, a musical written by former St. Augustine’s teachers Peter Rose and Anne Conlon, will be performed by the choir on Sunday 22 June at 3:30pm in King George’s Hall, Blackburn. The concert is in aid of the work of Catholic agency CAFOD and marks St. Augustine’s 50th anniversary.
Peter and Anne have previously composed musicals for CAFOD, including Song of Creation and Arabica, which have been performed across the UK and the world, including in the USA, South Africa, and Hong Kong. Both rock legend Sting and TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough have narrated St. Augustine’s musicals.
Peter explained how the idea of the reunion concert came about:
“Over the years, I had been well aware of the repeated requests for a Choir and Stage Band reunion. The thought of our performing once again in King George’s Hall was certainly a tempting one. And so the idea was floated on Facebook – and the rest, as they say, is history.”
“Sunday’s concert at King George’s Hall will be a lovely way to reward our ex-pupils, some of whom are now in their thirties and forties. They understand the words in a different way to when they were eleven or twelve.
“These were the young people who left a remarkable legacy which became an inspiration for the present generation of young performers who have also risen supremely to the challenge of performing at the highest possible standard – whether in the school hall, the Royal Albert Hall, or in front of Archbishop Tutu.”
Just One World will be performed in aid of CAFOD’s Connect2Ethiopia project, an initiative which aims to bring schools such as St. Augustine’s together with poor communities in the African nation, with the intention of both sides learning about each other’s lives.
Matt Haworth, an ex-pupil of Peter’s and current music teacher at St. Augustine’s, said:
“Peter is an inspirational teacher who has taught everyone in the choir – it’s as if we’re all related.
“I’m especially privileged as I’m now following in Peter’s footsteps by teaching music at St. Augustine’s with Toni Hudson, another ex-pupil and soloist in Just One World.”