THE musical youth of Bolton will be taking to the stage for an annual week-long celebration of music.

More than 50 schools will take part with about 11 performing every evening from Monday, June 16, to Friday, June 20.

The School’s Music Festival has become a popular event in Bolton’s social calendar, with musicians and singers entertaining what is usually a capacity audience at Victoria Hall.

Highlights in this year’s event, now in its 46th year, will include six massed songs being performed by all the schools every evening — including Doo-Ray-Me, Sing with Me, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Whatever I do.


The festival is organised by Bolton Schools’ Music Association.

Val Deary, of the association, said: “The Bolton Schools’ Music Festival is a prestigious musical event in the school year. It is organised by the Bolton Schools’ Music Association which is a voluntary body of music teachers and supported by the Bolton Music Service. All the staff involved give of their free time to organise and run the event.”

The association started in 1968 as a two-night event and has grown over the years to five nights.

Each evening there is a different conductor and accompanist to lead the songs.

Schools have to apply for a place in the festival. Due to its popularity it is always over-subscribed and places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Teachers from the participating schools meet in March to learn the songs and then work with their choirs back in school.

Mrs Deary said: “The festival gives the children the experience of performing with others in a large venue.

The opening ensemble for each evening (from the Music Service) enables them to se what young people can achieve musically. It encourages the children to develop a love of music which will hopefully enrich their lives and gives them a sense of pride in their school and community.”

The concert is sponsored by Horwich Rotary Club.

David Howarth, vocational chairman at the rotary club, said: “Horwich Rotary Club has been sponsoring the festival for around six or seven years now.

“The children really enjoy it. They love performing and I remember my musical education at school, it has stayed with me — and we believe every child should have music education and it should be part of the national curriculum.”

Mr Howarth said that the event was part of the rotary’s work within the community.

Tickets for performances, which start at 7pm, are £3 for adults, £1 concessions and are available from participating schools as well as on the door.