Toad Lane Concerts: Tonacliffe Primary School

Date published: 31 March 2024

For the second year, nearly fifty children from Tonacliffe Primary School were added to the list of distinguished visiting performers at Toad Lane Concerts. The Grade-1 listed church of St Mary in the Baum, resounded to the joyful sound of children’s voices on Wednesday 27 March.

Instrumentalists and singers were directed from the keyboard by well-known local professional soprano, teacher and conductor, Freda Farnworth, who has taught at Tonacliffe for a number of years. Their warm-up song, Tzena, led to equally delightful sets of assembly songs such as Rise and Shine, and choir songs such as My Grandfather’s Clock. These were interspersed with attractive numbers like Old Macdonald from the Recorder Club and Morningtown Ride from the Woodwind Group.

The final set of songs encouraged audience participation in Lord of the Dance, where the audience was chastised by the conductor and had to do it again for not singing up!

As a finale we had the catchy song, Spring Chicken, complete with actions, reminding the seniors in the audience of ‘doing the Funky Chicken’ back in the day. All agreed that amongst the magnificent heritage of St Mary’s, the all-singing, all-dancing Spring Chickens ruled the roost.

Miss Farnworth deserves to be proud of her charges, and they of her.

‘Having the opportunity to perform in public again is an exciting prospect and we hope you enjoy our performance today,’ wrote headteacher Mrs J Heap. The rapturous applause said it all.

Last year proved to be a successful experiment for such a concert. Tonacliffe certainly deserved their return (or might it be regular) visit?

The Queen’s Award-winning Toad Lane Concerts are having a breakf or Easter next week (3 April) but will return on 10 April and thereafter every Wednesday at 12.30pm at St Mary in the Baum, Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL16 1DZ. Entrance fee is £6. No refreshments available. Contact 01706 648872 for further information.

To see details of forthcoming Toad Lane Concerts, click here.

Dr Joe Dawson

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