Singing celebration of Dippy's visit to Norwich
More than 1,000 schoolchildren joined with Norwich Cathedral Choir to celebrate Dippy the dinosaur’s visit with some new music last week.
Dippy the dinosaur’s visit to Norwich Cathedral has been celebrated with song as Norwich Cathedral Choir and local schoolchildren perform the premiere of a new piece of music around the Natural History Museum’s iconic dinosaur.
Creation Song has been written by leading composer Bob Chilcott for the Sing to Dippy project which from October 11-15 saw more than 1,000 schoolchildren perform the new work with the Cathedral Choir alongside the famous Diplodocus cast.
Norwich Cathedral is the final stop on Dippy’s nationwide tour - Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure - which is being brought to Norwich Cathedral and visitors across the UK by the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill. Norwich Cathedral is the eighth and final stop on the tour and Barratt and Cooke is the regional sponsor.
Twenty-eight schools took part in the Sing to Dippy project and pupils have been learning Creation Song via online lessons with the Cathedral’s Master of Music Ashley Grote.
Creation Song has been co-commissioned by Norwich Cathedral in partnership with Norfolk Music Hub.
Composer Bob Chilcott said: “The Sing to Dippy project is such a relevant project to the here and now. Having a large number of young schoolchildren singing words and music taken from the Creation story with the Norwich Cathedral Choir, near to this massive skeleton, is a timely expression of our humanity, our community and of all the gifts we share. It has been a joy for me to be able to write Creation Song within this context, in this glorious Cathedral, in what will undoubtedly be a unique experience for all of us.”
The school pupils have also been learning the songs Beautiful World, The Dinosaur Gang, I Never Saw A Dinosaur and If I Were A Butterfly, and this week each school will take part in one of the five special concerts being performed around Dippy with the Norwich Cathedral Choir. The concerts – which will also see the Cathedral Choir sing Rutter’s Look At The World - will be watched online by an invited audience.
Ashley Grote, Norwich Cathedral’s Master of Music, said: “Choral singing is at the heart of our Cathedral’s worship and ministry, so we wanted to use Dippy’s visit to provide an opportunity for as many children as possible to sing together.
“Standing around the huge dinosaur, in the beautiful surroundings of the Cathedral nave, singing with so many other voices will, I hope, be an experience that they never forget.
“I am thrilled that Bob Chilcott, one of this country’s leading choral composers and conductors, has written a piece especially for this unique project. His new Creation Song will enable the many children attending not only to sing alongside our own Cathedral Choir, but also to participate in world première performances of something completely new – and therefore to be part of the future, whilst singing around a dinosaur from millions of years in the past!”
The schools taking part in Sing to Dippy this week are: Lakenham Primary School, Old Catton Junior School, St Andrew's CE VA Primary School, Tuckswood School, Barnham Broom CE VA Primary School, Horsford CE VA Primary, St Mary's Community Primary, Poringland Primary School, Great Dunham Primary School, Fakenham Junior School, Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy, Woodlands Primary Academy, Holt Primary, Drake Primary, Erpingham Primary School, Catfield CE VC Primary School, Charles Darwin Primary, Neatishead Church of England Primary School, Norwich Lower School, White Woman Lane Junior School, Edith Cavell Academy, Aldborough Primary School, Hethersett Woodside Primary and Nursery School, Burnham Market Primary, Preston Primary, St. Augustine's Catholic Primary School, Browick Road Primary School, Saxlingham Nethergate CE VC Primary School and Norwich Cathedral Children's Choir.
Pictured above, Ashley Grote conducts schools and the girls’ choir in the Sing to Dippy event. Photograph: Norwich Cathedral/Bill Smith.