Hundreds of schoolchildren celebrate world speed record hero

MORE than 400 local schoolchildren from Sefton and Knowsley came together to perform a celebration of music, song and dance last week.

Sefton & Knowsley Youth (SKY) Music Hub hosted a special musical event on Friday 16 March to celebrate Sir Henry Segrave’s world land-speed record, which took place in Southport.

In March 1926, racing driver Sir Henry captured the land-speed record on Ainsdale beach in Southport. In his Sunbeam Tiger car, Sir Henry reached a speed of more than 152 mph – seizing the world land-speed record from his rival.

The former fighter pilot was the first person to hold both a land speed and water-speed record simultaneously, and was the first person to travel at 200 mph in a land vehicle.

His extraordinary achievements were celebrated through the medium of song, dance and art, as 400 schoolchildren from eight local schools joined together to perform ‘A Musical Celebration’.

Taking place at The Auditorium at Echo Arena Liverpool, children performed a number of songs inspired by speed, movement and different rhythms.

The event featured instrumental music, original songs, dance performances and the premier massed performance of ‘Speed’ by Stuart Overington.

In 2016, the SKY Music Hub vocal team began to lead the project inspired by the 90th anniversary of Sir Henry’s land-speed record. Over the past two years the SKY Music Hub vocal team has been working with schools across the region, with the project now coming to an exciting finale.

Participating schools included Westvale Primary (Kirkby), St Luke’s Catholic Primary School (Prescot), St Aidan’s Catholic Primary School (Huyton), St John’s CE Primary (Waterloo), St Nicholas CE Primary (Blundellsands), Our Lady of Compassion (Formby), Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School (Southport) and Melling Primary School (Melling) and Green Park Primary School (Maghull).

Dancers from the Merseyside Youth Association (MYA) took centre stage alongside talented instrumentalists, while artwork created by students from Presfield High School & Specialist College was presented on the night.

Composer, arranger and musical director Andy Smith also created a grand finale which involved all 400 participants.

Chris Lennie, lead of SKY Music Hub said: “The event was a great success and brought together the young people of Knowsley and Sefton to celebrate their musical achievements. It was also a fantastic way to celebrate motor racing record breaker Sir Henry Segrave!

“It has been great to work in collaboration with all our partners which has inspired so many children to pick up an instrument, sing, dance and create art.

SKY Music Hub was launched in July 2016 as a joint venture between Sefton Council and Knowsley Council Music Hubs, to create “a thriving music education hub of inspirational musical activity for all children and young people.”