December 11 2013 Latest news:
By BEN WOODS
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
She became a singing sensation when she soared to victory on BBC One talent show, The Voice.
But Leanne Mitchell returned to her roots today (Wednesday July 11) when she presented a special arts award to a Lowestoft school.
The 28-year-old singer was ushered into the assembly hall of Dell Primary School to gasps and smiles from more than a hundred children who received a special performance of her debut single, Run to You.
It came after Leanne presented the school on Dell Road with the Artsmark Gold award for excellence in arts education.
Speaking after the presentation, Leanne said she was delighted to return to Lowestoft and see the school doing so well.
She said: “I have been in the studio writing and recording my debut album – so far it is going really well. I haven’t had a lot of time to do these types of things. It is lovely to come back to my home town. “I still find it very weird that everyone wants to speak to me, but I love speaking to the children who have watched me on TV.”
However, Leanne did express her disappointment at The Voice tour being cancelled. She said: “The Voice Tour got cancelled for whatever reason, but that is the way it goes. I just want to concentrate on my album.”
During the morning assembly, pupils sang a special song to Leanne and presented her with flowers.
Children also queued up at the end to collect autographs, including 11-year-old Hannah Jones, and her best friend, Emma Mcrae, 11, who sang a duet for the Oulton Broad star.
Miss Jones said: “I thought that it was amazing that someone as special as her could come to our school.
“Ever since she was on The Voice, I have wanted to go on there as well. I thought, if she managed it, then maybe I could too.”
Meanwhile, there was also a touching moment when Leanne’s old music teacher Beryl Banester, deputy head teacher, revealed an old song Leanne had written for a BBC carol competition when she was just 10-years-old.
Mrs Banester said: “It is good to have seen someone having success and remaining real. “The children didn’t think we would have the real Leanne Mitchell coming here, but hearing her sing today proved it was not just a look-a-like.”
Arts Council England awarded Artsmark Gold to Dell Primary School in recognition of the school’s commitment and achievement in arts education.
They have become one of 1,750 schools awarded an Artsmark this year, and one of 20pc to receive Artsmark Gold.
Headteacher, Mrs Beryl Hindes, said: “I’m delighted that the Arts Council has recognised Dell Primary School’s dynamic arts education programme. “Our children have really enjoyed activities across the arts; including learning to play a wide range of musical instruments and having the opportunity to perform in the wind band, brass band and handbell teams, choir, dance and drama.
“They have worked with artists to extend their range of practical art work and to create opportunities for creative writing.
“I would like to thank all of the staff for their hard work in achieving this award.”