Steel pans, choirs and wheeler dealers

PUBLISHED: 08:28 09 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:59 22 October 2010

Hundreds of children gathered in Norwich yesterday for two events which brought schools from across the region together.

Hundreds of children gathered in Norwich yesterday for two events which brought schools from across the region together.

The 2006 Cathedrals Music Festival at the city's cathedral was attended by 800 children from 22 schools in Norfolk and Suffolk, many of whom had spent weeks preparing for the day.

At the nearby Open youth venue, 135 pupils gathered for the Stock Market Challenge - the regional final of the Schools Fantasy Shares League, supported by the EDP.

Organised by the Schools Music Association of Great Britain and sponsored by the National Union of Teachers, the music festival involved morning and afternoon performances, each attended by 400 pupils along with teachers and parents.

The festival is designed to encourage students to enjoy music and gain experience of performance on a large scale without competing against one another.

A wide range of musical styles were covered, including organ solos, steel pans and choirs.

Saul Penfold, education officer at Norwich Cathedral, said: "It is a great experience for the children to perform in a venue of the cathedral's scale and grandeur. It is also a good opportunity for teachers and parents to see the pupils in action at this level.

"Hopefully it will provide those involved with further motivation to carry on progressing with music."

Similar events will take place at cathedrals across the country including Liverpool, Newcastle and Coventry.

At Open, 27 teams of five spent the day wheeling and dealing in shares on an imaginary stock exchange.

The teams had already finished highest in a league table in which more than 500 students countywide competed over three months.

The eventual winners were TTFCR, from Flegg High School, who finished the day with £270,000.

They will go on to compete in a national final in York.

Selectors from Reepham High came second with £240,000 while Playas, from Attleborough High came third with £230,700.

Mark Holroyd, head of business at Hellesdon High which also had a team at the event, said: "This is the third year we've competed and it's a great wat to bring business to life.

"In the classroom it can just seem like numbers and theory - but at an event like this they can see how it relates to real life."

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