A SCHOOL choir is hoping to pull off the performance of a lifetime – by singing a song in Ancient Greek.
The youngsters will be performing at the prestigious Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
And the children from Christ Church Woodhouse School in Deighton have been hard at work trying to master the language of classical historians, playwrights, and philosophers.
They are aiming for a pitch perfect performance of Polla ta Dhina, by contemporary Greek composer Iannis Xenakis – in which they will sing the ‘children’s line’ that runs all the way through the piece.
The Manchester Consort, which comprises graduates from Chetham’s Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester will play the orchestral parts of the composition, in a performance at Huddersfield Town Hall.
Heidi Johnson, learning and participation officer at the festival, said: “The children have actually been much better than we expected because it’s such a difficult piece.
“Just getting to grips with some of the Greek symbols has been hard enough because it’s very different to our alphabet.
“It was very helpful for them because a Greek composer from Huddersfield University, Lefteris Papadimitriou, was able to come in one morning and talk through all the text with them so they could get the pronunciations right.
“He knows a little Ancient Greek so it’s even been quite a challenge for him too.
“It was very helpful to have someone who actually speaks the language to help them get to grips with it.
“I am absolutely sure that they will be fantastic. I think they are really excited about the performance and especially excited about performing at the town hall because it’s such a prestigious venue.
The choir, who are all aged from seven to 11, have been practising every morning before school with local musician James Squire who is directing rehearsals with help from the Deighton school’s music teacher Gillian Hamer.
Mr Squire told the Examiner: “They are doing very well and have been concentrating hard.
“The part they are singing is a chant, like a Greek chorus.
“The first time they will perform with the full orchestra will be on the morning of the performance.
“It will be quite an experience for them because I know a lot of them have never sung in the town hall before.
“And they have certainly never performed with a live orchestra before – or indeed a contemporary work in Ancient Greek – it’s definitely something very new and exciting.”
The children’s performance is at 3.30pm at Huddersfield Town Hall on Sunday, November 27.
This years Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival runs from November 18-27. Visit www.hcmf.co.uk