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Choir raises the roof for celebration as plans for £1m theatre showcased

By Sue Austin | Oswestry | Education | Published:

Music from both sides of the English/Welsh border rang out in a concert at a school which is looking forward to opening an exciting new theatre shortly.

The combined voices of not one but two prestigious male voice choirs joined forces with the Moreton Hall music department for a celebration of song.

The independent school near Oswestry invited the Penybontfawr and the Dyffryn Ceiriog male voice choirs to take part in a concert alongside its own girls' school.

After the audience was welcomed in both Welsh and English the evening continued in a bilingual theme.

Choirs showed off their repertoire which combined traditional Welsh songs and hymns with music with a more international flavour such as 'Sloop John B' and ‘Silver Trumpet’.

Elgar's 'Snow' was one of the highlights of the evening, which ended with the male voice choirs singing Myfannwy.

Meanwhile, the school has revealed its final plans for the £1 million Holroyd Community Theatre at Moreton Hall with building work expected to start in the spring.

The idea for a 300-seat community theatre was born when benefactors Bill and Julie Holroyd saw the positive benefits of drama through their own daughter’s education.

Mr Holroyd said: "I feel that the girls of Moreton Hall can successfully lead a campaign that will add to their experience – but most importantly, result in a place for the community to come together and learn about, participate in and enjoy all that the arts have to offer.

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"I look forward to being in the audience when the doors open."

The plans by Tim Ronalds Architects – the company which designed the Hackney Empire – are estimated to cost just under £1 million.

So far more than £900,000 has been raised including a pledge from Old Moretonian Sheila Reid, who is best known for her performance as Madge Harvey in ITV's sitcom Benidorm.

Headmaster Jonathan Forster said: "It is now up to the enterprising and community spirit in and around Moreton Hall to see this plan come to fruition. The aim is for the current students to follow in the footsteps of the girls who in the 1980s and 90s were successful in their efforts to open Gobowen railway station."

If successful, the box office, catering, designing and producing would be run by the students as part of Moreton Enterprises.

The centre, which will comprise a theatre, foyer, toilets and backstage area, has received the backing of local schools and drama groups who would be able to use the facilities at Moreton.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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