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Watch glee performances from Craigiebarns, Rosebank and Birkhill schools as they reach national finals of competition

The pupils from P5, 6 and 7 perform the opening number in their entry to the competition, Craigiebarns Primary School.
Craigiebarns Primary School glee choir.

Three local primary schools are delighted to have reached the national finals of a glee competition.

Craigiebarns Primary School, in Dundee, won its entry group into the Frisson Foundation’s Scottish Primary School Glee Challenge by public vote and was the only local school to win its category.

Rosebank Primary School, also Dundee, was also selected by a judging panel as one of six additional qualifying schools, and so was Birkhill Primary School, in Angus.

Choirs from the three schools will now compete against each other and seven others from across Scotland at the national finals – taking place at the Caird Hall, in Dundee, on June 19.

Craigiebarns Primary School glee choir preforming their routine.
Craigiebarns Primary School glee choir preforming their routine.

This is the first time the competition has been held since it was stopped in its tracks in 2020 due to the pandemic.

In total, 64 choirs entered from schools across the country and were separated into four entry groups.

The winning choir from each group automatically received a place in the national finals, alongside six additional choirs chosen by the panel.

Craigiebarns

Jenna Davidson is class teacher of P2/3 at Craigiebarns and runs the school’s glee choir with fellow teacher Arlene Findlater.

Craigiebarns choir – consisting of 24 pupils from P5, 6 and 7 – received 1,600 public votes online, making up 25% of their score.

The remainder of their score was decided by the four independent judges on the panel.

Jenna said: “It’s the first time there has been a public vote element so we weren’t sure how we were going to get on.

“The children were delighted, to be in the top four is unbelievable. It would mean the world to them if they won, it would be phenomenal.

“The song was a theme of togetherness and that is what we’ve missed; singing, spending time with friends and our hobbies.

“They haven’t been allowed to sing for the past two years, singing in class was banned because of Covid.”

She added that for some of the children, the national finals will be their first time appearing on stage.

Rosebank

The glee choir at Rosebank is run by raising attainment teacher Finola Burke, P6 class teacher Jordan Rice and RCT teacher Maria Brown.

Finola said: “The children are absolutely thrilled to have made it to the national finals and to have the chance to perform on stage to an audience after two long years away from it.

“I’m not sure they believed us when we first told them. You can see their reaction (below).”

The choir practices every Tuesday and has been trying to fit in some extra rehearsals in the run up to the nationals.

Finola added: “The last few years have shown us just how important singing and our glee club are.

“It’s not just about singing and dancing – it helps our kids build confidence, resilience and positive relationships.

“Some children have discovered incredible talents. There’s also been a wee bit of something magical as they have come together as a team.

“I actually can’t imagine their reaction if they won, but it would mean so much to them to have their hard work, determination and talent recognised.”

Birkhill

Birlkie Glee Crew, as the choir is known, is run by principal teacher Alison Milne and class teachers Carrie Tugman and Laura Morton. Parent Rachel McLean also assists with dance moves.

It is the first time the group has reached this far in the competition and the children literally jumped for joy when they found out the good news.

Alison said: “It would be a dream come true for the Birkie Glee Crew to win. We’ll be singing and dancing our socks off, doing our best, loving every minute of this year’s glee adventure.”

She added: “After Covid-19, when so many things were restricted, including singing in school, it showed us how much we took this simple act for granted and just how much we missed it.

Birkie Glee Crew.
Birkie Glee Crew.

“The lifting of restrictions allowed us to restart our Glee Club. Mondays after school and Thursday lunchtimes are the highlight of our week.

“Here you will find a diverse group of kids singing their hearts out, dancing with no inhibitions, building friendships and having so much fun.

“The Birkie Glee Club is a real tonic and has such a positive impact on everyone’s mental health.”

VIDEO: What would you do if you were King or Queen for the day? Letham Primary School pupils share their Royal dreams

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