Children singing in bandstand

Children shine at Dickens Festival

Posted: 17th June 2024

On the morning of Friday 14th June, the Broadstairs Bandstand hosted some uplifting performances by our St Lawrence College Junior School children as part of this year’s Dickens Festival. The festival, an annual celebration of Charles Dickens’ literary legacy and his connection to Broadstairs, featured performances from the Junior School Choir, Junior School Orchestra and various instrumentalists performing both duo and solo. Highlights included a rousing performance of Dave Brubeck’s Unsquare Dance by the orchestra and a beautiful performance of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah by the Choir. Our instrumentalists played beautifully with stunning piano solos by Abbie Jervis performing John Williams theme from Star Wars, Daniel Sowunmi performing Presto by Pescetti and Jasper Gordon’s performance of Chopin’s Waltz in A Minor with our Violinists Alec Fisher and Kayden Lubbe getting the crowd into the summer spirit with Caribbean Sunshine. We have been supporting the Dickens Festival for over 20 years.

The Dickens Festival is steeped in history, celebrating the connection between Charles Dickens and the town of Broadstairs. Dickens first came to Broadstairs in 1837, staying at 12 High Street, where he worked on his famous ‘Pickwick Papers.’ Over the years, he resided in various locations within the town, including what is now The Royal Albion Hotel and Archway House, where he completed parts of his novels ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ and ‘Barnaby Rudge.’ His affection for Broadstairs is immortalised in his essay ‘Our English Watering Place,’ written during his last extended holiday in the town at Fort House, now known as Bleak House.

The festival’s origins date back to 1937, when Gladys Waterer organised the first event to commemorate the centenary of Dickens’ first visit to Broadstairs. The Broadstairs Dickens Fellowship, formed the same year, continues to organise and support the festival annually, with members donning Victorian attire and reenacting scenes from Dickens’ works to bring his stories to life.

Helen Caddick, Director of Music at St Lawrence College Junior School, said, “It was truly wonderful to see our children perform with such enthusiasm and skill,” she said. “Their hard work and love for music shone through, and it was an honour to once again be part of such a historic and vibrant festival.”


Categories: Prep

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