Staff and students from Liverpool Hope University enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience as they took to the stage as part of Liverpool’s Eurovision celebrations.
More than 40 students from the School of Creative and Performing Arts performed in the Eurovision Village as part of Culture Liverpool’s fortnight-long programme of events in the build up to the Eurovision final on Saturday 13 May.
The Hope Musical Theatre Degree Company and the Hope Big Band were both invited to perform through the Eurovision Schools and Education programme.
Thirty-two first and second year musical theatre students took to the stage on Tuesday 9 May for a six-song set, which included a memorable rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone, whilst second year Amelia Stanham also delivered a solo performance of Watch What Happens from American musical, Newsies.
Reflecting on the experience, Musical Theatre Course Leader, Sharon Byatt said: “I will forever remember standing on the Eurovision stage looking out at The River Mersey, up at The Liver Buildings, watching the students and thinking ‘wow, how incredible it is being here representing Liverpool and Hope’.
“The students were amazing, every single one of them. Being from Liverpool myself and having created the course less than two years ago, I’m overwhelmed that we have achieved so much in such a short space of time.
“We were lucky enough to play a small part in the city's history! I’m just very proud of the students and the musical theatre team.”
The Hope Big Band followed on Thursday 11 May.
Comprising 11 students and three graduates, they performed a mix of instrumental and vocal features in their 10-song set, which included Over The Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, as well as Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.
“I am very proud of how well the students performed, particularly given that we only had a few weeks' notice of this event - the students really rose to the occasion,” said Big Band Director and Lecturer in Music Performance, Dr Tom Sykes.
“Eurovision has really taken hold of Liverpool with a great spirit and the important theme of 'United by Music', and it felt very special to be involved.
“There is also a wonderful festival atmosphere at the Eurovision Village, and the students were really buzzing to be a part of it.”
Hope staff were involved in two further Eurovision Village performances on an action-packed Thursday for the University.
Dr Sykes and Professor Stephen Davismoon delivered the live music backing for the Neurodiversity Choir, a group which aims to aims to showcase the positive strengths of the one in five people with neurodevelopmental differences such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and Tourette’s syndrome.
That was the second of two performances for Professor Davismoon, who was on stage earlier in the day with the Sanctuary and Unity Through Song project.
The project, which was funded as part of Culture Liverpool’s EuroLearn programme, was led by Professor Davismoon and saw a choir of school children from two special education needs schools write and perform a song.
Entitled You Are Not Alone, the track celebrates the musical heritage of Liverpool and Ukraine and was the work of pupils at Sandfield Park School in West Derby and Alt Bridge Secondary School in Huyton.