This is the week


This week 60 years ago the song Rock Around The Clock (written by Max Freedman and James Myers) recorded by Bill Haley and the Comets took the top spot on the Billboard chart in America.   It had earlier been released as the B side to another record but was re-released in 1955 after it had been included as part of the soundtrack to the film Blackboard Jungle. In America it stayed at number 1 for eight weeks and in the United Kingdom it was in the charts in both the January and November of 1955.

On the Wednesday of this week (2015) the Rotherham Children’s Festival One Voice concert takes place at the AESSEAL New York stadium.  Most of the music performed during the concert will have been influenced by the rock and roll revolution that changed many peoples listening habits 60 years ago.  One Voice is a celebration of singing with thousands of children taking part and this year there is a special song in the programme.  The song is the winning entry from the Rotherham Songwriting Competition called This Is The Day and written by the West Melton School Choir.

I have been involved with the arrangement and production of the song and also preparing the backing tracks for other schools to use. I visited the school and recorded the choir which will feature as part of a film and music project to be completed in September. The pupils in the West Melton School Choir were a credit to the school and the village, we discussed music and songwriting and they performed the song for the recording with pride. I am looking forward to hearing a massed voices version at the concert.

This week is also another choral celebration in Germany, the European Choir Games, with Great Britain being represented by another choir I have had the pleasure of working with recently the Barnsley Youth Choir. They enjoyed a great deal of success in the World Choir Games in Latvia last year and this week two coaches of singers and volunteer helpers have made it to Magdeburg to sing, learn and grow from the European competition.

I hope everyone involved in both the events has a great experience and will continue enjoying and participating in music making for many years to come. This Is The Day backing track and lyrics are available at

If you want to know how the European Games are going the Barnsley Youth Choir Facebook site is full of information

© P.R.Birkby 2015


About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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