Meridian students pen classical songs for finale of Cracked Voices project

The Meridian Cracked Objects team - part of the Cracked Voices project. Picture: Graham Palmer

The Meridian Cracked Objects team - part of the Cracked Voices project. Picture: Graham Palmer - Credit: Archant

An inspirational one-off concert comes to Royston Methodist Church this weekend as the culmination of the Cracked Voices project in aid of a mental health charity.

As the finale to the project, a series of classical songs written by Meridian School’s Year 10 students will be performed for the first time by professional singers Donna Lennard and Miles Horner on Saturday.

The Royston students were challenged by the Cracked Voices team – writer Graham Palmer and composer Jenni Pinnock – last October to find objects in Royston’s district museum that spoke to them.

The museum in Lower King Street even opened up its storeroom to the Year 10s – who chose an old silver saxophone, a set of medicine bottles, medals and a typewriter.

The students then explored their ideas in a series of workshops led by writer Graham Palmer and composer Jenni Pinnock – herself an ex-Meridian student who has gone on to have her work performed on BBC Radio 3 and mentor up-and-coming composers.

Jenny Warburton, head of performing arts at Meridian, said: “The project has been a breath of fresh air.

“The young writers and composers have thrived and matured through insights from Graham and Jenni – looking at the way they approach storytelling, history, narratives and word-painting.”

Most Read

The students’ songs will headline Saturday’s concert when Donna and Miles will be accompanied by professional musicians Sue Pettitt on clarinet and Ralph Woodward on piano.

The event is hosted by Royston Methodist Church and all ticket money will be donated to the MindEd Trust, a mental health charity set up in memory of Meldreth teenager Edward Mallen who took his own life in February 2015 aged just 18.

His father Steve has been raising awareness about mental health ever since, and it is a cause Graham is particularly keen to support.

He said: “It’s been a joy to work with the students – we’re really looking forward to hearing the finished songs and we’re thrilled that the church is donating the takings to the MindEd Trust. Teenage mental health is such an important issue today.”

The concert takes place this Saturday at 7.30pm.

Tickets, which cost £8 or £5 for concessions, are available from or by calling 01763 243815.