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School's 'mystery' singing Santa causes a sensation in Bury St Edmunds

A 'mystery' singing Santa caused a sensation when he visited a local school.

The portly gent, complete with fluffy white beard, full sack of toys and, Ray-Bans, drove to the school in his John Deere buggy before scaling the roof, posing for photos on the school balcony, meeting the children, and showing off his skills on a nearby climbing frame.

The whole visit was captured for a Youtube video featuring staff and pupils at Culford School in Bury St Edmunds and is raising money for NHS Charities Together.

"We made the video at the end of term for the final window of our social media advent calendar," said Michelle Dodd, head of marketing and admissions.

"We also thought it might be a nice way to raise some money for a good cause and bring some much needed festive cheer, so we decided to release it early."

The song, Red Suit, was recorded by head of music Peter Burge, drum teacher Stephen Williamson and head of creative technology, Joe Taylor on guitar, in the school's new recording studio and multi-tracked with each of the musicians playing at different times.

Santa hunts for the chimney with the permission of 'elf and safety'. Image from Culford School video
Santa hunts for the chimney with the permission of 'elf and safety'. Image from Culford School video

Headmaster, Julian Johnson-Munday provides the vocals and also stars as the mystery Santa in the five-minute movie.

The song was written by an American folk/roots singer Josh Rouse who granted permission for the school to use the track, the original of which is from his album, The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse.

"The video has received a really positive reaction from staff, parents and pupils," added Michelle Dodd.

170 children star in the video
170 children star in the video

"The engagement on our social media channels has been high and we're hoping we reach our fundraising target of £1,000.

The identity of Santa has been a closely guarded secret but pupils are suspicious that for some reason the headmaster and Santa never appear at the same time.

"You can listen to and download the track on SoundCloud and we hope people will make a small donation.

"Donations can also be made by visiting the justgiving and search Culford Christmas 2020.

"We hope the video will also cheer people up at the end of a challenging year."

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