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Bury St Edmunds and Barrow-based Music Medley Performing Arts helps children build the confidence to get up on stage



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A performing arts club has been built back up and is helping children regain confidence after the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic.

Music Medley Performing Arts was started by Barrow mother Rachel Hall, 50, in 2010 as an after-school club at her daughter's school, Barrow CEVC Primary.

It flourished and was due to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a special show in 2020, but Covid-19 put a stop to that event.

The older Music Medley group at Moreton Hall Community Centre, Bury St Edmunds
The older Music Medley group at Moreton Hall Community Centre, Bury St Edmunds

Lessons became virtual for a year and Mrs Hall, a mother-of-one, said membership dropped from 96 to about 20, with children losing confidence and older youngsters finding other interests.

But, she said she was 'determined' Music Medley was not going to finish, adding 'I would have missed the kids, they become part of your life'.

Now the performing arts club - which focuses on singing and informal dance - has 'built up nicely' to about 65 members, with sessions after-school on a Tuesday at Moreton Hall Community Centre in Bury St Edmunds and on a Friday at Barrow Village Hall.

The younger Music Medley group at Moreton Hall Community Centre in Bury St Edmunds
The younger Music Medley group at Moreton Hall Community Centre in Bury St Edmunds

Mrs Hall, who works as a dental receptionist, said the club was her 'passion'.

Speaking of the pandemic, she said: "It was really hard. To be honest with you, I think my love of doing it just pushed me through; just seeing those kids every week. I would get so excited to see the kids every week even if on the television."

She said parents had also told her the virtual sessions had 'kept a smile on their [children's] faces during lockdown'.

Children had lost confidence during the pandemic, said Mrs Hall, and added: "It's lovely to watch them grow and get that back again."

Music Medley Performing Arts lost members during the coronavirus pandemic but has built back up (57358907)
Music Medley Performing Arts lost members during the coronavirus pandemic but has built back up (57358907)

Music Medley's ethos is 'enjoyment' and Mrs Hall said her 'big enjoyment' is to see those children who are shy and scared to perform on stage managing to achieve this.

The club's youngest member is aged four and the oldest is 20 and during the sessions they learn routines to perform in a summer show.

Mrs Hall, who used to be in Bury Operatics society, said finally the children have got the chance to stage the 10th anniversary show 'Showstoppers' on Saturday, July 2, at Thurston Community College.

The show will also see the launch of Fusion, the club's adult choir.

For more information find Music Medley Performing Arts on Facebook or visit www.musicmedley.co.uk

Music Medley children's parties are also available.