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Reception pupil Mia from Ark Franklin melted hearts with her rendition of The Jackson Five’s hit ‘I Want You Back’ and was awarded Best Infants Performance at Ark Music’s Sing into Spring: Stay at Home sing-off competition. With her spirited performance and dance routine, guest judge Ark Burlington Danes alumnus Julz West described her as a star in the making.

At yesterday’s virtual awards ceremony, Julz was joined by a panel of judges from the music industry: singer and songwriter, Call Me Loop, and Joe Goddard from synthpop band Hot Chip – Joe is an Elliot School alumnus – now Ark Putney.

Year 5 pupil Davina from Ark Dickens took Best Original Song award for her song ‘Not Gonna Cry’. Joe said her voice was magnificent and likened Davina to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Best Primary Performance award went to Shaun, a Year 5 pupil from Ark Swift. He sang ‘You Raise Me Upmost famously performed by Josh Groban and covered by Westlife. The judges said Shaun had a fantastic voice that switched effortlessly into his falsetto register.

Year 11 student Noor from Ark King Solomon won Best Secondary Performance singing Jessie J’s ‘Flashlight’. Call Me Loop said Noor didn’t know just how good she was and was a real talent whose voice soars through the emotionally powerful song.

You can watch the winners videos below.

Almost 250 entries from across Ark schools were received with videos made at home or in classrooms, including beatboxers, rappers, instrumentalists, big diva classics and a Bollywood compilation.

Margaret O’Shea, Ark’s Director of Music, said: “Huge thanks and well done to everyone who submitted a recording. We’re thrilled that so many pupils took part in our first Sing into Spring competition, and particularly delighted to receive a large number of recordings from pupils singing their own songs, demonstrating a real strength in song-writing ability alive in our network.

“The competition has been a great way to keep our school communities united over this past half-term and for our young stars to share their passion and talent. By using SpArk, our online home learning platform, and the virtual awards ceremony we’ve helped families feel connected to one another and with their school during a challenging term.

The judges were impressed with the calibre of vocalists. Call Me Loop said: “It’s great to see young people doing something creative during this difficult time.”Julz said: “Well done to everyone who sent something in, it’s been incredible listening to and seeing all the performances.”

Joe added: “Congratulations to everybody. It’s pleasure to be part of this, and hopefully, I’ll catch you on stage soon!”

All participants received a certificate and winners of the primary and secondary categories now have the opportunity to do a professional studio recording at the prestigious Point Blank Music School, as well as receiving a coveted Sing into Spring trophy.

Shout out to Ark Byron, Ark Blacklands and Ark Oval, who had the most submissions – well done!