The English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was born 150 years ago and the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust are celebrating his work collecting folk songs with a special project where schools work with young musicians to breath new life into these songs. You can view a professionally recorded video of our Y3 children singing the song with the background to the project explained here (you may need to scroll back to the beginning) which will feature at the Folk East festival in August and the trust's Traditional Music Day in September. They will then become part of an online resource for anyone wanting to learn the songs.
At Woodside we already teach children to play Steel Pans and our band played for the Tilbury Windrush celebrations the same day we recorded this, but it is important to also teach them some of their own musical heritage. The song we chose to sing is Van Diemen's Land which was sung to Vaughan Williams in 1904 at The Old Dog East Horndon, just 9 miles from here, by woodcutter Jim Bloomfield. The song is about some men who are transported to Australia as a punishment for poaching. Our year 3 children very much enjoyed learning the song from the inspirational singer Ben Vonberg-Clark who you can see on the video.