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Primary headteachers: Head makes UK music-prize final

Fame awaits Lancashire primary leader who also makes his work available online

Fame awaits Lancashire primary leader who also makes his work available online

Original paper headline: Songsmith head makes UK music-prize final

A primary school headteacher has won acclaim from the music industry for his ability to write children's Christmas songs.

Brian Beresford, head of Whalley CofE Primary School in Lancashire, was named a finalist in a national competition that attracted nearly 6,000 entries.

Mr Beresford reached the last round of this year's UK Songwriting Contest with "Wonders," which he described as a "gentle, reflective song about the experience of discovering Jesus both at his birth and in the lives of people today".

He had previously been a finalist in the same competition in 2006 with the song "Samson Power".

Mr Beresford said songwriting is something that he has always done, but it was only after encouragement from friends and colleagues that he decided to compete.

"I was a music graduate originally and I have always written my own music," he said. "After a while people asked why I didn't make more of it and get it published.

"I began writing more, even wrote my own musical, and then set up my site One More Time, which allows other teachers to buy my music and use in their own schools. It's not meant as an ulterior career, I'm just hoping to share it around."

The UK Songwriting Contest was formed in 2002 through a partnership between the Brit Trust, which also stages the Brit Awards, and the Music Aid Organization which promotes the art of songwriting.

The competition has now become an annual fixture, with previous winners snapped up by music tycoon and TV celebrity Simon Cowell.

Mr Beresford's song is taken from his album Christmas Wonders, which is proving popular among schools.

"It's mainly aimed at key stage 2 children," he said. "There is not a lot of music for them, so this can be used in a package of music for assemblies, musicals, mimed plays, anything really."

According to Mr Beresford, his CDs are now being used in 800 schools around the country, being snapped up at the rate of two or three a week.

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