Rock and Rolls

27th July 2007 at 01:00
In October 1998, an entry form was sent to schools for a competition to write a song for the Millennium, says the music adviser for Dumfries and Galloway.

I was principal teacher of music at Castlemilk High in Glasgow at the time, and decided to give it a try with my Standard grade class.

We talked about songwriting and all the different elements you need the inspiration, a hook then split into four groups who all came up with bits of a song. We voted for the one we liked best and the class of 20 youngsters worked exclusively on it.

There were 7,000 entries and we got into the top 500, which meant a professional songwriter came to the school and helped us develop the song. Once it was tarted up a bit, we went to a recording studio and it was submitted again. In the end, we were one of the schools to go forward. The prize was to go to Sir George Martin's AIR studio in London he was the producer of almost all the Beatles records and record the song professionally with a 60-piece orchestra.

It took us a day to do all the vocal parts and a CD of 22 songs was produced, which was sold in all the Marks and Spencer stores. It was amazing recording in this fancy studio with Martin's Rolls-Royce parked outside.

That was September 1999, then we went back in 2000 and performed on stage at the Millennium Dome in front of 3,000 people. Out of all the songs, we were chosen to be the opening one.

My lasting memory is what an unbelievable achievement it was for these young people from Castlemilk. These are the wee sparkly bits that make it all worthwhile.

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