Kids from four County Durham primary schools are getting ready to accompany a professional musician in a huge performance in Durham City’s Millennium Square.

More than 200 primary school pupils have been learning German songs and dances in preparation for the extravaganza, which will celebrate German culture.

The kids – from Ramshaw Primary School in Evenwood, Framwellgate Moor Primary School, St Margaret’s C of E Primary School and Durham Gilesgate Primary School – will accompany German singer and accordion player Martina Schwarz.

The free, open-air performance will take place on Thursday 13th June at 5.30 pm, as part of Durham’s Night of German Kultur.

The Night of German Kultur is being held to mark the 50th anniversary of a twinning agreement being signed between County Durham and the German university city of Tubingen.

In addition to the children’s performance, Thursday’s event will celebrate the friendship between Tubingen and Durham with food, drink and lots of free live music.

Liz Sturrock, a teacher at Ramshaw Primary School, said, “The children are all really excited about the event and are busy practising the German songs enthusiastically.”

“The majority of the children involved in this performance had the fantastic opportunity to visit our partner school in Germany at Christmas and have immersed themselves in the German culture and have continued to develop their German language skills.”

German musician Martina Schwarz said, “I am delighted and honoured to contribute to the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the partnership between County Durham and Tübingen with my interactive German song programme.”

“Music and songs are an excellent vehicle for language learning as language in itself is music with its rhythm and intonations.”

“Most of us have experienced the sensation of having a song in our head and it won’t go away. In German we call this sensation ‘Ohrwurm’, meaning ‘ear worm’.”

“Singing and responding to a song helps children to remember key structures and vocabulary. A catchy tune will trigger the pupils’ desire to sing the song again and again.”

“Learning language through songs can therefore be an ideal motivator for young learners.”

5. German school event Martina Schwartz
Martina Schwartz

The Night of German Kultur will also include:

  • A German-inspired piece of music performed by the award-winning NASUWT Riverside Band in Millennium Place at 6.30 pm
  • A concert featuring the music of Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst and George Fredric Handel by the Tubinger Saxophon Ensemble in Millennium Place at 7.15 pm
  • A performance by the Trimdon-based folk band Skerne in Millennium Place at 8.15 pm

In addition, the Clayport Library will be hosting free storytelling sessions, where children and their parents and carers can enjoy tales in both English and German. The storytelling sessions will take place on Thursday 13th June at 11.00 am, 1.30 pm and 6.15 pm.

To see a full programme of 50th anniversary events, please visit https://www.durham.gov.uk/tubingen50.

(This article’s main image shows children from Ramshaw Primary School practising for the Night of German Kultur event.)


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