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Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure

  • Season 1
  • 2 episodes
  • Documentary and factual
  • Music

Summary

The school next to Grenfell Tower asks Gareth Malone to help pupils create a concert to mark the reopening of their building. They find they have a unique and moving story to tell.

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Episode 1: The Choir: Our School by the Tower

Summary

Part one of two. Kensington Aldridge Academy principal David Benson invites Gareth Malone to help pupils create a concert to mark the reopening of their building, which is next to the site of the Grenfell fire. The aim is to celebrate their pride in the community, their happy memories and the courage and resilience they have shown in the wake of a disaster in which five of their fellow students died.

Review

We know about Gareth Malone’s charm and talent. His ability to breeze into hard situations and use choral singing as therapy have worked time after time. Even so, this is a tough one.

His assignment – a two-parter – is at Kensington Aldridge Academy in west London, the secondary school situated right next to Grenfell Tower. In the 2017 fire, five of the 72 victims were students at the school, which in the aftermath had to be moved to temporary buildings.

In the summer term of last year – as staff and students prepared to move back to their regular site, they were hoping Gareth could coach their choir for a concert to mark the school’s rebirth. Who better?

Watching how Gareth sets out to win over teenagers and persuade them to give voice to something deeply traumatic is inspiring, impressive and at times very sad. As one girl puts it, “All the articles say, ‘The school in the shadow of Grenfell Tower…’ It’s like, no, we’re not the shadow, we’re the light.”

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Credits

Cast

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PresenterGareth Malone

Crew

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Series directorBen Rumney
Series producerVicky Mitchell

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