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I would like to write to thank all those responsible for the Christmas Celebration concert, the first of its kind at Alfreton Grange Arts College.
This was, in fact, the latest in a long line Christmas concerts at the school which was formerly Mortimer Wilson school, but this years was as different as could be.
Newly appointed Director of Arts, Russ Singleton, passed on the baton to the new Head of Music Liz Marsh.
The concert was opened by Head Teacher, Wendy Sharp, who again introduced some of the cream of our communities talent.
The Students, Staff, and the whole audience were led in song, ably assisted by having the song lyrics projected onto the stage video screen, and the resident rock orchestra 'The Offbeats' to accompany them.
A selection of traditional readings, by Lizzie Bexton, Alec Gee Burch, Nicola Barrass-Harding, James Wilson, Connor Hutchinson and Heather Rogers were interspersed with the entertainments.
The schools newly formed dance troupes from junior and senior students performed some excellent routines to the music of 'Rockin Robin' and 'Wish it could be Christmas everyday' respectively.
A moving section of the nights entertainment belonged to the drama students who conceived, and enacted a short piece entitled 'Day of Peace' remembering the Christmas experienced by the troops in the trenches of the 1st World War.
Concluding with Silent Night sung in German, the audience were encouraged to join the students, with the English rendition.
The night, however, would not have been complete with out the regular showcase of the schools talents and these were demonstrated by the musical numbers throughout.
Notable moments included Katy Marsden and Alec Gee Burch kicking it off with a rousing version of 'Fairytale of New York' through to Lizzie Bextons solo 'A Winters Tale' which was her inaugural performance in front of an audience, to Year 7's Chloe Smith with 'Walking in the Air'
The colleges 'in house' rock band 'The Frantic Pandas' provided a closing performance with ' Christmas Time' by The Darkness before the usual finale of the by now infamous '12 days of Christmas'
As the evening wound down, the hot drinks and mince pies were served and the audience mingled with the students and staff, all agreeing that this was a perfect way to begin their Christmas.
Well done, and a Merry Christmas to all involved, as ever I look forward to the next offering in March, when the college will be staging 'The Wizard of Oz'. I can't wait.
Thank you all.

Mr C.L.Bexton
Parent Governor
Alfreton Grange Arts College

Have fun with a camera - make your own film!

Cartoon of film camerahollowayfilm, in conjunction with Holloway Carnival, is holding a competition for budding local film-makers. Individuals, clubs and societies are invited to enter their films (5 – 15 minutes) in one of the following categories:

a) Documentary

b) Fiction

c) Young people (under 16s)

All entries will be judged by a panel of three professional film-makers chaired by Simon Groom. There will be a first prize of £100 and a selection of ‘Holloway Oscars’ for the runners-up. Successful films will be shown at the Holloway Carnival in June 2009. hollowayfilm may be able to lend a movie camera and other equipment to entrants.

Closing date for entries is April 30 2009.

For full details and an entry form email:

Or send a SAE to: hollowayfilm 7 Hindersitch Lane Whatstandwell Matlock DE4 5EF



Scratch the surface of Crich life, or look at the numerous small posters in shop windows and on telegraph poles and you will realise how much is going on. Would-be organisers might be interested to know that events which are of community benefit can be supported financially.

Attendance at a recent ‘Funding Fair’ in Belper, organised by Amber Valley Council for Voluntary Services, highlighted the existence of small grants available from Derbyshire Community Foundation, which can help set up such events. The grant might be used for such purposes as booking venues, transport costs, consultancy, feasibility studies, equipment, publicity or hiring performers. Or funding might be available to complete a funding target that hasn’t quite been reached. This can take quite a bit of the worry out of organising projects.

One of these small grants programmes is called 'Grassroots Grants ' and is one of 15 different funds administered by the independent charity Derbyshire Community Foundation. In order to apply for funding from Derbyshire Community Foundation a community group must be voluntary or 'not for profit ', the group must also have proper management and accounting procedures and a constitution. Decisions on applications are made regularly.

Perhaps this will encourage church members who are hesitating about organising an event or project that the community would enjoy or benefit from in some way.

Have a look at

Martyn Offord