"The Light" Album
"The Light" is title of the Manor CE Academy Christmas Fundraising Album for 2016. The project began in September 2016, with the announcement of a 'Song for Christmas' competition for Year 9 GCSE Music students. Over a period of 3 weeks, students were taught about the processes of commercial song-writing including the creation of original lyrics and how to develop chord progressions and ensemble arrangements. They were given one further week to finish their songs before recording a preview track. Eleven songs were developed in total and the winner announced as "The Light Rap Song" by Josh Burland.
Immediately following the period of composition, a serious accident occurred and one of our talented young musicians had to be taken to hospital by Air Ambulance. We are grateful to the many people from around world who have sent good wishes to the young man and his family. He has made a miraculous recovery and is even attending music lessons again. It had always been the intention to release the winners' song for charity, but following their incredible support, it was decided to choose the top 6 songs and release them as an EP with all profits going to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
The pre-production, based on the Garageband files created by the students, began on 26/10/16. Two of our instrumental tutors Phil McKenning (Electric Guitar) and Sam Johnson (Music Theory) contibuted additional lines as requested by the students. During the w/c 31/10/16 all the vocal parts were recorded by the students in the music room at Manor, with the exception of track 5, which required some further compositional development. The tracks were edited, mixed and mastered by Dave Lowe the following week and distributed by Rawcliffe Records through Tunecore.
The release was initially supported by Adam Tomlinson at BBC Radio York and the story has since been covered by many other media organisations.
When "The Light" was officially released on 5/12/16 it went straight in at No. 1 on the iTunes Christian & Gospel Chart. The release continues to be available to download or stream from 39 online stores around the world including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and Apple Music.
Josh went on to perform his winning song at York Minster on 6th December. The performance was very well received in a venue that does not usually feature rap music. Josh was joined by 20 members of his music class who all learned the offical dance, developed by Manor dance teacher Jeanette Couldry.