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Article written and presented by Susan Manton 2009
Whitefriars School - Jerusalem Joy
Photo of main characters in Jerusalem Joy
Main characters in Jerusalem Joy

Mrs. Bonham, the teacher responsible for music, decided that she would like to produce the Easter Cantata “Jerusalem Joy” in the week preceding the Easter holiday in 1993. This tells the story of Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem and the events leading up to his death and resurrection. Auditions were carried out and parts distributed. She asked me if I would like to play the piano for the production. I was excited to be asked and spent many hours practising the score at home. Rehearsals went well and we were joined by a bass guitarist. Time had been spent producing costumes and the hall was suitably decorated for the occasion. Everyone worked very hard in the weeks leading up to the performances. It was decided that two performances would be needed so that all those who wished to come would be guaranteed a seat. Those who studied the programme noticed that there were only eleven disciples listed. This was because one of the pupils who had been picked to be one of the disciples was tragically killed in a horrendous accident whilst walking the dog at night with her mother. It was decided that as a mark of respect her place would not be filled.

Photograph of Pontius Pilate (Simon Manton) Photograph of Susan Manton presented with a bouquet.
Pontius Pilate (Simon Manton)
Susan Manton presented with a bouquet

The children performed very well with several of them having solos to sing. I was very nervous about these particular songs, especially as one of the soloists was my son, Simon, who played the part of Pontius Pilate. The choir were magnificent and everyone was very enthusiastic with their praise. It was a privilege to work with the school and to help them to achieve such a high standard. On the last night bouquets were presented to both me and Mrs. Bonham.

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