Holy Cross Science College
International Christmas Charity Concert
Tuesday December 19th 2003 saw the fourth international charity
concert for UNICEF, held simultaneously in London and Osaka,
and linked by satellite ISDN video-conference equipment. Students
at both the Holy Cross Science College, New Malden, Surrey,
and Ikeda Junior High School always look forward to this event
as one of the most exciting and warmly-felt moments of their
Steve Byrne accompanies two choirs simultaneously,
one in London, and one in Osaka…..
Beginning at 09.00 (and at the start of the school day in
London), and at 18.00 (after school has ended in Japan), the
two schools shared the following hour of Christmas festivities,
as planned through their email exchanges.
- Opening : Both choirs sing "Jingle Bells"
with accompaniment by Steve Byrne at Holy Cross, London.
- Introduction by Holy Cross about Christmas Cribs, and
Introduction by Ikeda about fund-raising for the UNICEF
- Ikeda groups play four or five short pieces of music,
including vocal ensemble and recorders.
- Ryu Tanaka sings a solo song, in Japanese
- The Holy Cross Choir sings some English Christmas songs
- Special Event
Holy Cross shows Ikeda a Christmas story
book, made by Alex Maher, and using ICT and Technology
tools (See emails below)
- Special event
Ikeda shows 'Mochitsuki' (see picture)
This is Japanese traditional rice cake-making.
- Imprompovised drama session about Christmas, with Japanese
and English students interacting, without prior practice.
The theme: Mrs. Christmas wants Father Christmas to take
a break from his duties, and interviews candidates for
a substitute Father Christmas.
- Ending event : Both choirs sing " Auld Lang Syne"
together, with accompaniment this time by Ikeda Junior
- At 10.00 London time - End of video link-up
Here, the Ikeda Deputy Head teacher
can be seen bashing the daylights out
some rice, with a huge wooden mallet,
to make it glutinous. Watch fingers!
Reactions by students and teachers to the
event provide excellent examples of the power of the new technologies
to develop an understanding of different cultures. As such,
they fit beautifully under the new Global Citizenship banner
in the UK, and support the new citizenship initiative in Japan.
Here are two emails from Japan, explaining what was learnt,
and showing the warmth of feeling between the two countries:
Dear Mr. Williams and the Holy Cross students,
Thank you for giving me the chance to spend a wonderful
time with all of you at the concert! We all enjoyed seeing
and listening to your marvellous performances. The Ikeda
students got to know your traditions for Christmas, and
I think it's a really good thing.
In Japan, Christmas is a time of a year when all the couples
get together and give expensive presents to each other,
and when children get to eat Christmas cakes, so it was
good to know the real meaning of Christmas, through English
Please pass this message to Alex Maher, for me.
I enjoyed seeing your wonderful Christmas pop-up book. It
was filled with unique ideas and we all loved it very much.
I loved the beautiful sequins and the little letter to Father
Christmas in the book. I was surprised to hear that you used
real feathers for the robin in the book. I loved the snowflakes,
though I couldn't really see them well. I hope some day, I
can visit your school and see it!
Thank you for showing us your lovely book. I'm sure your
Technology teacher will love it!
I hope you will have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New
Hello! We're the chairpersons; Minami and Sayumi. The Charity
Concert was wonderful! It was our first time to be included
in it and also being a chairperson. We were very nervous
because we didn't know how the system worked, but we think
we had a great experience, and hope to do it again.
Thank you so much for the Christmas Crib tapestry, the
pop up book, the beautiful songs and the drama. We were
surprised to hear the same song, "Happy Christmas".
We sang it together. while the students in Holy Cross sang.
I think it was great to sing it together. Maybe we can sing
other songs together also. We were surprised how positive
the students in Holy Cross were when we asked for volunteers
to do the drama. We felt the difference about the culture
Thank you very much again for your kindness, and we hope
we can have a communication with you and the students in
Holy Cross again.
Minami and Sayumi
Hello! We're the chairpersons; Minami and Sayumi.
The pop-up book was marvellous! We loved how you made
it. I, Minami, especially liked how you made the fence
with many popsicle sticks. It reminded me of the ice
pops that I ate a lot of while I was in NewYork, and
I used them in my Art class, too. I, Sayumi, especially
like the robin. It was very cute! I liked the way
you used real feathers. I think it was a great idea.
We also enjoyed other pages such as the Christmas
tree made out of felt, and the letter that was in
an envelope. We think you are very talented!
Thank you so much for the pop-up book and the song,
and everything ! We hope to see you again on the screen
and perhaps we can see each other some day.
Minami and Sayumi
And from the teachers:
Dear Ryu and the Ikeda Team,
Thank you for giving us all, once again, the loveliest
possible start to Christmas. This concert is always my favourite
moment of the year.
We hope that we showed you:
- the religious side of our Christmas, with the Christmas
- the charity side of our Christmas, with the gifts of
shoe boxes of gifts for the needy;
- and the educational side of Christmas, with the lovely
word-processed and illustrated story book which Alex (also
our Chair person) made entirely by herself. (See below)
Alex shows the Ikeda students a page from
her Christmas pop-up book
We all enjoyed the lovely Ikeda singing, and a solo Japanese
song, too, from a very good friend. Please thank all of
the students who sang, played, worked on the drama, and
chaired the event at different stages. They are all a great
credit to a great school.
Please also thank your Deputy Head for showing us how to
make glutinous rice. And without injuring any of his students!
Please tell him that, as a teacher, I know just how tempting
this can be, sometimes.....
I am sending you some JPEGs of the event, as seen from
this side of the world.
Please tell your excellent students how much we have enjoyed
working with them all, but also that I am working to develop
parts of the MirandaNet web site at the Institute of Education,
London University, for World Ecitizenship. On the web site
will be the STAR work (with Ikeda), the last drama lesson
(with Ikeda), and the Christmas Charity Concert (also with
There is a pattern here, if you look carefully.......
With love from us all,
Lawrence, Steve, and the Holy Cross Christmas Charity Team
Global Citizenship is alive and well,
thanks to the new ICT technologies!
Back to Holy Cross
Go to the Holy
Cross School Integrated Web Site for more information
Back to the top