Katie Cox and The Rythm of the River

Katie Cox and The Rythm of the River It’s a Hit! The schoolchildren of Cookham were truly rockin’ and showing the celebrities at ‘Rock on the Moor’ how to do it! It was a stupendous success…. A blast. The world premiere of ‘Katie Cox and the Rhythm of the River’ was launched at Taplow House on Friday 10th May: A children’s cantata confidently performed by the combined primary schools of Cookham. Namely Holy Trinity, Cookham Dean, Cookham Rise and Herries schools.

It was a fabulously charming, imaginative and innovative work by the local composer, musician and actor Rob Castell commissioned by The Cookham Festival and will, I am sure, soon be competing with other children’s cantatas for ‘most popular musical’ with schools up and down the country.

Upbeat, sassy Katie Cox a sweet local girl stands in as Coxswain when Dwain the local crew’s Cox is ill. Katie loves nature, has a beautiful strong voice and loves singing. She spends most of her time singing to the river and all the wonderful animals that live along it’s banks.

The local Regatta draws near and Dwain, Cookham’s Coxswain gets a cold and drops out. They are the weakest crew anyway and without a Cox will have to pull out. With no experience Katie offers to cox the crew and adopts a rather unorthodox method to inspire them. She sings to the underdog Cookham crew (including her Dad Rob) inspiring them so much that they improve tenfold thus improving their chances greatly against the crew that always wins: The Mighty Men from Marlow. Dwain jealously organises a Karaoke party the night before the Regatta and persuades Katie to sing every song which causes her to lose her voice.

Oh no …… The day of the Regatta and Katie can’t sing. The crew are doomed. Lengths behind and fading fast. But wait….. the cavalry approaches and to the rescue come the animals Katie always sings to. They say that they will sing for her as she had sung for them because “if you look after nature and show it some love it will look after you”. With the animals singing for them the Cookham team are inspired and become a force to be reckoned with. They forge ahead and win the race. A rip-roaring end and a truly happy one with a modern and meaningful eco-message for us all.

This story developed over 7 songs ranging in tempo and style from pop to ‘om pah pah’ but all melodic, catchy and very in-trend.

The children delivered Castell’s clever and witty libretto and melodies in an inspired manner. They were beaming, grinning, smiling and chuckling and obviously enjoying every minute. What a blast!

The first half of the concert was a selection of songs from the schools. Cookham Rise School performed Laura by Jonathan Dove with individual pastiches. Cookham Dean School performed Yellow Bird Calypso and Scarborough Fair with their recorder groups. Elen Anderson then performed Mountain Spring on the Harp. The Holy Trinity School sang two pieces from Mary Poppins and delivered an animated performance of a traditional African song complete with swaying, hand and arm movements and the enthusiastic stamping of feet. Herries brought their 4-piece band 'Miracle' to perform a Robbie Williams song ‘I love my life’

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