Kids Aloud

Every second year we organise a concert at the Royal Hall for local schools. This year's concert will take place on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 April 2023.

‘The Last Dragon’ at the Royal Hall

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd April

We all know Harrogate is full of Dragons. There’s Dragon Road, Dragon Avenue, Dragon Parade and there was once a Dragon Inn. But ‘The Last Dragon’ is very different and it’s been a long time in the making.

The idea was Guy Wilson’s. Guy is a member of Brigantes Rotary which has put on seven ‘Kids Aloud’ concerts over the last fifteen years. A former Master of the Royal Armouries, he also selected the texts for ‘The Armed Man’, Karl Jenkins’ famous ‘Mass for Peace’, commissioned for the Millennium celebrations to mark the Armouries Museum’s move from London to Leeds. Guy wrote the story of ‘The Last Dragon’ and then enlisted the help of local composer Roland Fudge to start to provide ideas for the songs – because ‘The Last Dragon’ is a musical.

Then came the big leap. Thirteen local primary schools were brought into the mix. Their pupils became the cast – and what a cast! Two hundred on the first night and then a different two hundred on the second night. And that isn’t all. Guy and Roland took their ideas into the schools, asked the children to help with the words and music and then went away and worked with the children’s suggestions. So the thrill of it all is that four hundred young people get to stand and sing on the stage of the Royal Hall to a packed house and they’re singing the music that they helped to write. What memories they’ll have!

It has truly been a major exercise to bring it all together. Guy said:

“The children have done a brilliant job. Of course they’ve had lots of help – from their teachers, their families, the wonderful technical staff at the Royal Hall, members of Brigantes Rotary and a host of generous sponsors. This has been a team effort and we’re looking forward to two wonderful evenings.”

Guy also paid tribute to Carmel Wake who retired last year as teacher and Music Coordinator at Richard Taylor School: 

“Carmel has worked over the years with the ‘Kids Aloud’ team and this year’s project will be her last.  As a leading primary school music teacher in the town, Carmel has brought all her musical and organisational skills to our concerts. She has worked with the team, sourcing and adapting music, conducting and coordinating schools. It is hard to imagine ‘Kids Aloud’ without her.”

‘The Last Dragon’ is a tale of good and evil, of love and loss, of courage and victory, all set in the imaginary kingdom of Rubovernia. It used to be a happy land, well-governed and content until evil forces took over and the dragons which had guarded it were all killed or fled. Well not quite all. Hidden deep in a dark cave, one remains, afraid to venture out until he is discovered by chance by two children, Ella and Pip. And then . . . . .  but no spoilers! You’ll have to come to the show to find out what happens. And there’s a book to go with it – with illustrations by the children.

As Les Ellington, President of Brigantes Rotary, pointed out, this is a first:

“It’s the first time that the young performers have created and filled the entire concert. And it’s the first time we’ve received a grant from Youth Music who are supporting us using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. We are truly grateful to them not only for their financial backing but also for their endorsement of what we seek to achieve with ‘Kids Aloud’. ‘The Last Dragon’ is dedicated to the amazing creativity of all the young people involved in this project and to their talented teachers.”

Schools taking part are:

All Saints Church of England Primary School, Kirby Overblow, Harrogate 

Aspin Park Community Primary School, Knaresborough

Bilton Grange Primary School, Harrogate 

Dacre Braithwaite Church of England Primary School, Summerbridge, Harrogate

Grove Road Community Primary School, Harrogate 

North Rigton Church of England Primary School, North Rigton, Leeds, 

Pannal Primary School, Pannal, Harrogate 

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Harrogate 

St Robert’s Catholic Primary School, Harrogate 

Sharow Church of England Primary School, Sharow, Ripon

Skelton Newby Hall Church of England Primary School, Skelton-on-Ure, Ripon

Richard Taylor Church of England Primary School, Harrogate 

Rossett Acre Primary School, Harrogate

Tickets are £15, under 17s £5 and can be purchased from Harrogate Theatre Box Office or online at

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Kids Aloud 2009

Kids Aloud

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