About Us‎ > ‎News‎ > ‎

Hillsview and 'Boro' Take The Road To The Top

posted May 16, 2016, 7:31 AM by Caroline Dansey   [ updated May 20, 2016, 1:13 AM by dmcevoy@academiesenterprisetrust.org ]

A Middlesbrough academy has gained fame and praise as music recording stars who played a key role in the recent Tour de Yorkshire cycle race. 

Forty students from Hillsview Academy recorded the official theme song of the event and starred in the video filmed in school and around Middlesbrough. 

The song, 'The Road' was originally written by musician and songwriter Alistair Griffin originally performed with Kimberley Walsh of Girls Aloud for the Yorkshire stage (Le Grand Depart) of the Tour de France in 2014. He has achieved top twenty success with singles and an album. 

The initiative came from Alistair's sister, Vicky, who is Assistant Vice Principal at Hillsview. She approached the Chief Executive of Visit Yorkshire, Gary Verity, who immediately pledged the tourism organisation's weight behind a promotional video of Middlesbrough featuring a rapidly assembled Hillsview choir. 

Vicky's plans were eagerly snapped up by Principal, Doug Elliott, a former music teacher and an enthusiastic cyclist. He said: "We talk a lot here about raising aspirations and what this has done is to show our students that with determination and aiming high they can really achieve something remarkable." 

It is often a problem to get boys to volunteer to take the musical stage, but with the opportunity to work with a successful pop star, Alistair became a tv star overnight through BBC's talent show, Fame Academy, there was no shortage of male recruits. 
In what was a great week for the town of Middlesbrough, the video featured a number of local landmarks including The Riverside Stadium, home of Middlesbrough Football Club, now promoted to the Premier League. 

Hillsview sang the song live at the start of the 200 kilometre stage across the county to Scarborough on a damp and cold Sunday morning, but well supported by proud staff and parents. They were also featured on regional TV who filmed the recording in school over and on local radio. The video received over 10,000 hits on 'you tube' within days of it being released.

Vicky Griffin said: "It is important to carry on the momentum that this initiative has started whether it in music or in sport, it doesn't matter as long as they feel part of a team, and they feel valued." 

Later in May students and staff will be cycling the Middlesbrough to Scarborough stage over two days and during the summer will attempt a coast to coast ride from Grange Over Sands to Scarborough. 

For the choir another exciting project awaits this summer as they have been invited to be part of a massive music festival, The Beeb Comes To Boro, as part of a one million strong virtual choir to appear on BBC 1's The One Show.