In 2014, the GM Music Hub established an annual Singing Challenge for all Primary Schools across the region, commissioning a new song for the occasion from composer and Vocal Animateur, Stuart Overington. Greater Manchester’s History grew out of a collaboration with the Manchester Histories Festival and celebrated the industrial past of the region, both at work and at play. In 2015, The Timeline Detective by Rob Wilding linked to the KS2 curriculum, helping pupils remember key dates and periods of British history. The following year, as Greater Manchester has had so many vital links to scientific and industrial developments over the years and as Manchester was also the European City of Science in 2016, Out of the Ark Music, renowned for their songs for children, was approached to write a song. The fantastic A Certain Kind of Imagination was the result, celebrating many of the innovations and scientists from Greater Manchester, as well as encouraging children to develop their own imagination, curiosity and determination.
For each of these events, resources were sent to every school in the Hub, and everyone was invited to sing the song on a given date and time so that the region could be united in song. At the same time, a school from each Music Service was invited to a central venue to perform the song together. In 2016, for example, this took place at MOSI, where the children were also able to visit exhibitions about many of the inventors and inventions mentioned in the song!