De Montfort University’s Gospel Choir rubbed shoulders with rock superstars Kasabian as Leicester’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2017 was officially sent off for judging.
The choir was invited to kick-off a celebration at Leicester’s Clock Tower this morning which saw 15 documents containing the city’s finalised bid sent to the Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in Manchester.
Following performances by the gospel choir, who sang Oh Happy Day, Bollywood dancers and pupils from Stoneygate College, Kasabian, who have sold millions of albums worldwide, made a surprise appearance to back their home city's bid.
The bid document, which has had input from DMU, must reach Manchester by 5pm this afternoon when judges will consider Leicester’s offer alongside the three other short-listed cities – Swansea Bay, Hull and Dundee. The winner will be announced in November.
Pastor Samuel Gapara, who works at DMU and leads the DMU Gospel Choir, said: “I feel like Leicester has won already! I think the trumpet for this city is not blown enough. We are such a harmonious city with so much to offer.
“DMU will also have a big role to play if Leicester wins the title. There are more than 22,000 students here, many of them international students, who not only complete a degree here but end up living here because they have been made to feel so welcome.
“I think the performance went very well today and we are always delighted to be ambassadors for DMU.”
Gospel choir member Ellah Kandi said: “It was a great honour to be asked to perform today in the city centre. It was very exciting. Leicester deserves the title because it is so diverse. And DMU will have a lot to offer the city if it wins. Our matriculation ceremonies last week were a great demonstration of DMU’s diversity and culture.”
The final bid documents were escorted through Leicester by an antique Tower Wagon, which was used to maintain overhead electricity cables for the city’s trams until 1949. It would have been a common sight at the Clock Tower when the landmark was the hub of the tram network.
It was revealed last week how DMU has been working hard behind the scenes with organisations such as Leicester City Council and Leicester Comedy Festival to help put together the bid document.
Students and staff are championing the bid by following the official Leicester City of Culture twitter account @Leicester2017 and posting words of support for the judges to see.
DMU’s reputation for innovation and creativity means it will have much to offer if Leicester is announced as the winning city and DMU would be involved in the planning of a year-long celebration of all that is great about our city.
Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, said last week: “DMU is 100 per cent behind the bid for Leicester 2017. If Leicester wins the title it will bring huge benefits to students and staff.
“We will be able to draw upon our reputation for innovation and creativity in a wide range of subjects, such as performing arts, fashion, footwear, product design, music and game art, to create some spectacular student-focussed events for a worldwide audience to enjoy.
“The fact we have a truly international campus, with students representing more than 100 nations, and a vast network of links with international universities and businesses, will be another way of showing how culturally significant DMU is to Leicester and the UK.
“Our involvement will also mean we can continue to offer a first-rate student experience, bringing huge opportunities for undergraduates, post-graduates and alumni to get involved. There is no doubt that if Leicester’s bid is successful our students will have a key role to play from 2013 onwards in the planning and staging of the celebrations.”
Posted on Monday 30th September 2013