Star pupils in line for top prize
A TEENAGER who went to extraordinary lengths to tell the story of the Holocaust has been nominated for a SkillsTrain Young People of the Year Award. Mark Dominy, 16, even persuaded his family to visit Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland to research the
A TEENAGER who went to extraordinary lengths to tell the story of the Holocaust has been nominated for a SkillsTrain Young People of the Year Award.
Mark Dominy, 16, even persuaded his family to visit Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland to research the play about the murder of millions of Jews and other dissenters by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
Mark's efforts led him to be nominated by Martin McGarry, deputy headteacher at St Ivo School, in St Ives, for a YOPEY award, which recognises young people for being positive role models.
The idea for the play came about following a meeting of St Ivo's school council. The council was looking for a fundraising idea and suggested that its chairman Mark, as a member of St Ives Youth Theatre, should write a play.
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Mark, of Shakespeare Road, St Ives, had already been on one trip to Auschwitz and, surprised at how little some of his fellow students knew about the subject, agreed.
Mark says it is an understatement to say he was moved by his visit to Auschwitz, yet returned to do some research. He then spent weeks writing his play, taking responsibility for auditions, rehearsals, designing posters, programmes and tickets, acquiring props, and arranging lighting and sound.
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The play, called To Die For, was performed by St Ives Youth Theatre at St Ivo School. Seven representatives of Yad Vashem UK, the Holocaust Memorial Society, attended and afterwards Mark presented them with a cheque for £1,600, raised from ticket sales. The charity paid for the play to be professionally recorded on to a DVD for schools and there are hopes it may be performed at next year's Edinburgh Fringe.
Mark said he was surprised and honoured to be nominated for a YOPEY award.
* OUTSTANDING music student Dale Christmas, who is an assistant music teacher at Ramsey Abbey College, has also been nominated for a YOPEY award.
Dale, from Wistow, has an ambition to become a professional conductor, and started volunteering in 2004 as an assistant music teacher in the lower school. In 2005 he set up and ran a vocal workshop at Ramsey Junior School and last year he took charge of the upper school choir.
This year, Dale was musical director for the school production and he has supported music GCSE groups with their students and accompanied groups as they prepared their coursework pieces.
The 17-year-old is also a member of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, he sings in Huntingdon philharmonic adult choir and has played piano with local rock and jazz bands.
Gillian Bainbridge, director of learning for the creative and performing arts at Abbey College, said: “Dale is exceptionally gifted as a musician, singer, musical director and his enthusiasm and passion for music is quite infectious.”
Dale said: “I have always had a love of music. I like to analyse and explore it and I hope that by helping others, particularly younger pupils, they will get something out of it. I also enjoy helping them to understand it.”
Dale said that being nominated for an award gave him a big buzz as he said that young people did not always get the recognition they deserved.
INFORMATION: Nominations for the SkillsTrain Yopey are now closed. Winners will be announced in the summer.