Merton Pupils Shine At The Royal Albert Hall

Music is for Life 2013

The Royal Albert Hall (right) provided the backdrop to an inspirational evening of music making by Merton schools and Merton Music Foundation.

Launching Music is for Life 2013 was a 200-strong massed concert band, massed strings, guitars and a rock band joined by 1,200 singers from Merton Primary, Secondary and Special schools to perform the Olympic anthem, 'Proud'.

The show saw the Foundation's strings and guitars perform on stage, its youth concert band in the arena and a youth jazz orchestra influenced by the big band era.

A highlight of the evening was the 'Golden Heart' - a performance by Key Stage 3 pupils from Cricket Green School and Key Stage 2 pupils from Perseid School.

To conclude the first half of the concert there was rhythmic playing from the Foundation's percussion ensembles joined by the massed schools choir in 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'. This was followed by performances from the Music is for Life Massed Concert Band.

The second half witnessed a spectacular performance of 'The Journey' by the Merton Schools Massed Choir, London Vocal Project and Merton Youth Music. Featuring guest soloists Gary Palmer, Guillermo Rozenthuler and members of the LVP, this piece was a 'lesson' in history and musical styles as it charted the history of immigration over the last one thousand years into the UK.

Written by world-renowned musician and educator Pete Churchill, the performance was the culmination of six month's work with 28 Merton Primary, Secondary and Special schools as part of the charity's borough-wide singing strategy.

Before the concert, Panash Community Steel Orchestra and samba from Bloco St Mark's performances in the foyer and to the audience in the main arena.

Merton Music Foundation has received praise from schools, parents and performers for its concert engaging more than 1,500 children and young people from the London Borough of Merton.

Mayor of Merton, Councillor David Williams, said: "I was honoured to be a guest at the Music is for Life performance at the Royal Albert Hall and watch Merton's talented schoolchildren perform to such a high standard. Congratulations to everyone from Merton who took part in this spectacular show."

May 2, 2013