Photograph by Andrew Furst
The night of a thousand stars!
Schools from the London Borough of Merton joined forces with professional musicians and actors to stage a spectacular concert at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 23rd April 2007.
Organised by Merton Music Foundation, this event has proved to be a huge success since it was first staged at the Fairfield Halls in 2004. Now in its third year, ‘Music is for Life’ has moved to the Royal Albert Hall where over 1,400 young people gave a dazzling performance to a capacity audience of 3,000 people.
One thousand 7-11 year olds from Merton primary schools filled the Royal Albert Hall stage with Tolga Kashif’s 'Drop in the Ocean' and listened to performances by the award winning Merton Youth Jazz Orchestra and Merton Youth Concert Band. Also featured were musicians from St Mark’s Church of England Academy working with the London School of Samba and a 180-strong combined band drawn from the Foundation’s three concert bands.
The second half of the concert witnessed a spectacular performance of Pete Churchill’s epic production, ‘David and Goliath’. Accompanied by big band and strings, the production featured the massed primary schools choir, youth singers from the MMF joined by musicians from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, West End actor/singers Gary Bryden and Paul Medford, and British jazz legend Stan Sulzmann on soprano saxophone.
Dave Hill, Merton’s Director of Children, Schools and Families said:
"The excellent standard of musicianship and the fantastic enthusiasm from staff and children made the event a joy to be part of. I was proud of Merton children and was fortunate to share that feeling with local parents who supported their children in this amazing event"
Feedback from Headteachers has been equally complimentary:
“Music is for Life provided compelling and inspiring evidence that young people can respond to musical opportunity and work collectively and individually to very high standards. The Local Authority and its schools must continue to support MMF and its clear vision for music education. The RAH experience was not only a triumph for Merton students and their MMF teachers but also a challenge for all of us get behind the Music Manifesto - Every Child Matters...Music Matters for Every Child! Congratulations to MMF Director John Mander and all his staff".
"The Music is for Life concert on Monday was a wonderful experience for all the children taking part. They were all so excited and proud to perform at the Royal Albert Hall. The parents who attended have told me how much they enjoyed it too. We were all very impressed - not just with the massed choirs but by the outstanding performance of the young musicians. Each of the bands was of a very high standard. A thoroughly enjoyable evening. (A big thank you to everyone at MMF for organising it and all their hard work.) MMF is certainly the jewel in Merton's crown."
'Music is for Life' is one of the Foundation's key pledges under the Music Manifesto .
Visit the Music Manifesto website (Click on Logo below).