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MMF celebrates its 20th anniversary at the RAH!

Photograph by Andrew Furst ********************************************************************************************** MMF CELEBRATES ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL! 1500 young musicians performed to a capacity audience at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 29th March 2011. 26 schools from the London Borough of Merton joined forces with musicians from the Merton Music Foundation and the London Vocal Project to celebrate Merton Music Foundation’s 20th anniversary at this world famous concert hall. To launch Music is for Life 2011 a 200-strong massed concert band, massed strings and a rock group joined 1200 singers to perform the concert opener - John Miles ‘Music’, the rock epic from the early 1970s. This was followed by well received performances from the MIFL Massed Strings, Merton Youth Concert Band and Merton Youth Jazz Orchestra before the Massed choir rose to their feet to sing Pete Churchill’s ‘Dig Deep’, joined by the London Vocal Project and the horn section of MYJO. An undoubted highlight of the first part of the evening was the moving performance by our Special Schools of ’With One Voice’ – An Adventure in Music Making showing why MMF’s education programmes are so highly respected. The MIFL Massed Concert Band then concluded the first half of the concert - their vibrant sounds almost lifting the roof off the Royal Albert Hall as the combined percussion sections of all three bands played to the fore! The second half of the concert witnessed a spectacular performance of Pete Churchill’s work - ‘With One Voice’. Accompanied by the Merton Youth Jazz Orchestra and String Sinfonia this dazzling performance featured the London Vocal Project, Voice Box and the Merton Primary Schools Massed Choir in the world premier of the new song suite, which was specially commission by Merton Music Foundation for their 20th anniversary celebrations. Before the concert, St Mark’s C of E Academy and William Morris Combined Steel Band gave a warmly received performance in the foyer whilst St Mark’s Samba Band provided pre-concert entertainment in the main arena. Mayor of Merton, Cllr Oonagh Moulton said: “I was delighted to attend the Merton Music Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Reception followed by the wonderful ‘Music is for Life’ Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Events like this give our talented Merton children an event to be proud to be a part of and one they will remember for life!” Merton Council cabinet member for education Councillor Peter Walker said: Merton Music Foundation plays a hugely important part in many of the young people’s lives in Merton. Music offers so many amazing opportunities for youngsters from which they can benefit well into adulthood. Music is both intellectually stimulating and socially enriching. I am very proud of the huge amount of talent Merton’s youngsters can offer. For young people to perform on a world class stage is an experience they will never forget. Getting involved in music drives up self esteem and raises the youngsters’ own expectations of what they can achieve.”

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