In less than a week, 1,500 young musicians and singers will be performing at the Royal Albert Hall as part of this year’s “Music is for life” event. Organised by the Merton Music Foundation, the event, taking place on the 8th of May, will comprise the voices and talents from 19 primary schools taking part, Merton music centre instrumental groups as well as two new commissions.
With “The People’s guide to the Orchestra” composer Neil Brand draws on his love for film music in his new commission featuring narrators, percussion, wind, brass and strings. Brand, recognised as the “doyen of silent film pianists” regularly accompanies silent films at London’s National Film Theatre and has also written scores for recently discovered silent films.
The other commission: “Speak up, Speak Out” is inspired by the Shakespeare 400 celebrations which marked the 400th anniversary of his death and how the wit and wisdom he provided has not been degraded by several century’s worth of time and still resonates within our lives today. The composers Pete Churchill, Adam Saunders, writer Andrew Alty and director Kate McGregor have all been helping organise the huge choirs and teaching the singers the songs over the past few months.
2015’s event saw the Royal Albert Hall sold out with the Mayor of Merton Councillor Agatha Akyigyina saying: “I was very proud to see so many talented young people from Merton up on the world renowned stage at the Royal Albert Hall.  The children sounded amazing. My praise goes to all the young performers and their teachers who have worked so hard to bring the most incredible concert to a huge audience.”
Niamh Park, one of the many singers, said she was very excited for the upcoming performance, adding:” I’m a little bit nervous but mostly excited. We’ve learnt around 7 songs and I was really impressed how they taught us like 3 songs in one lesson. I think we sound amazing”
Definitely one to look forward to then.