Alistair Kleebauer, Senior reporter
Friday, March 23, 2012
Redbridge schoolchildren had a night they will never forget when months of hard work culminated in a dazzling performance at the Royal Albert Hall last night.
The best of the borough was on show at the prestigious South Kensington venue where more than 1,800 pupils took part in the 19th Schools’ Choral Festival.
From young primary school pupils joining in with their recorders on Chariots Of Fire to school-leavers masterfully performing in the Redbridge Music School Symphony Orchestra, proud parents and music fans were not disappointed by their efforts.
The biennial festival included specially commissioned pieces from Chris Wilcox of Redbridge Music Service which marked this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The programme also included works celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Melanie Henry, the music co-ordinator at Aldersbrook Primary School, Harpenden Road, Wanstead, said: “The children have been so excited for months.
“It’s the fact it’s the Royal Albert Hall and it’s a lovely day out and they worked really hard.”
Seated on all sides of the main orchestra, itself made up of pupils, the children enthustiastically sang along with Any Dream Will Do by Andrew Lloyd Webber and a medley of hits from rock band Queen among other songs.
A Cockney medley included music hall favourites like I’m Henry VIII, I am and Knees Up Mother Brown.
Following rehearsals on Thursday afternoon, Emily May, 9, of Roding Primary School, Roding Lane North, Woodford Green, said she had been practising at home but keeping the songs secret from her mum so she could surprise her. Chris Law, 14, of Trinity Catholic High School, Mornington Road, Woodford Green, said: “It’s not daunting, it’s exciting.
“And we can share the nerves.”
Fellow Trinity pupil Keir Sweeney, 18, paid tribute to Mr Wilcox’s songs, while Joe Thompson, 10, of Aldersbrook, said he was looking forward to the pom-pom song.
Martin Seymour, the choir leader at Churchfields Junior School, Churchfields, South Woodford, said: “It’s an experience that lives with them and they remember it from year to year.”
Click on the link above to see our pictures of the children’s rehearsals.