Hundreds of youngsters take over Royal Albert Hall for Redbridge Schools Choral Festival

Pupils from 50 schools in Redbridge are singing at the Royal Albert Hall for the Redbridge Choir Fes

Pupils from 50 schools in Redbridge are singing at the Royal Albert Hall for the Redbridge Choir Festival. - Credit: Archant

Pupils from more than 50 schools took over the Royal Albert Hall last night for the 21st edition of the Redbridge Schools Choral Festival.

About 1,200 youngsters aged between eight and 19 sang or played an instrument on the stage of one of London’s most iconic music venues.

In a 15-act show including music by German composer Richard Strauss, Nigerian folk songs, traditional South African miners music and hits from the Mamma Mia! musical, the festival celebrated music far and wide.

Head of performing arts at Redbridge Music Service, who organised the event, Helen Mason, said: “It was a splendid evening. It’s one of those things that children will remember forever.

“They thoroughly enjoyed it and behaved like professionals for the whole day.”

Mrs Mason said the music selection was “brilliant and reflected our community”.

“It was a great mix but all done at a very high standard,” she added.

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For Mrs Mason the night’s highlight was the world premiere of Redbridge Music Service and Wanstead High School teacher Chris Wilcox’s own composition Where Words Fail.

“For a London borough, we really do excel. We are not the only ones doing this, but we are certainly leading the way,” she said.

Mrs Mason thanked her team for organising the show and particularly Simon Roberts, the operation lead, who did a lot of work to make it happen.

Redbridge Mayor Cllr Barbara White attended the event.

“Anybody who knows me will know that I and my consort are musicians and to be attending such a prestigious concert as mayor is far beyond what my wildest dreams could have imagined,” she said.

To the musicians, she said: “I will say to you, like the audience, enjoy every minute of your playing because that is what music is all about.

“It gives enjoyment, helps individuals with certain needs, creates a feel good atmosphere when times are low and of course makes a lot of money for this country.”

The proceeds of the evening went to the Mayor’s Rainbow Appeal.

See next Thursday’s Recorder for a full picture special.