400 school children prepare to sing at the Royal Albert Hall

On Wednesday 22 October, hundreds of local schoolchildren came together at Blackheath Halls to rehearse for a very special performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

This was the first major rehearsal for the children’s upcoming performance at the Music for Youth Schools Proms on Wed 12 November 2014. They will join forces with 200 students from Trinity Laban’s Animate Orchestra and with students from Junior Trinity to perform an exciting new piece by composer Kerry Andrew, The London Breed, inspired by Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem.

Around 400 students from 15 schools from Southwark, Greenwich, Lambeth and Lewisham Music Hubs had all been practicing at their separate schools, and the rehearsal was the first time the choirs had come together.

Kerry Andrew said: “The kids are sounding great – they’re really disciplined and really well prepared. Even though there’s so many schools involved, they really sound like they’ve been singing together for a long time already – that idea of all tribes melting into one, it just feels right.”

Conductor Tim Redmond agreed: “The kids realised that working with several hundred others requires a different discipline to blend the sound, and I was delighted that in the course of less than four hours, they really improved and now I think we’re ready to join the orchestra. That’s no small feat, putting it together in such a short time and it’s testament to how well they’ve been trained. They are fabulous to work with and it bodes well for a really fabulous performance.”

Creative team

Kerry Andrew - composer

Beatboxer - Trey Qua – Sedgehill School

Soloist – Tasha Mhakayakora, Sydenham School


Lewisham Music Hub Junior Choir

Brooklands Primary School Choir, Greenwich

Forest Hill Boys School Senior Vocal Group, Lewisham 

St Ursula's Chamber Choir, Greenwich

Deansfield Primary School Choir, Greenwich

Sydenham School Choir, Lewisham

Woolwich Polytechnic Boys School, Greenwich

Victory Primary School, Southwark

Oliver Goldsmith Primary School, Southwark

Plumstead Manor Singers, Greenwich

The Elmgreen School Choir, Lambeth

Robert Browning Primary School, Southwark

Oasis Academy South Bank Choir, Lambeth

Jubilee Primary School, Lambeth

Vauxhall Primary School, Lambeth

 Picture credit - jk_photography