South East London young musicians join forces for Royal Albert Hall world premiere

South East London young musicians

Over 500 young singers and instrumentalists from across South East London will perform together for the first time ever, in the world première in November of a new commission by local composer, Kerry Andrew.

Inspired by Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem The London Breed, the new work will feature in the final night of the Music for Youth Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall on Wed 12 November.


Taking to the stage will be musicians aged 8-21 from Trinity Laban’s Animate Orchestra and Junior Trinity, alongside a 400 strong choir from the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham, Royal Greenwich and Southwark. The ensemble will be supported by musicians and mentors from Trinity Laban, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the music education hubs from the four boroughs, who together make up the South Riverside Music Partnership supporting young people’s music making across South East London.


Trinity Laban’s Director of Music, Dr Claire Mera-Nelson, said: “This chance to perform at the Schools Prom will give these young musicians inspirational opportunities to collaborate with fellow performers at different stages of musical learning, while creating and performing alongside their teachers and professional orchestral players.”


The ensemble includes Animate Orchestra – an orchestra for the 21st century through which young people create their own music. The piece highlights Animate’s innovative music technology section which has been busy recording and sampling the sounds of London to develop a multimedia cityscape.


Composer Kerry Andrew said: “The London Breed is a musical snapshot of London from the view of some of the performers, who have provided new words and musical elements entirely inspired by Benjamin Zephaniah's poem. Big Ben, The Shard, skylines, noise, traffic and many different languages all come into play in a work that encompasses classical, pop and experimental elements and exciting music technology.”


The Schools Prom concerts are the culmination of the MFY annual season. Over 40,000 young musicians take part in regional festivals all over the UK, and 8,000 at the MFY National Festival in Birmingham. The South Riverside Massed Ensemble will feature alongside an array of other performances by some of the most talented musicians from across the UK.


MFY Chief Executive Judith Webster said: “The performances by massed ensembles which MFY presents at the Schools Prom are a wonderful opportunity for Music Education Hubs to showcase the work they do in their own locality on a national stage. The enormity of the challenge and the subsequent performances create life-changing experiences for everyone involved, and we look forward to the spectacle which will no doubt be offered by the South Riverside Music Partnership.”

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