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Junior Trinity perform at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey

Mon 15 April 2024

Junior Trinity were invited by Commonwealth Resounds to perform at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey this year. JT students Adrianna Forbes-Dorant and Ben Atherton had their arrangements chosen to be performed.

This year marks 75 years since the signing of the London Declaration in 1949 that established the Commonwealth as a network of equals united by values and a shared aspiration for a better future. Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Commonwealth Day Service is the world’s premier, public event to celebrate the Commonwealth of Nations and provides an opportunity to focus attention on this voluntary association of 56 countries and their commitment to promoting democracy, human rights, the rule of law and equality for its 2.5 billion citizens.

The theme of this year’s Heads of Government Meeting and Commonwealth Day Service was resilience – 2024 is also the second year of the Year of Youth in recognition of the tremendous contributions of young people to society. This annual event, held at Westminster Abbey, celebrates the unity, diversity, and linkages of the modern Commonwealth and seeks to foster greater understanding of the Commonwealth’s achievements and role, particularly amongst its young people.

The service was filmed by the BBC and streamed across the world. Junior Trinity’s Vocal Consort performed in the pre-service concert as the dignitaries arrived and members of Composers’ Ensemble performed a forty minute programme of folk songs from across the Commonwealth, as well as new works written by two JT students, Adrianna Forbes-Dorant and Ben Atherton.

Trinity Laban Conservatoire Junior Department is well known for celebrating musical, cultural and creative diversity. Singing is particularly important to life in the Junior Department, and every single student sings in at least one of their many choirs. The Vocal Consort is made up of some of their most talented and promising students. This performance represented the collaborative spirit often at the heart of Junior Trinity’s music and involved music from across the Commonwealth, including a number of small island states such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Adrianna Forbes-Dorant is a full bursary recipient and has attended Junior Trinity for five years. She is a first study pianist, second study voice, and third study violin, which have become interchangeable for her over time. She has recently discovered a love and talent for composing, and is a key member of Composers’ Ensemble. For the past three years, she has sung the role of Flora for Garsington Opera to high acclaim. She holds an offer from the University of Cambridge, as well as scholarships from several conservatoires.

The programme was as follows:

  • A Jamaican Celebration – composed by Adrianna Forbes-Dorant (Junior Trinity student)
  • Meguru – arranged by Russel Robertson
  • The Jones Boys – arranged by Ben Atherton (Junior Trinity student)
  • Pokarekare Ana – arranged by Andrew Carter
  • Nani and Nana – composed by Sundar Popo, arranged by Cole Lam
  • Thank you for the music – arranged by Jerry Estes
  • Keel Row – arranged by John Rutter
  • Sing from The Song Sound True – composed by Judith Weir
  • Somebody to love – arranged by Roger Emerson
  • Kenek Kenek Lah Udang – arranged by Dan Miller (Junior Trinity Vocal Tutor)
  • A Commonwealth Music Relay – arranged by Cole Lam, Siri Hedge,
    Jahfari Hazelwood, James Brew, Jacob Abela, and Ajiri Ikede