Last night I had the privilege of going to the Albert Hall in London for the 2nd night of a 3 day School Proms special event. The theme for the evening was Freedom. My niece was singing in a Mass Choir from the Greater Manchester area that was performing a new piece that had been specially adapted from a war poem by Siegfried Sassoon. Very appropriate for 11/11.
I love any excuse to go to the Albert Hall – who wouldn’t love this view?
My brother was unable to bring his whole family so had asked if I would go to support her. He had told me whereabouts my niece would be sitting so I managed to get a seat where I hoped I would be able to see her. She was wearing a bright yellow t-shirt, so her group was easy to find. I did spot her before the show started, and waved frantically…and she saw me and waved back!
Obviously they were not the only act. In all there were 1000 young people playing and singing. This requires dedication and preparation. Now youngsters these days often have derogatory remarks made about them, but I had nothing but admiration for how good these young people were. There were Jazz bands, Brass bands, Drumming ensembles, a very young Gospel choir that had a young man in the front who was so obviously enjoying every syllable that he was singing. The Wessex Youth Orchestra played some pieces from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet that were every bit as good as some professional orchestras I have heard. There was also an up and coming rock band that I would be very surprised if we don’t hear from them in the mainstream in the next few years.
What an opportunity for all these young people to come to such a prestigious building and play on a world famous stage.
At the end of the evening after 2 hours of excellent entertainment, we got to join in with Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory – just like the end of the Last Night At The Proms. It was wonderful!
Having musicians in the family, I know how much practice goes into getting a piece right, and I am full of admiration for all that took part.
I’m so glad I was able to go.
I keep such music in my brain
No din this side of death can quell;
Glory exulting over pain,
And beauty, garlanded in hell.
My dreaming spirit will not heed
The roar of guns that would destroy
My life that on the gloom can read
Proud-surging melodies of joy.
To the world’s end I went, and found
Death in his carnival of glare;
But in my torment I was crowned,
And music dawned above despair.