SfP inspires Freedom at the Royal Albert Hall

Sing for Pleasure is delighted to have a presence at the annual Schools Prom taking place on 11 November, organised by Music for Youth. Each year more than 3,000 musicians take to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall for three nights of amazing music at the event and our tutors Imelda Shirley and Jill Henderson-Wild have been involved in preparing and coordinating a piece for the event. Imelda will conduct the massed choir on the evening in front of a packed Albert Hall.

Spotlighting the stars of tomorrow, the concerts provide a mix of classical, folk, indie and urban music, a massed ensemble of 400-600 people each evening, and an explosive finish in three concerts that have been carefully curated to create three unique nights of themed music: Metamorphosis, Freedom and Words.

Imelda and Jill are featuring with one of SfP’s key strategic partners, the Greater Manchester Music Hub, in the Freedom concert. The hub includes choirs from across Greater Manchester and also includes Rachel Hughes and a number of SfP trained conductors: Michael Betteridge, who is a graduate from our Young Conductor programme; Carrie Morrow; Dinah Hypolite; Margaret Curzon and Fran Pearson. The Freedom concert marks the centenary of World War One, and uses the text from Secret Music by poet Siegfried Sassoon in a specially commissioned piece by Ed Puddick. The piece has introduced the poetry of Siegfried Sassoon to the young performers – helping to place the centenary of WW1 into a meaningful context.

The piece will involve a massed children’s choir of over 500 children from the GM Music Hub and the GM Hub Jazz Orchestra set up especially for this event. It features a Ragtime style  which coincides with the period at the start of the war, and, in the third section, echoes of Jazz, which were emerging by the end of 1918. These musical features were to develop into the strong swing rhythms of the big bands, popular during the war time era. The ending of the piece tells us that even amidst this hell of war, “music dawned above despair”.