County pupils follow in the footsteps of Dick Whittington to London and the Royal Albert Hall
Nearly 1,500 people from across the county will be following in the footsteps of Dick Whittington today when they travel in a convoy of 33 coaches to the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Five hundred young singers and 150 young musicians from Gloucestershire schools will be performing a new work at the Royal Albert Hall in London tonight at the prestigious Last Night of the Schools Prom.
They will be supported by music teachers and hundreds of friends and family, who will travel to London from the county in a fleet of 33 coaches.
The 150-strong county youth orchestra was pulled together from existing music groups run by the county's music education service, Gloucestershire Music - the youth orchestra, youth sinfonia, wind orchestra and jazz orchestra.
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The county didn't have a youth choir, so Steve Legge, head of instrumental and vocal tuition at Gloucestershire Music, got in touch with heads of music at all the county's secondary schools.
The heads of music put forward names of talented singers from their schools and the youth choir, made up of 500 voices, was assembled.
Local composer Philip Harper came up with the idea of producing a new and inspirational piece of music based on the story of Dick Whittington. Gloucestershire Music ran a competition for budding young composers to write a short melody to form the basis of the new composition.
Lucas Brinton, 16, from Stroud, won the competition.
His entry was chosen because it embodied the folk element and feel-good factor which really portrayed the story.
Philip Harper, composer, said: "For the young musicians of Gloucestershire's county youth music groups, the invitation to appear under the bright lights of London's Royal Albert Hall is a great accolade.
"For many young musicians, the journey to this iconic venue and the opportunity to perform in front of a packed audience will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
Steve Legge, head of instrumental and vocal tuition, Gloucestershire Music, said: "Gloucestershire Music's reputation for quality has been rewarded with the prize of performing at the Last Night of the Schools Prom.
"I am sure that for the performers and supporters this will be a lifelong memory that will inspire our young musicians."
Rehearsals have been going on at schools and music centres around the county ready for the big day since September.
Gloucestershire Music was asked by Music for Youth in September 2011 to put together a choir and orchestra to perform at the Last Night of the Schools
Prom at the Albert Hall.
Gloucestershire Music is now working alongside other organisations working in music with children and young people across the county as part of a new music education hub, one of 122 hubs which have been created across England. For more information visit the blog at www.gloucestershiremusic.co.uk.