The greatest show
Published 11 May 2023
London Youth Choirs celebrates 10th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall
More than 1,500 voices raised the roof of the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday night as London Youth Choirs and guest singers from 14 London schools united in song for LYC’s 10th birthday concert.
It was a memorable occasion for everyone present, particularly for the hundreds of young people experiencing the vast Royal Albert Hall for the first time.
Titled RISE UP, the concert’s upbeat playlist ensured a constant party atmosphere. A host of guest stars led by compere Aled Jones added further sparkle to the occasion, with feature appearances by soprano Camilla Kerslake, organist Anna Lapwood, and conductor and LYC Honorary Patron Gareth Malone – who led the capacity audience in an impromptu rendition of “Happy Birthday London Youth Choirs.”
Some 1,200 of the young performers on stage were from a total of 14 London primary and junior schools, specially invited and prepared for the concert by LYC’s schools programme, LYC Experience.
The evening’s many musical highlights were crowned by the world premieres of music by composers Brenda Rattray and Amy Bryce, commissioned specially for the occasion and created in partnership with LYC members at special ‘compose with the composer’ workshops.
The concert was also a visual thrill, with dramatic stage lighting and an unforgettable rendition of ‘A million dreams’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’ featuring thousands of torches shone by performers and audience.
The concert marked the culmination of LYC’s year of celebrations of its 10th anniversary which has seen the organisation enjoy unprecedented coverage in London and national media with appearances on BBC London TV and Radio, ITV Good Morning Britain, Sky News, the Evening Standard, London Live, the Evening Standard and more. A £1 million fundraising appeal has raised over two thirds of its target, and interest in LYC’s free audition programme has reached unprecedented levels.
LYC Honorary Patron John Rutter CBE said:
“In just ten years the London Youth Choirs have transformed the singing opportunities for children and young people right across London, a truly extraordinary achievement. I have been delighted to see how this wonderful family of choirs has grown and progressed – and as they reach a significant milestone in their history, let’s celebrate, reflect on the young lives they have uplifted through singing and music, congratulate all those whose vision, skill and hard work have made it possible, and look to an exciting future. I shall be in the front row for their concerts.”
GALLERY: LYC’s 10th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall
Images by Belinda Lawley