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Royal Albert Hall – Movie Magic in aid of Barnardo’s

On Tuesday the 9th of November, a concert was held with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, in aid of Barnardo’s charity at the Royal Albert Hall.

The Barnardo’s Young Supporters Choir and the Brent Concert Pops Orchestra came together to raise funds for the vital projects that support vulnerable children across the UK. This fundraiser, titled A Night of Movie Magic, featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, celebrated some of Britain’s most adored film music including scores from ‘Harry Potter’, ‘E.T.’ and ‘Star Wars’.

The Royal Albert Hall is one of the United Kingdom's most treasured and distinctive concert halls that can seat as many as 5,272 people. It has featured events such as the ‘No Time To Die’ premiere, artists such as Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and Adele, as well as the annual BBC Proms.

In September, we were tasked with composing a piece inspired by John Williams’ works. Along with some guidance from the RPO, we were separated into three groups, combined our instruments and creativity, and came up with three completely different pieces. The strings came up with a sombre but rich harmonic sequence whilst the rhythm players created an upbeat, cantina-style section, culminating in a grand fanfare finale written by the brass & wind players. This was all inspired by John Williams, most notably Star Wars, Schindler’s List and Jurassic Park.

On the day of the concert, we arrived at the Royal Albert Hall at midday to prepare for our first ever rehearsal with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The rehearsal was conducted by Benjamin Pope, who has conducted orchestras around the world, such as the Royal Opera House. He specialises in live-to-projection film screenings with a large repertoire of titles performed in concert in concert halls and large-scale arenas. Taking part in a rehearsal with a professional conductor and orchestra was insightful, as it was clear that they had the skills, confidence and attitude of a world-class organisation.

At 6.30 pm, the concert began. We were escorted by the backstage crew from the dressing rooms to the stage. After lining up at the back of the stage, the conductor raised his baton, indicating the beginning of our piece. The performance went smoothly and was a testament to the hard work of everyone involved. We quickly exited the stage and quietly emerged at the balcony seats so we could enjoy the rest of the concert, with powerful and cinematic excerpts from Schindler's List and Star Wars.

The experience taught us how to listen to each other, a passion for performing as well as the power of music, to bring people together and uplift their souls.

“Great music will always create a story that one can lose themselves in” - Vue Cinema.

By Sophia Manta and James Goodrick-Green (Y1 Students)