Looking back and more to come…

As another term comes to an end we look back on a packed and successful diary of rehearsals and gigs.  Here are just some of the highlights…

Adult bands perform at the Pittville Pump Room alongside cornet star Tom Hutchinson.
Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra perform at the Roses Theatre alongside the fantastic Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Pro Trombonist Chris Fower inspires Colwell Arts Jazz Ensemble and Colin Hales puts GSWO through their paces as part of our ‘working with the professionals’ series.
*BBC record our annual Rotary Concert featuring Gloucestershire Youth Choir, Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra and Gloucestershire Youth Wind Orchestra.  Another sell out concert.  Keep an ear and an eye out on BBC Radio Gloucestershire for live recordings of the concert.
Music For Youth Regional Festival another success with packed audiences on Sunday 25th March.  Our massed music centre ensembles were a real highlight.
Our new Whole Class MFY schools day with no less than 16 primary schools performing at the Cheltenham Town Hall.
Gloucestershire Youth Choir learn to rap with 5 Mics.
The Forest of Dean Area Wind Band continues to grow welcoming new members and will be joined by Chris Gibbons as their new woodwind tutor in April.
Our student council meet for Donuts and Discussion and plan our events for 2018/19.  More details after Easter.
Colwell Arts Orchestra works alongside members of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Music.

 

What’s to come?

Adult Learn As You Play Launched
In April, our new adult LAYP ensembles will be launched at Five Valleys and Brookfield Music Centres.  Find out more here

Composers Corner
Composers get the chance to get creative and start composing for our new round of events and concerts in the new academic year. Find out more here

New sponsors secured for ‘GM Presents’
We are delighted to be working with a new set of sponsors who are helping us provide great performance opportunities for our ensembles and choirs.  Follow this link for more information and see poster above.

GM has secured significant funding to allow us to continue to provide some exciting events for all our members in 2018/19.  Over the next two weeks I will be issuing dates for the next academic year including a huge collaboration with the Cheltenham Trust.  More ‘GM Presents’ will be put in the diary featuring all of our ensembles.  The National Concert Band Festival and Music For Youth will return to Gloucestershire as will our annual Rotary Concert.  A new film music course and tour will also be announced.

Wishing you all a relaxing Easter and we look forward to seeing you all next term.

Steve Legge, Extended Learning & Provisions Manager,  Gloucestershire Music.

#pittvillepumprooms, #therosestheatre, #midlandyouthjazzorchestra, #bbcradiogloucestershire, #musicforyouth, #cheltenhamtownhall, #royalbirminghamconservatoireofmusic, #nationalconcertbandfestival, #musiccentres, #musicgroups, #gloucestershiremusic

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Sound the trumpet…

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Wells Cathedral School recently played host to the “Music from the Movies” themed Trumpet Skills Days.  Attended by nearly 50 trumpetiers, made up from all over the West of England including 5 students from Gloucestershire Music.

It was certainly a fun filled and musically rewarding day led by some of the finest brass specialist and players in the country. The students were assigned a group for the day with their various tutors: Hannah Opstad, Ross Brown, Simon Jones and Robert Webb.

The whole day revolved around the concept of learning new ‘skills’ on the trumpet.  As Paul Denegri stated in his introduction its not just about learning new music and styles but embracing new skills in practicing/performing that students can continue to use in their musical learning.  With that said the first session started in their various groups, and this was all about warm-ups and warming up.  Focusing on the importance of this as a trumpet player and how skillful we can be in our preparations.  The groups then put these skills into practice as they continued rehearsing their chosen music from the movies ready for the concert in the magical atmosphere of the 14th century Quilter Hall later.

It was wonderful to see so many trumpet players, of all different ages and abilities simply enjoying making music together. The power of this even more evident when new friendships were formed based on their mutual love and appetite for music and the trumpet. Overhearing students chatting about their favourite pieces, who their favourite trumpet players are, what they have learnt so far and talking about how  they can use these ideas in their music was amazing.  Refreshingly encouraging to see so many children ‘networking’ new musical suggestions and proffer such enthusiasm.

“I was lucky enough to experience a trip to the amazing Wells Cathedral School for a trumpet masterclass with Mr Storer. I had lots of fun, making new friends and learning the Bare Necessities as well as practising how to clean and maintain trumpets. On top of this, all the tutors were excellent, kind, friendly and were a great help if you were stuck. it was a super day.” Angharad, age 9

the Trumpet Skills Day at Wells Cathedral school was fun and had a good range of activities that kept us engaged through the whole day. I personally enjoyed the natural trumpets we got to play towards the end of the afternoon. The tutors were nice and helped us improve our performances of the pieces that we were playing – in my case Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Book. I would happily go again next year….”  William, age 12

“I really enjoyed the trumpet skills day at Wells as the activities were interesting and engaging. We learnt about posture, breathing and how to warm up well. The staff were enthusiastic and helpful, teaching us in a fun way. We were playing music from the movies including Pirates of the Caribbean.  I particulary enjoyed playing the natural trumpets.”  Harry, age 12

The trumpet skills day is an excellent initiative by Paul Denegri and his specialist team of renowned brass tutors. It is a wonderful provision to consolidate all of the students musical learning. The trumpet skills day will once again take place next year on 20th January 2019…. book early!

Phil Storer

Gloucestershire pupils ‘finding the groove’…

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Over the last few months our GM tutors have been busy working hard in schools delivering all sorts of musical tuition.

Since September nearly 3000 children from around Gloucestershire have taken part in GM led workshops, small group peripatetic or WCET lessons on a mix of instruments from violin to trumpet. Our lessons cover the key areas of the curriculum and National Plan for Music Education (NPME) and are run by our enthusiastic team of highly skilled tutors in every quadrant of our County.

We offer WCET (Whole Class Ensemble Teaching) on a wide range of instruments covering pupils from Reception to Year 7.  As we’re halfway through this academic year most of our instrumental sets are now out in schools, however we do have availability for some instrumental sets for this Summer Term 2018.

We’re extremely proud to be taking some of these pupils to perform at this year’s ‘Music For Youth’ Regional Festival at Cheltenham Town Hall, where pupils from schools around the County will represent Gloucestershire as part of six massed instrumental groups. These groups will be made up of pupils who have received only 10 lessons on strings, woodwind, brass and ukulele.  More details will follow in the next edition about this fantastic new project!

This year has seen a large increase in GM led small group peripatetic teaching coming back to schools. We offer a full range of instrumental tuition from our quality assessed team with all of the administration handled by us at GM.

In early December international concert pianist Clare Hammond delighted pupils around Stroud playing a mix of exciting pieces and telling stories about the music and throughout November and December, due to high school demand, we saw lots of samba workshops happening all over the county with pupils from reception and above ‘finding the groove’ and learning to work as part of a team.

If you would like a musical activity in your school that we currently do not offer please let us know – we will do our best to offer it to you.

If you would like more information on availability of small group,  whole class tuition or day workshops please contact Nick Steel at nicholas.steel@gloucestershire.gov.uk

 

County Jazz Centre wins third consecutive Will Michael Jazz Award

Photo: Leslie East (Musician’s Company) and Peter Martin (GJL Director)

Our County Jazz Centre, Gloucestershire Jazz Live, continues to go from strength to strength with their talented youth and adult musicians picking up many awards and performing around the Country.  Here Peter Martin (GJL Director) looks back over another successful year…

Gloucestershire Jazz Live [GJL], our County Jazz Centre for youth and adult musicians, has recently gained a third consecutive Will Michael Jazz Education Award and Diploma for their outstanding commitment and provision from 2016-17.  Whilst we are already amidst our 2017-18 season, GJL has seen a very successful development as a highly reputable jazz centre for our keen county jazz musicians and we are very proud of this fourth award of recent years.

The 2016-17 academic year saw an impressive number of performance opportunities for members of all our youth groups, Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Academy (GYJA) and Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra (GYJO) and our adult group Jazz2Go.  Highlights of the year were performing at the National Concert Band Festivals, Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Music for Youth Regional and National Festivals, Cheltenham Jazz Festival and Upton Jazz Festival, as well as gigs for the Queen’s 90th birthday, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Stroud Jazz Weekend, our GJL concerts as well as a youth tour to Paris, all of which proved to mark a ground-breaking year for our members and tutors.

Our first collaboration with another county group, the Oxfordshire Youth Big Band (OYBB), also proved as a new and exciting opportunity for our youth musicians, which featured a world premiere double big band piece “Bayard’s Juke Joint” composed by Oxfordshire musician Nick Blake. Showcasing several student arrangements and compositions throughout the year similarly promoted the incredible talent we have in the county, many of whom who have taken music as a course of study in further education.

The report on our award also acknowledged the new inclusion of improvisation workshops and useful teaching and learning resources for schools, county musicians and classroom teachers. Working with internationally renowned trumpeter, composer and arranger Guy Barker was also a very memorable experience at Cheltenham Jazz Festival for everyone involved. 2016-17 also saw GJL’s first ever online video submissions of each group to the International Jazz Day Archives, where one performance was also selected as one of their highlights from around the world.

I attended the presentation evening on Wednesday 22 November 2017 at Trinity Laban Conservatoire (London) to collect this recent award. Supported by the Musician’s Company who have been supporting and promoting excellence in music since the Middle Ages, this once again proved a key annual event to meet and share ideas with other tutors and hubs across the Country and hear leading jazz ensembles. The Trinity Laban Contemporary Jazz Ensemble certainly delivered an impressive set for the evening.

We are very hopeful that 2017-18 will prove to be another very successful and enjoyable year for everyone involved at Gloucestershire Jazz Live. We kindly thank the Will Michael awards panel and Musician’s Company for this national recognition.

Peter Martin, GJL Director.

Links

MusicEd article

MusicEd reports

Musician’s Company

GJL website

GJL YouTube channel

GJL International Jazz Day videos

 

Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Academy perform at Upton Jazz Festival

GYJA at Upton medium
Best of Young Jazz Stage

GYJA performed at the Upton Jazz Festival on the Best of Young Jazz stage at the end of June.  As the band’s second year at the event, here’s what a couple of GYJA members had to say about the experience…

“On Sunday 25th June GYJA performed at Upton Jazz Festival. It gave us an amazing opportunity to perform in a professionally relaxed environment. When we first arrived, we all met up and it gave some of the new members a chance to really fit in with the group and get to settle with everyone. We had about an hour before we went on stage to look round the festival and explore all the different events. We watched many other adult Jazz bands, and the atmosphere was magical and it was amazing to watch many people dancing to the music. 

At 14:50 we played our set and we even had our own sound crew! It was a unique opportunity to perform our pieces in front of a broad audience who we could tell were very into Jazz.  Our set consisted of modern and traditional Jazz pieces, including three vocal pieces. My favourite piece was “Night and Day” as it was sung by one of my Jazz heroes, Ella Fitzgerald. Another favourite of mine was Guaglione, which I know the rest of the band really enjoyed as it incorporated some dance moves, making not only pleasurable for the ear, but the eyes too!

 Overall, performing in the Best of Young Jazz tent at Upton was an unforgettable experience, and the whole group really enjoyed it.”

 Hannah Hughes (GYJA Vocalist and Cellist)

“The Upton Jazz Festival was an exciting and highly enjoyable experience for me, both as a performer and as someone listening. On arrival I was instantly hit with musical vibes and as we parked we could hear jazz coming from one of the tents that covered the field, enhancing the festival feeling. 

Although I felt slightly nervous on the way there, showing my wristband to the people sat at the entrance and walking into the field of music made my excitement more prominent than my nerves. 

 Whilst waiting for our performance, I sat and listened to the band that was on before us. This particular band was playing a range of very funky numbers, and it definitely got me into the feel of the music, as the grooves and melodies were engaging and enjoyable to listen to.

As a member of the rhythm section, I tend to go on stage earlier than the rest of the band to set up the percussion equipment and to arrange the kit in a way that Nathan (the other drummer) and I are comfortable with. During the sound check I always explore the sounds of each of the drums that I’m presented with, getting an idea of what would be appropriate in different places.

Performing was an extremely enjoyable experience, and I loved playing the kit and percussion for the band. The atmosphere of the festival and the build up to the performance meant that when we were playing I was really ‘in the zone’.” 

 Will Foster (GYJA Drummer and Percussionist)

 

GM musicians perform at Ronnie Scott’s…

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On Sunday 7th May, members of Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra travelled to Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London to take part in ‘The Big Band In A Day’ workshop.  Following the workshop GYJO rounded off their amazing day by performing on the main stage.  This is what 2 of GYJO’s members thought about the day…

“We arrived at Ronnie Scott’s shortly before midday and were shown upstairs to the bar to meet our tutors for the day, saxophonists Phil Meadows and Jim Gold. The Big Band In A Day workshop began with a look at breathing techniques for woodwind and brass players. It was really striking how a few simple changes to breathing technique really improved our ensemble sound. The work on breathing quickly evolved into some detailed analysis of chord voicings, and how big band arrangers combine notes of a chord in order to get a rich, yet coherent sound. Our tutors for the day had a really unique approach – it was several hours before we even looked at any sheet music, and we had composed and arranged a blues sequence long before we did any conventional rehearsal.

Having finished rehearsing for the day, we then got the opportunity to go down to the main stage to watch the Callum Au Big Band sound-checking before their set in the evening. It was really interesting to watch a band of such a high standard playing through and preparing their repertoire – the quality of the playing was incredibly impressive.

The day at Ronnie Scott’s ended with our set on the main stage, performing only music we had learnt from scratch earlier that day to the paying audience for the evening. This really was an unforgettable experience. It was amazing to perform live on a world-famous stage – the atmosphere in the club really is incredible.”

Louis Horrell (GYJO – Alto 1 Saxophonist and Assistant Section Leader)

“We started the day with the usual introductions of the tutors, both alto sax players, and a tune up. Ends out, there is always stuff you can learn; even about playing a note and comparing its pitch to someone else’s! This then got developed into ‘how to play a chord’ – sounds simple, but, as we learnt, there are several hidden tricks and vices that make a chord sound powerful and ‘juicy’.

Once we had learnt the subtleties of chord playing, we used these in a discussion on ‘what makes a blues’ – the chords used, the format of the melody, and general feel. The tutors then let us put our newfound knowledge to the test and gave us the task of writing our own blues, each section doing their own, then combining them all into a multi-rhythmed, polyphonic blues explosion! It gave me a real sense of accomplishment, knowing I’ve not only played at Ronnie Scott’s but also played something completely original, composed by GYJO as a whole. Once we had this rehearsed, we went on to look at Moten Swing – a piece popularised by the legendary Count Basie. Here is where we learnt ‘how to swing’ – once again, it isn’t just a crotchet-quaver-as-a-triplet. We learnt the necessity of the emphases on the 2nd and 4th crotchets, and how to get the most swing to your swing through proper articulation. This led onto an addition from our tenor sax player Edi May, who had composed a small intro for the occasion, that showed off the band in a fun way, and also allowed us all to get tips from the tutors on how to write our own material, both on the actual content and how to lay it out on the score.

Once we all got this into our heads, it was time to eat. We had the privilege of listening to the sound check of the headline act, the Callum Au Big Band. To describe in three words: “It was Mind-blowing!” The tightness of the brass section was immense and highlighted the importance of having a section that was in sync with itself; and the calibre of their solos was staggering – being able to scream and slide in the powerful tunes, yet maintain a beautiful tone and musicianship in the ballads is something I can only aspire to do. However, what amazed me the most about this band wasn’t their playing, but their informality. It goes to show that you don’t have to sell your souls to be good musicians.

After that, we went on stage to perform, beginning with Edi’s intro, which seemed to call everyone’s attention suitably! This then neatly led on to us playing Moten Swing, where we showed off use of dynamics and articulation, and then finally our blues, which we never named, to round off our part of the night with our creativity and general confidence to play. This ended the night perfectly for me, as it made our mark on the venue. It was a really enjoyable, albeit intense, day that we all learnt greatly from.”

Rory Gordon (GYJO – Trumpet 1 and Section Leader)

The Guy Barker ‘Experience’!

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Following on from our previous blog GM students simply starstruck! some more of our players have been telling us about their experience at this year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival:

“Over the last few years Jazz2Go have performed at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival as part of Gloucestershire Jazz live.  This year we had the privilege of working with Guy Barker.  Guy chose a new piece for us to work on that the whole band enjoyed – it was very much in our style and within our capabilities.  Sight-reading the new piece in front of Guy was a bit daunting especially when you had a solo part or when he suddenly pointed at you to do an improvisation.  However, he soon put us at our ease with his relaxed and friendly manner.  All sections of the band felt involved and he answered questions and concerns.  I think he was pleased with the work we did on the piece and he made constructive comments on two other pieces that were in our programme for the festival. 

Guy became an honorary member of Jazz2Go on the day of the festival.  Not only did he conduct his chosen piece but played alongside us for the rest of our programme.  He enthused about our playing and encouraged us all to continue making the great sound that our musical director has developed.   I’m quite sure the music we worked on with Guy will stay in our repertoire for some time and we would all love him to pay a return visit.”   Wendy Dawson, piano player, Jazz2Go.

“On Monday 1st May, Guy Barker conducted some previously arranged pieces for Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Academy that we performed on the free stage at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. We performed an arrangement of “Sing Sing Sing” and “Minnie the Moocher” after rehearsing the pieces with Guy twice in rehearsal on stage, closing our set, which was great fun!

In “Sing Sing Sing”, we all had a chance to do a solo or joint improvisation with Guy Barker which was a great experience as it taught me a lot about how to improvise and helped to build my confidence when improvising, and was a really fun piece to play as a band.

In “Minnie the Moocher” we all had to sing along with the crowd, and the atmosphere was awesome! Guy Barker had written an amazing arrangement, which showed off all our band’s skills, while challenging us, which I enjoyed.

Playing with Guy Barker taught me so much about improvisation and the potential of the band, and helped build my confidence when improvising, and I look forward to seeing what else the band will be able to do in future, using what Guy has taught us.”  Emily Chestney, flute player, Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Academy.

Photos: Steve Green Photography

GM students simply starstruck!

GYJO members with Guy Barker

In March and April 2017 our jazz centre Gloucestershire Jazz Live had the experience of jazz workshops with the incredible Guy Barker (trumpeter, composer, arranger, music director). Following the first workshop a few GYJO members were keen to tell us what they thought:

“One of the reasons why I am privileged to be a part of GYJO, is that we get the opportunity to work with amazing musicians that really know what they are talking about. From when Guy Barker walked in the room, I knew we were in the hands of a professional and were in for a great session. As a fellow trumpet player, I was particularly interested to see his skill on his trumpet – and oh boy I was amazed. When we hit the solo section of Eddie Harris’ ‘Cold Duck Time’, I heard probably the most incredible trumpet solo for a long time. Every single trick in the bag was used, this guy could play: really play. When he finished myself along with everyone else in the band was simply starstruck.

Not only was he an amazing player but a brilliant educator. He was encouraging, supportive, kind and gave incredible wisdom. He gave us a totally different perspective on the piece, based on his time out in Africa playing it, and showed us some little techniques. He also gave some really good advice as a fellow trumpet player to me, something invaluable and incredibly helpful. It was an amazing evening, and I look forward to the next time we shall be working with him as we perfect our repertoire for the Cheltenham Jazz Festival”.  Tom Gill (GYJO)

“Last week we had a brilliant workshop with renowned trumpeter, Guy Barker. It’s always great to have some real inspirational players come to groups we play in and Guy was certainly no exception. He led a very lively rehearsal but didn’t struggle to take the attention of the whole room when he played a solo to us making us all marvel at his amazing playing. After showing us what he could do he gave us some pointers on how to practice improvising and how to play better in the style of the music we were playing. He spoke to us for a while about the history of the music we were playing and the musicians who played it before us. He also told us lots about himself and his experiences being a musician and working for charity, which was all very interesting and exciting for those of us who hope to follow in a similar career path. Guy also showed us a new big band chart, a jazz standard, “Two O’clock Jump” which we will be performing as part of our set at Cheltenham jazz festival with Guy alongside us. It was a fun chart and great rehearsal in general. I’m looking forward to working more with Guy and performing with him especially!”   Edi May (GYJO)

 

GM welcomes new Schools’ Manager

Welcome to the new Music Service Schools Manager, Nick Steel!

Nick joined Gloucestershire Music at the end of February 2017 and he has already been roaming the highways and byways of Gloucestershire visiting lots of schools and teachers.  We’ve asked him to write his first blog to introduce himself to you all so over to you Nick…

I’ve joined Gloucestershire Music (GM) as the new Schools’ Manager and as such will be the new point of contact for schools that use GM’s services. My job will be to add curriculum support and offer ways to improve the quality of musicianship across all schools in the county.

Previously I was Head of Strings for Gwent Music in South Wales and have spent the last 11 years teaching the violin and viola in Monmouth and Abergavenny, raising the profile of strings and music services as a whole.

I have a firm belief that music can offer so much more than notes and rhythms and hugely benefit the pupil, school life and the wider community. I see myself as being extremely lucky to have found a career that is both my hobby and my passion and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute working with young musicians from ages 4 -21.

After graduating from university I immediately started work with Gwent Music and rose through the ranks until in 2013 I was appointed as Head of Strings and managed the team of 21 string tutors as well as conducting county ensembles.

Having only just moved to Gloucestershire from Cardiff I’m looking to find local orchestras and ensembles to join and will have to dust off my viola! In my spare time I sing for the BBC in Cardiff. I also enjoy playing tennis, I’ve recently started playing pool in a local league and, though far away now, I am still a season ticket holder at Cardiff City FC – perhaps I’ll find time to watch Forest Green Rovers or Cheltenham Town in the future!

Since moving to Painswick my wife and I have taken advantage of the rolling hills and valleys and have invested in some walking boots. I’m extremely committed to youth music and am geared up to expand and improve music making in Gloucestershire.

Nick

#gloucestershiremusic, #makingmusic, #gwentmusic, #gloucestershire, #cardiff, #bbc,

 

Performing at the Royal Albert Hall was an amazing experience…

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After the excitement of our musicians performing in the Massed Ensemble at this year’s Music for Youth Prom at the Royal Albert Hall (see our previous blog Performance of a lifetime for our County’s young musicians at the Royal Albert Hall), our fantastic Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra (GYJO) were performing in the final platform on Tuesday 15th November.  Performing at this platform is by invitation only, which just shows how talented our young musicians are.

We asked two members of GYJO, Roella Oloro (pianist and composer) and Daisy Houlder (vocalist and flautist), to tells us all about their experience:

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have taken part in the Music for Youth Proms this year and especially to have had my piece Cruisin’ played there.  For my music to have had such exposure was really a great opportunity.  As I was there on both Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th, I got to see a great array of talent and different music styles that Britain has to offer.  Being part of the first mass ensemble performance was wonderful because of the scale of the production.  It was inspiring to see how more than 800 hundred of us came together to pull off the performance that we did.  Also, I especially enjoyed working with Philip Harper (Composer, Conductor and Musical Director of the Cory Band) as I was able to converse with him afterwards about his piece and about composing tips.

On the Tuesday, GYJO had the great privilege of closing the show with ’It Had Better Be Tonight’ and my composition Cruisin’.  It was a really amazing feeling to be sitting at the keyboard seeing how the piece that I originally started working on in a little practice room at my old school had come so far.  It just confirmed for me that composing and performing at big venues such as the Royal Albert Hall is exactly the sort of thing that I’d want to do for a living.  It’s events like the Music for Youth Proms that give young people the confidence to pursue their passion for music in a big way” Roella Oloro

“What an amazing experience. The nerves hadn’t quite sunk in when we were singing through our parts, a Capella, on the coach or waiting in the dressing room, but as soon as we went into the hall for our first rehearsal and there were rows and rows of empty seats I was quite overwhelmed.  I couldn’t believe that later that evening those seats would be filled and everyone was going to be watching us perform.  Once the rehearsal began I realised what an incredible evening we were going to have.  We then rehearsed the mass ensemble which was such a great opportunity to perform with the orchestra and huge choir.  In the break we got to go to the science museum where we had dinner and got to explore before the performance in the evening.  The audience, including many family and friends, began to arrive and all of those empty seats began to fill.  We got to watch the first half which was so interesting because there was such a wide variety of performances, from string orchestras to African choirs, and I couldn’t believe the talent in the room.  It was finally our turn and the performance from the band was so together and got everybody enjoying themselves.  After performing Roella’s piece, it was my turn to sing and I honestly can’t describe what an incredible feeling it was to perform there, in the same place as so many music icons.  Following that we performed the mass ensemble of ‘Hope and Glory’ which was much fun, especially when the balloons fell on us from the ceiling. After all that, there was such a buzz in the dressing room and after a inevitable GYJO Royal Albert Hall band selfie we headed back to Cheltenham after a very memorable day” Daisy Houlder