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