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School pupils fill the Albert Hall for an evening of show-stopping music

Youngsters follow in the footsteps of Adele and Kylie Minogue performing at the prestigious venue

12 March, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

Elvis, 8, Marley Dove, 5, Amiyah, 9 from King’s Cross Academy at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday

SCHOOL pupils filled one of the world’s most prestigious concert venues on Tuesday evening for a night of show­stopping music.

More than 2,000 pupils took part in the Camden Schools Music Festival, held every two years in the Royal Albert Hall.

They were following in the footsteps of the likes of Adele, Kylie Minogue and Frank Sinatra to perform there.

Camden Schools Music Festival at the Royal Albert Hall

Madness musician Suggs, Mark Crown, ex-pupil of Rhyl primary, now producer and DJ, and Nubya Garcia former Camden Jazz Band member were in the audience on Tuesday.

Esther Caplin, who chairs the Camden Music Trust, said: “The goal is to get parents, as well as the children, on board so that they continue to make music long after the project ends. It will also help parents fully appreciate how special music is to children’s development.”

The event is usually compered by Camden Music Trust patron Channel 4 newscaster Jon Snow, who could not make it after spending two weeks in coronavirus self-isolation.

This year’s show included an original composition performed by each member in the hall, called This Bus is on Diversion, composed by Richard Cobden Primary School and inspired by the 24 bus route.

Dinah, Smah, Salim and Alfie, Year 4 pupils at Richard Cobden 

Sarah Carroll, music teacher at Richard Cobden, said: “The night helps the children see what is possible – they get to perform tonight but they also get to see older children in choirs and the youth orchestra.

“It’s about pulling all of our resources together. It’s a great partnership – the night comes together really well and the children get a lot out of it.

“The children have worked really hard and it is an experience they will never forget.”

The night saw performances from a rap club made up of Haverstock, Regent High, UCL Academy and William Ellis pupils, and songs by primary and secondary choirs as well as the Camden Youth Orchestra and jazz band.

The mission of the Camden Music Trust is to open doors for every child in the borough regardless of their ability to pay, creating musical opportunities for all of the borough’s children.

The Camden Music Trust offers bursaries and scholarships, helping the 15,000 children who are living below the breadline.

Mayra, Mukhtar, Michael from Christ Church Primary

Fareed, 9, from Richard Cobden, played the recorder at the Camden Music Festival. He said: “I like music because it’s really fun and it’s something I could do in the future.”

Amir, 11, also from Richard Cobden, was on percussion. He said: “Music brings people together and people can have fun.

“It’s amazing. You can feel a bunch of people coming together.”

To date more than 23,000 children and young adults living in Camden have sung, played and performed at the event and the Trust is calling on local businesses and donors to help them continue this legacy. Go to


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