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David Walliams and Jon Snow urge parents to support Camden’s music service at glamorous Royal Albert Hall festival

Compere Jon Snow with brass players from Gospel Oak School and Holy Trinity and St. Silas School. Picture: Polly Hancock Compere Jon Snow with brass players from Gospel Oak School and Holy Trinity and St. Silas School. Picture: Polly Hancock

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
5:00 PM

It has played host to Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Elgar – but for one night only Camden schoolchildren were the stars at the Royal Albert Hall as comedian David Walliams and broadcaster Jon Snow led a glittering evening of music.

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David Walliams with young musicians from Camden School For Girls Koray Cangatin, 17, lead violin in Camden Youth Orchestra and Fenja Akinde-Hummel, 18, clarinet and saxaphone in Camden Youth Orchestra. Picture: Polly HancockDavid Walliams with young musicians from Camden School For Girls Koray Cangatin, 17, lead violin in Camden Youth Orchestra and Fenja Akinde-Hummel, 18, clarinet and saxaphone in Camden Youth Orchestra. Picture: Polly Hancock

The glamorous event was held in aid of Camden Council’s music service, which provides bursaries for disadvantaged children, music lessons and classes for pupils of all ages.

The service, supported by charity Camden Music Trust, faces a £100,000 shortfall next month when central government funding cuts come into force.

Mr Walliams, star of Little Britain and a judge on ITV reality show Britain’s Got Talent, made a surprise appearance at the biennial Camden Music Festival to urge the 6,000-strong audience to donate.

“It’s very important that we keep the funding,” he said. “I’m talking to all the mums and dads, aunties and uncles, to give as much as you can to Camden Music Trust. To keep this very, very special thing we do need your money.”

More than 2,000 primary and secondary school students from nearly all of Camden’s schools sang, danced and played instruments at the ninth festival on Monday.

They performed songs in almost every musical genre, from opera to pop hit Walking On Sunshine, as well as jazz, classical and a take on dance duo Daft Punk’s hit song Digital Love.

Camden Festival Band performed a piece composed with the London Symphony Orchestra called Shake Off Your Sleep.

After hearing all 2,000 children perform a rousing rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, Mr Walliams said: “All I can say is that you are all through to the final of Britain’s Got Talent!

“I have no musical talent whatsoever, so I’m completely in awe of all of you guys. That was really, extremely good.”

Channel Four newsreader Jon Snow again hosted the festival. “Music education is so important,” he told the audience. “But it is not just important, it is a Camden tradition of having the best music of any borough in the country.”

William Ellis School pupil Maceo Joseph, 14, who played in Camden Concert Band, said: “Performing gives you a sense of musical achievement and motivates you to do better and improve your skills.”

n To donate, text JAZZ13 with the amount to 70070 or visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/camdenmusictrust.

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