Despite the dreariness that usually accompanies November Tuesdays, the 14th was a clear exception. A 3-day festival held at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, the Music For Youth (MFY) proms brings together groups from all over the UK with one thing in common: a passion for music. The evening brought with it a vast range of genres from alternative rock band ‘Young Monarch’ based in Manchester to the fun-filled performance of St Ann’s CE Primary School Steel Brass Band from Tottenham, London. Attracting thousands of audience members from around the UK, the festival was, as usual a huge hit.

Annabelle Saunders, a second violinist in the Bromley Youth Chamber Orchestra (BYCO) representing the Bromley Youth Music Trust (BYMT) from Greater London said “playing at the Albert Hall was an amazing opportunity. The concert was brilliant, and it was really impressive hearing the music other youth groups produce all over the country.” Ellie Mackie, a first violinist, declared that “the best part was definitely being able to see behind the scenes of the concert halls, practicing in the dressing rooms and doing sound checks on the world-famous stage; these are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and I’m incredibly grateful for the chance to be a part of it.”

The ebullitive atmosphere was tangible throughout, especially after the Massed Ensemble (consisting of the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust, Rutland Music and Peterborough Music Hub) performed the story of the River Nen and brought its winding and mysterious path to the sea to life with a live water-feature and solo soprano. After a jam-packed concert of incredible music, the ceiling opened up with hundreds of balloons falling onto the players and audience: marking the end of an extraordinary evening.