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   GALA FESTIVAL OF MUSIC
 
The second Concert in aid of the London Taxidrivers' Fund for Underprivileged Children took place on Tuesday 13th December 2011 at St. John's, Smith Square and was attended by 400 people and what a great success it was. Hon. Chair of the LTFUC, Susan Angel, welcomed the audience and gave a short introduction about the activities of the charity.
 
LTFUC Gala Festival of Music
 
We were again delighted to have the support of sixty-five musicians from the London Charity Orchestra together with William Carslake, Conductor and Simon Kodurand, Leader and Soloist.  The orchestra was also joined by London taxi driver Keith Cherry, Tuba player, who had previously spent 22 years playing with the Grenadiers at all the major musical venues at home and in various venues around the world.  After the concert Keith said he had a great time and would be pleased to perform with the orchestra again.

The first piece performed was 'Roman Carnival', Composer Louis Hector Berlioz.  Next was 'The Lantern in the Crypt' written by San Francisco taxi driver, Christopher Allen Paul Fulkerson.  Michael Son, concert organiser and LTFUC committee member, introduced this composition, which was the first time it had been performed in public.  Mike explained to the audience that Christopher had seen various articles on the internet about the concert and the activities of the charity and asked if he could submit his music.  Having played the music, William Carslake thought it was a fine composition and agreed to the performance.

  

Orchestra and Choir

 London Charity Orchestra and the New London Children's Choir

 

After the LCO played Tchaikovsky's 'Capriccio Italien', we were thrilled to have a performance by the New London Children's Choir, together with Conductor Amanda Deane and Conductor and founder of the New London Children's Choir, Ronald Corp.  The children were absolutely enchanting, singing some beautiful songs such as 'Laudamus te' from 'Gloria' by Vivaldi, 'The Grasmere Carol' by Somervell and then, together with the orchestra accompanying the chidlren, they sung 'The Angel Gabriel' and 'Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day'.

After the interval there were a few surprises in store when Soloist, Simon Kodurand performed the fast and furious 'Czardas' with a standing ovation.  Previous Chair of the LCO, Sarah Marinescu, who is a British Army student Bandmaster, had agreed to conduct the wonderful Eric Coates 'The London Suite' and Sarah also took her bow to a standing ovation.

 

Mike conducting the OrchestraMike conducts the Orchestra

 LTFUC committee member Mike Son has a go at conducting the orchestra

 

Next guest conductor was our own Mike Son, who conducted John Philip Sousa's 'Liberty Bell' (the 'Monty Python' theme).  Mike was asked how he got to conduct the orchestra and said that he had received a call from William Carslake and was asked if he would consider conducting the orchestra just for a bit of fun for all the musicians and the audience.  After a great deal of thought (about 3 minutes) he agreed.  Mike said it was a great experience, but will not be giving up his day job!

Other tremendous music played was 'The Magnificent Seven', 'Dam Busters March', 'A Dream of Christmas' and of course 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'.

At the end of the concert, both Hon. Chair Susan Angel and Mike Son of the LTFUC presented William Carslake and the musicians of the London Charity Orchestra and Ronald Corp and the children of the New London Children's Choir with models of the iconic London taxi.

   

William Carslake and Ronald CorpHon. Chair Susan Angel and Roger Corp

 William Carslake and Ronald Corp receive their London taxi models

 

Susan and Mike thanked everyone for their support and commitment in making the Festival of Music such a great success and just as everyone thought the event was over, the orchestra played again, with the children and audience singing 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'.

The Hon. President, Hon. Chair and Committee thank everyone involved in any way in making this brilliant concert possible.  What a great night and lots of congratulations on the concert and the work the committee undertake on behalf of the 'special needs' children of London.  Looking forward to another concert?

Raymond Levy

(Press Officer)