5pm and I go to the North London Festival of Music and Drama held in Muswell Hill. The breadth of talent from the children who danced, sang, played violins, harps, cellos or a Steinway or told an original story or poem was breathtaking. Very uplifting – and a reminder of the talent that lies within all of us – not necessarily to be concert pianists (!), but that if we are nourished by parents and teachers, we all have something special. Sadly, music in schools has virtually disappeared from the curriculum with a Government fixated on targets and performance league tables rather than in helping to shape whole and happy people.
Anyway – back to the concert. The actual festival is huge and had gone on for five weeks prior to today’s performance – with choirs and orchestras and so many, many more. The organisers should really have a public thank you for the tremendous amount of work it takes. It is celebrations like these that further encourage and nurture each youngster’s talent.
There were many stunning performances – but there was one girl, Grace Durham, who sang soprano in the way that when the voice of a soprano soars out it is sublime. She was Victoria Wood’s daughter. I noticed her Mum wasn’t there – she was winning her own awards at the BAFTAs I later worked out. But to me – it was Grace’s day. With a voice like that she can lift anyone’s spirits.