LYC Blog #7: It’s A Family Thing

LYC member Phoebe and parent Emma reflect on the joy of singing together in a performance of Berlioz’s ‘The Damnation of Faust’ at the Royal Festival Hall

Published March 2023


Emma (LYC parent):
Every Monday evening during term time, I take Phoebe and her friend from Walthamstow to St Paul’s for their weekly rehearsal with LYC Cambiata Choir then dash off to my own choir rehearsal with London Philharmonic Choir. We often compare our music scores on the way.
When rehearsal schedules for LYC were confirmed in January, it was great to see that both choirs were down to perform the same work, Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust at the Royal Festival Hall.
On the day before the concert it was so lovely to cross the river at sunset and go into the final tutti rehearsal together. Backstage on the Saturday, I was so happy to introduce Phoebe to my LPC friends and show her what it is like backstage. Her brother, Oscar, and dad were excited to come and watch.
The moment when the children’s choir walk on at the end of the piece was very moving. Ed Gardner asked LPC to sing very quietly so the children’s voices could take precedence and I have to say I needed to sing quietly at this point anyway as I was fighting back tears! Phoebe knows how important singing has been for me since she was very little and it was a source of total joy that she enjoys it so much too and that we could sing together in such a wonderful concert.
Phoebe (LYC member)
I really enjoyed the amazing experience of singing in the Royal Festival Hall with LYC and LPC (London Philharmonic Choir)! It was really nice to not only be singing with my mum, but to be singing with my LYC friends and to perform in front of a lot of people. I really liked singing the end of the Damnation of Faust with the amazing orchestra – the LPO (London Philharmonic Orchestra) – in front of me; the atmosphere was incredible!
It was also very cool to be singing in French – I study it in school and really enjoyed learning the words, having a lot of help with the pronunciation. I really liked practising my part of it but what I loved the most was hearing all the parts coming together – with the choirs and orchestra – in harmony.
LYC member and their parent standing side by side, holding one score of Berlioz's 'The Damnation of Faust'
A choir, orchestra, soloists and conductor on stage at the Royal Festival Hall, wearing black.
LYC member and parent side by side outside the Royal Festival Hall Artists' Entrance

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