Upon arrival guests were surprised and greeted by some of our younger performers as they sing and play songs of welcome, especially adapted for the evening’s celebrations. Elaborately costumed as animal characters from Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, the young actors and musicians led guests through the topiary trees to the main entrance of Kensington Palace.
In the grand surroundings of the Queen’s Gallery, outstanding young company members of the National Youth Music Theatre performed a varied selection of solos, duets and ensemble numbers from the world of musical theatre. In keeping with the circus theme, our programme included songs from Barnum, The Circus In Winter, Carousel and Pippin.
Founded in 1976, the National Youth Music Theatre offers exceptional opportunities in musical theatre training for young people aged 11 to 23 years.
In a period of nearly 40 years, NYMT has commissioned some 50 new works and each year presents an exciting programme of major productions in association with some of the UK’s most brilliant creative practitioners. Adding to a string of awards earned during the company’s many visits to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, NYMT won the UK Theatre Award for Best Musical Production in 2014.
NYMT alumni incude many award-winning actors, including Jude Law, Sheridan Smith, Eddie Redmayne, Matt Lucas and Idris Elba. The National Youth Music Theatre represents the very best in work with young people through musical theatre, enabling thousands of youngsters across the UK to develop both their creative and personal potential and leading Andrew Lloyd Webber to dub it “the finest youth music theatre in the world”.
Silhouette artists Michael Herbert and Charles Burns have been working together as “The Roving Artist” for over ten years, brought together by a shared interest in the little-known art of silhouette cutting.
They have taken what is often perceived to be a lost art and re-invented it for the 21st century, combining traditional skill with modern and stylish presentation. Charles and Mike shared their artistic skills at the Queen’s 80th birthday party in 2006.
Charles was born in London in 1961 and educated at Ampleforth, a Catholic boarding school in North Yorkshire. Here he was taught to draw in the classical tradition by the sculptor John Bunting, himself a student of Leon Underwood. Later he attended art colleges in Exeter, Wolverhampton and Lyon, France, graduating with a 1st class Hons degree in Fine Art (painting) in 1984.He has appeared at all kinds of venues and cut over 150,000 profiles, including two portraits of the Queen, President Clinton (while visiting the National Portrait Gallery) and the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as a large number of TV personalities, writers, artists and sporting celebrities.
Mike was born in New Zealand in 1962, and is in fact a talented magician; dissatisfied with “doing tricks”, he has abandoned magic in order to to pursue a feeling of true magic and mystery in his performance as a silhouettist. He began teaching himself to cut silhouettes in the 1990’s after studying the work of the famous magician/silhouettist Dai Vernon. Mike’s professional background is in architecture, which has given him a unique sense of proportion and linear style, as well as the all-important ‘spatial aptitude’ needed for silhouette cutting.
Catherine Walker & Co is approaching 40 years as a leading British couture house. It regularly features on the international best dressed lists yet its small team of specialist artisans operate from seven workshops, from just one location: London¹s Chelsea.
The Circus Ball offered a unique opportunity to see the atelier¹s new Spring/Summer 2015 collection alongside carefully curated, showstopping evening dresses from Catherine Walker & Co¹s extensive library of designs.
It was a wonderful opportunity to see first hand signature sharp tailoring and exquisite embroidery and embellishment created and crafted by a close-knit team that is dedicated to making women look and feel beautiful.
The Escala musical finale is kindly sponsored by Beverly O’Grady
In 2009 they appeared on the the hit TV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and made it to the Finals where they were runners up. As a result of this Escala were signed to SyCo (Simon Cowell’s record label) and released their debut album produced by Sir Trevor Horn, which topped the UK pop charts with their first entry at no.2. They promoted and toured their album extensively worldwide playing for many different audiences including Royalty.
Escala has performed at: the Royal World Premiere of the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, the VIP Opening for the Olympics, China’s Got Talent, Cannes Film Festival, FA Community Shield, Monaco and Singapore Grand Prix, the first European NBA Match at the O2 Arena, NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Ceremony in Vegas.
in association with Chelsea Concerts
Oliver Gerrish – Countertenor
Oliver studied for four years at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and was a Choral Scholar at Lichfield Cathedral. He made his operatic debut with Ensemble Serse in November 2009, singing the lead role of Artabano in Hasse’s ‘Artaserse.’ He was described as an ‘excellent young performer’ by Andrew Porter in Opera after performing this role and ‘reminiscent of James Bowman and with overtones of Scholl as the voice is penetrating, clear and ethereal. I am absolutely sure we will hear a lot more from this young man in the future.’ (Antony Lias: Opera Britannia).
Oliver was lead in Toni Castells’ opera ‘Life from Light’ at The Union Chapel Islington in 2012 and again in August 2014 for the International Tete a Tete Festival at Kings Place in London. He also recorded the album. On 5th July Oliver was soloist in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater for the Maldon Festival. Oliver founded www.newgeorgianopera.co.uk with soprano Meeta Raval in May and they performed together in Luxembourg that month at the Communion of HRH Prince Gabriel of Nassau. On 10th September Oliver performed for the opening of The Country Life Fair Ball at The Natural History Museum and at a private recital at Castlehill House, Devon, for the Winterthur Museum. In September Oliver and soprano Alexandra Kennedy performed at Glenville Park, Ireland, in a recital to raise funds for the maintenance of the historic house. Oliver was soloist, alongside The Philharmonia orchestra for the third year, at the Klosters Christmas Festival in December 2014. Recent engagements include soloist in Bach’s St John Passion on March 8th at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Oliver performed a recital at Sledmere House with Meeta Raval on 11th April.
In consort work Oliver has performed with Capella Nova and La Nuova Musica and toured Spain with The Amaryllis Consort. He is a deputy lay vicar choral at Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral and is in the choir of St John’s Wood Parish Church. Oliver is one half of music series www.chelseaconcerts.com, which has raised over thirty five thousand pounds for various charities since it was founded in 2009.
Alexandra founded the successful and popular charity concert series: ‘Chelsea Concerts’ with Oliver Gerrish in 2009 and the duo have enjoyed 13 sell-out London based concerts together whilst raising over £30,000 for various charities. Recent engagements include: A recital of Vaughan Williams songs at his old home Leith Hill Place, Surrey and a concert with Jamie Lonsdale for the Lullaby Trust at Lambeth Palace. She will be embarking on a recording project of English song with Sleeveless records this year, and has numerous bookings to sing at private and corporate events www.alexandrakennedy.co.uk