Celebrate & Illuminate

Herts Year of Culture 2020

I Am Alban Receives a Prestigious Nomination

A choral piece entitled ‘I am Alban’ by composer Anne Dudley, which received its world premiere at Hertfordshire Music Service’s (HMS’s) School Gala in March, was nominated for the prestigious Ivors Composer Award 2020.

As part of its commitment to championing new music, ‘I am Alban’, composed by Anne Dudley with lyrics by Ian McMillan, was commissioned by HMS especially for the Hertfordshire Schools’ Gala 2020 at the Royal Albert Hall.  The piece based on Saint Alban was nominated in the Ivors Academy Composer Awards in the category of Community and Participation.  The final winner of the award, announced on Radio 3 on 1 December, was Oliver Vibrans – More Up.  

Cllr Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Education, Libraries and Localism said: “The fact that this important work has been nominated is great news and demonstrates HMS’s commitment to involving Hertfordshire school children in performing the most exciting and inspiring music from such great composers as Anne Dudley."

Michael Taylor, Chair of the Hertfordshire Music Education Hub Forum, said: “We are passionate about ensuring that all young people have the opportunity to discover their own unique ‘musical voice’ and to express themselves though the language of music.  'I am Alban’ was the highlight of the Gala. We are enormously proud of all the schools who took part and grateful to Anne for providing such inspiring music."

The Hertfordshire Music Education Hub benefits from funding from the Arts Council of Great Britain and in turn supports HMS as lead partner to provide access, opportunities and excellence in music education for all children and young people. Rufus Frowde, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Gala said: “Hertfordshire Music Service has had the privilege of commissioning prominent composers for a number of years. 2020 was certainly no exception and the thousands of young performers at our Gala were enraptured by the energy and message of Anne Dudley and Ian Macmillan’s dramatic cantata ‘I am Alban’. I am so pleased that the relevance of this collaboration in our modern society has been recognised in a richly-deserved nomination, which also bears testimony to the ambition, vision and artistic potential of our music service.”

Anne Dudley, composer of ‘I am Alban’, said: “At the Royal Albert Hall it was wonderful to see over 2500 young people engaging with a story that was over 2000 years old. I hope that many of them will have lasting memories of the day and felt the joy of participating in a musical performance in an iconic venue."

The biennial Gala event was part of the Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020 and celebrated the music-making in primary and secondary schools across Hertfordshire.  The massed primary and secondary school choirs performed alongside the County Youth Choir and Hertfordshire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra with additional performances by instrumental and dance groups from the secondary schools.

HMS now offers a blended learning solution for all its services to ensure children in Hertfordshire can access high quality music-making. This involves mixing online and face-to-face learning so that tuition remains consistent and musical progress can be maintained, no matter what the circumstances. To find out more about music lessons or ensembles go to our website www.hertsmusicservice.org.uk.

For more information about HMS music lessons go to www.hertsmusicservice.org.uk. The website also has an online resources section with links to inspiring and fun musical activities to do at home www.hertsmusicservice.org.uk/resources.  


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