Children Helping Children Concert for HemiHelp


Sponsored by the Trustees of The Robert Fleming Hannay Memorial Charity

6pm, 27 April 2013 at Cadogan Hall

Tickets: £40 / £30 / £20

25% discount for groups of 15 or more; £5 discount for under 16’s

Box Office: 020 7730 4500 /

The Children Helping Children Concert is a unique classical music event for all the family, where talented young musicians (some as young as seven!) perform at Cadogan Hall, in order to raise money for HemiHelp, the national charity for children and young people with hemiplegia.

The Children Helping Children Concert will showcase talented young musicians aged between 7 -17 years. The concert is known for spotting the stars of tomorrow, and this year’s performers will include a tiny violinist, a 13-year old pianist and composer who will play a movement from his own concerto, a 17-year old clarinet player, the Junior Brass Band Group from the Centre for Young Musicians and some surprise celebrity guest appearances.

This is the 10th Anniversary of the concert! The very first concert featured Nicola Benedetti (before she went on to win BBC Young Musician of the Year) and another highlight was the UK debut performance of Hayley Westenra. Celebrities who have appeared include Alexander Armstrong, Damian Lewis, Natalie Klein and Ronnie Ancona.

Bring the family along and enjoy a wonderful evening of musical entertainment, whilst supporting this worthy cause.

How can your child take part?

The Phoenix Orchestra would like to open the show by performing a musical piece with some of our members’children. You would bring your child to London the week before the event on Saturday 20th April for a half day rehearsal with a member of the orchestra AND a fully qualified musical workshop leader who just so happens to be married to the CONDUCTOR of the PHOENIX ORCHESTRA!

The rehearsal will take place in Central London (see booking form for details). Then, on the day of the concert, you will again bring your child to London but this time to Cadogan Hall, where your child will get to do a real live dress rehearsal on the actual stage of Cadogan Hall with the orchestra (probably in the afternoon) and then at 6pm that evening, your child will get to do the real thing by being the first act on stage to open the show.

So, if you think your child has the confidence to walk out on stage and wow Princess Alexandra (oh, and another 900 odd boring adults) then please complete this booking form and email to Samantha Lee ASAP –

The money raised from the Children Helping Children Concert will enable HemiHelp to continue to provide information and support to children and families affected by hemiplegia. HemiHelp relies on this event to provide a large proportion of its annual income, which is used to keep services running.  These services include the helpline, conferences for parents and medical professionals, fun days, activity taster days for children, music and drama and dance workshops, a home visiting service and the production of a wide range of information and advice leaflets, as well as a popular quarterly magazine.

Childhood hemiplegia is an incurable condition, caused by damage to the brain, which may happen before, during or soon after childbirth. It is sometimes described as a form of cerebral palsy, and it is frequently caused by stroke occurring either before, during or after birth. Up to one child in 1,000 is affected. HemiHelp is a national charity offering information and support to children and their families affected by hemiplegia. More information is available at


A Student Concert in Brighton

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of attending and performing in a student concert organised by pianist and piano teacher Helen Burford. It’s always interesting to hear the students of another teacher perform, and is a great way of exploring new repertoire and celebrating the pleasures of playing the piano.

Held in the Quaker Friends Meeting House, a simple eighteenth-century building nestled in the heart of Brighton’s famous Lanes, with a medium-sized Yamaha grand piano and a good acoustic, the concert was informal while showcasing some very talented pianists, both children and adults. I was particularly impressed by one young man, Sam, who played one of his own compositions, a minimalist-inspired piece which contained echoes of John Adams’ ‘China Gates’, and the subtly shifting harmonies of Philip Glass. Later, Sam played a piece by Turina (‘Conchita Reve’ – ABRSM Grade 7), which was atmospheric and sensuous. I also enjoyed performances by some of the younger players, including JoJo, who played ‘Island in the Sea’, the waves lapping at the shoreline suggested by glissandi. Saskia’s ‘Gnossienne No. 1’ by Satie was measured and elegant, while Charlotte gave a very committed and convincing performance of Grieg’s Nocturne, Op 54, No. 4.

It is always a pleasure to hear my friend and colleague Helen play, not least because her choice of repertoire is often unusual and unexpected, and always beautifully played. She closed the concert with the contrasting ‘Three Improvisations’ by Chick Corea.

I was honoured to be billed as “special guest performer”, and it was very good to have the opportunity to put some of my Diploma repertoire before a friendly audience. Afterwards, we retired to a wine bar called 10 Green Bottles, which seemed a perfect way to end a really lovely afternoon of piano music.

Helen is performing in the Brighton Festival Fringe on Sunday 5th May in a programme featuring works by Bach, Messiaen, Ginastera and Corea. Further information here