Alexander Armstrong joins the team and hosts eclectic Christmas Concert

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of our newest Ambassador, Alexander Armstrong!

Best known for his work in television, Alexander is also highly passionate about and is heavily involved in the world of music. He presents a weekly show on Classic FM, and has released several vocal albums.

We're thrilled to have Alexander join the team, and look forward to his support and involvement in the future.

Alexander with Future Talent co-founder and trustee the Duchess of Kent.

In December, he hosted our Christmas Concert at St George’s, Hanover Square, and was welcomed warmly by the audience. The church was packed to the rafters for Future Talent's final concert of 2018.

Alexander began by telling us how he'd first become aware of the charity, how he was so moved and impressed with the standard he had witnessed from Future Talent's musicians so far, and how he didn't have to think at all before saying yes to becoming an ambassador!

The concert itself was every bit as entertaining as Alexander had predicted.

First to take to the stage was Zekai, who joined Future Talent this year. He chatted with Alexander about the music he'd been enjoying recently. Furthermore, Zekai, who is hearing impaired himself, told us about his support and campaigning for providing as many musical learning and performance opportunities for people with hearing impairments. His rendition of Chopin's Ballade No. 1 in G minor was quite simply breathtaking. The audience could not believe what they had just heard.

Zekai, beaming, took his well-deserved applause and departed the stage to make way for the Future Talent Wind Ensemble. The merry band consisted of Brioni (flute), Oscar (French horn) Phoebe (cornet), Neve (tuba), Glyn (tuba) and Archie (alto sax). They were led by Jason Alder, one of the worlds leading bass clarinet specialists, who also played the clarinet for part of their performance.

Considering that they had come together for the first time earlier that day to get three pieces up to scratch in little more than two hours(!), the performance was highly impressive. They sounded well-practiced, in time, and there was evidently clear attention paid to their communication, both with Jason and each other. The audience were... blown away...! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

The wonderful wind ensemble

The third performance came from Willard on cello. Willard has been supported by Future Talent since 2012, during which time the charity has seen him grow from one strength to the next, in what has felt like no time at all! Now in his first year of an undergraduate degree in Madrid, we couldn't be prouder of what he has achieved and can't wait to see where he goes next.

Accompanied by Matthew Drinkwater on piano, Willard played stunningly beautiful renditions of Francoeur's Cello Sonata in E major and Monti's Czárdás. The audience, by this time, were used to the high standard of the musicians, so knew what to expect! They showed their appreciation with extended applause, whoops and cheers.

We recently featured Willard for #MusicMonday - to see a clip of him having fun with some Rossini, click here.

Finally, we were treated to a performance from the angelic voices of the Primary Royal Academy Choir of the Royal Academy of Music, including an audience sing-along of Ding! Dong! Merrily on High. Conducted by Adam Hope and accompanied by the director of the Primary Academy (and a wonderful trustee for Future Talent!), Krystyna Budzynska, the children did an excellent job and provided a delightful end to a magical evening.

Then, after just one more mince pie and a quick chat, it was time to go home.

Thanks to all musicians involved, and to all who made the journey to make up the audience. We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!