On Tuesday 9 October, 45 young saxophone players from across London attended a workshop delivered by double MOBO Award-Winning jazz saxophonist YolanDa Brown in the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room.
This workshop was part of the Royal Albert Hall’s Education programme which works with children, teachers, families and community groups to deliver exciting opportunities linked to the Hall’s events programme and comes ahead of YolanDa Brown’s own show in the Elgar Room on Saturday 17 November.
The students were aged between 11 & 15 and between grades 3 & 5 in standard and were treated to a relaxed 2 hour session by one of the nation’s leading jazz artists.
Supported by the drummer and pianist from her band, the saxophonist worked with them on improvisation and playing by ear and devised a piece of music with the students during the course of the session, which allowed all of them to improvise and add their own ideas. The afternoon also included a Q&A session with YolanDa.
YolanDa had a natural rapport with the students and her relaxed and friendly approach created a captivated audience.
To conclude the session, the students performed their new masterpiece to an audience of teachers, parents and Royal Albert Hall staff, with YolanDa staying behind afterwards to chat to students, sign autographs and pose for pictures.
At this point, we discovered that one of the students at the workshop came from Beal High School in Redbridge where YolanDa used to be Head Girl!
All images © Belinda Lawley, 2012