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Young jazz musicians enthral Albert Hall

A young jazz quartet who honed their craft with Oxfordshire County Music Service gave a stunning performance before a packed-out Royal Albert Hall.

An audience of thousands was treated to the dizzying sounds of TopSop – a dynamic combo taking their place at the Youth Proms of the National Festival of Music for Youth, having competed against 40,000 entrants from around the country.

The ensemble, featuring Zoe Reed-Sanderson on piano, drummer James Graham, bassist Reuben Reed-Sanderson and soprano saxophonist Will Paget, are all former members of the Oxfordshire Youth Big Band run by the County Music Service.

In a programme rich with original composition, they performed their stand-out piece, ‘Another New Day’, written by Zoe herself.

2.Outside the venue (l to r) Music Service tutor Jan Morter, Will Paget, James Graham, and tutors Chuck Lloyd and Nick Wright

Outside the venue (l to r) Music Service tutor Jan Morter, Will Paget, James Graham, and tutors Chuck Lloyd and Nick Wright

“Incredible opportunity”

Angela Turton, Head of Oxfordshire County Music Service, said: “Every year, an incredible opportunity to play in the Royal Albert Hall is offered to top young musicians, and we were so proud to see Oxfordshire represented to such an amazingly high standard through TopSop. This dynamic quartet demonstrated exemplary skills as they executed instrumental wizardry, sensitive dynamic control and superb quality of sound.”

The council’s Cabinet Member for Cultural Services, Lorraine Lindsay-Gale said: “This is a fantastic achievement by some very talented young people, and one which they will be able to look back on with great pride for many years. They are absolutely an inspiration for other young musicians in Oxfordshire, and a great advert for our County Music Service.”

Any young persons’ ensemble wishing to take part in next year’s festival should contact by 3 December. Regional rounds take place at the Music Service Centre for Music in March 2016, with final rounds taking place in the Birmingham Symphony Hall in July followed by invitation to the Royal Albert Hall in November.


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