‘Maidenhead’s Got Talent’ Concert – 1 April 2011


When back in early March, I first heard about the plan to put on a joint-schools concert of Fauré’s Requiem, I thought it was a great idea. Then I heard the date: 1 April. One month away. Clearly, it was an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke. Surely they weren’t serious?

STANDING TALL_A statue at the front of Taplow Court.

Over the last four short weeks, choirs from many of the Borough schools have pulled together to rehearse the Requiem, which lasts around 45 minutes. This afternoon, we descended on Taplow Court and rehearsed with the orchestra (of which many of its members were students) for the first time. The sound was electrically exciting.

The format of the concert was excellent; the first half was short performances by the various choirs and musical groups there, whilst the second was the Requiem itself. At risk of sounding immodest, it really did show off Maidenhead’s young musical talent! However, it wasn’t just Maidenhead; we were joined by a couple of soloists from the BBC Singers, the Windsor Boys and Windsor Girls School, and the Berkshire Youth Choir.

SING UP_There were roughly 150 participants.

The concert was organised by the Rotary Clubs of Maidenhead and Maidenhead Thames, with support from Maidenhead Rotaract; sponsored by the Shanley Group and SGI; and supported by the BBC Singers and Berkshire Maestros. To all of them, and my music teachers Mrs Armstrong and Miss Haggart, thank you! I’ve once again been privileged enough to sing amid great musical talent, I’ve been introduced to the joy of Fauré’s Requiem, and I’ve genuinely had tremendous fun in doing so.

As the last note of In Paradisium faded away, I knew this concert had come to an end. I’d thoroughly enjoyed taking part, and though hard work at times, it had shown me what a bunch of local school choirs are capable of, and proven to me that Maidenhead’s young people really have got talent!

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.