MY 2019 MUSICAL JOURNEY

My name is Nathan-Asher and I am a 2016-20 Scholar. I have had an amazing 2019, the last few months, full of music, have been spectacular. I’ll start with:

LMF GALA DAY @ Royal Academy of Music, 7th July

The day was filled with fun, lots of playing and excitement because some scholars were graduating. I had been looking forward to this day because I had been practising my parts in the “Above Earth” piece and was waiting for all of us to come together and perform the songs. It was fun to see lots of parents swarming in to see their kids perform. This was the first time I had been to Royal Academy of Music, it was a grand building. Meeting Milos Kardaglic from Guitar Star was exciting, because I used to watch the programme when I was younger. He always advised; start with classical to develop your techniques before learning other genres.

Nathan-Asher with Milos at our Gala Day

Other interesting things I have done are:

LONDON SAXOPHONE FESTIVAL - FAMILY FUN DAY @Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square, 18th June

As I finished my Saturday music school, my classmate and I went by train to the LONDON SAXOPHONE FESTIVAL with our mums. When we finally got there, we instantly saw a music heaven full of saxophones and stalls. My friend and I first decided to try out the Aerosax which was a saxophone that was electric and could make different sounds. We then tried out different saxophones and harmonised with some of the professionals. We also tried to play the tenor sax but it was really heavy. After that, we decided to try out a plastic reed which was see-through. It looked so weird but didn’t make a difference in the playing. Then we decided to take accessories. I took a few wristbands and also a few sweets. Unbelievably, we next met Yolanda Brown, who is an amazing sax player. She showed us backstage while the acts for the evening were rehearsing. It was amazing. We finally watched a few performances on the family stage, played a few more saxophones and that was the end of that day for us.

Nathan-Asher trying out the Saxophone (he has since achieved Grrade 1!)

WATER CITY MUSIC @The Tower of LONDON, 21st June

Another great opportunity I had was to go to the Tower of London for the first time. I got to play on this weird looking stage, that looked like a bubble, in the garden of the Tower with Newham Music Bridging Sound Orchestra. The tourists and people walking by stopped to watch us. We were surrounded by places such as City Hall and Tower Bridge. We had 3 performances so we played on that stage repeatedly. It was really hot. After I performed with the Orchestra, I got to go inside the Tower of London with my mum. We got to see the armour, the weapons and we even went into King Henry VIII bedroom. It was a great experience.

THE NEWHAM SHOW @Central Park East Ham, 13th& 14th July

It was on Saturday that my mum and I walked into the park of where the Newham Show was going to take place. We went into our hub’s tent and saw lots of people from Newham music. After everyone had signed in, we went to our first groups. My first performance was on the main stage with B.S.O which I played the djembe drum. Then I played the drum kit for Newham Jazz Collective on the band stand. Finally, I played djembe drum again for Training Orchestra at the children’s stage. I was meant to play for Academy Guitars but it clashed with Training Orchestra. After each group was a short break at the different sections. On the second day of this event, I played with Newham Music Collective, where we play all genres of music. I GOT TO PLAY THE DRUM KIT. IT WAS AWESOME! Later on, I did a saxophone solo with my classmate. We both did our grade 1 piece. After all that finished, I got to go on three rides at the funfair for the first time.

Nathan-Asher on the big screen at The Newham Show

BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT THE CHAMPIONS @Wembly Arena,  25th July

My mother and I walked towards Starbucks, where we were to meet up. After everyone turned up, we took a group photo and headed to the line as it started to rain.  We finally found our seats, got some chips, water and sat back down. We started practising the motion of the clapping, laughter and such other things. Then all the judges came out and the show started. During the breaks Lauren Silverrman and later Simon Cowell and David Walliams came to meet us, as he has started to sponsor the London’s Mayor Fund.  The acts that performed included “Bars and Melody” and even “Twist and Pulse”. It was such a great day. I  met the  Filipino dance group that performed on our way home.

Nathan-Asher on the LMF trip to Britain's Got Talent

JUNIOR JAZZ AND ROCK @GUILDHALL SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND DRAMA,  29th July -2nd August

As I walked into Guildhall, I instantly saw some of my friends from previous courses & LMF. First I went to a drum workshop, followed by a Rock workshop where we were practising songs for the final concert. Then I went to my Jazz Combo class which is where we play songs for the evening Concert. Finally I went to a Harmony and Improvisation class which is where we learnt about things like a two-five-one chord progression. The lessons were all fun and educational. That was the end of the day but we had the option of going to the club. In the club, you first listen to some tutors play some songs and then you get to play any song you like. To do all of this, you have to put your name down on a list. I played every night. On one night I played “We will Rock You” on the Electric guitar. The days just repeated like that for the course. On the last day, we got to perform to our parents. It was a great course. I really enjoyed it.

UNDER THE STARS @CENTRAL PARK, 11th August

We (Newham Music BSO) opened the evening for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I played the djembe drum for the four songs. This was another fantastic evening because they played songs like the James Bond theme tune and Happy, and we got to interact with them.

It has been a great year. I am looking forward to next year which is my final year. I really appreciate the effort LMF and sponsors have put into us scholars. It has gotten better every year.

NATHAN-ASHER, AGE 11