London school pupils to form World’s Largest Samba Band at the Royal Albert Hall

Posted on the 4th February 2014

Over 1,500 children, aged 7 to 16, from 27 London schools will take over the iconic Royal Albert Hall on 3rd March 2014 to bang the drum for street children’s rights and smash the official World Record for the World’s Largest Samba Band.

The performance marks the UK launch of the second Street Child World Cup (SCWC) that kicks off three weeks later in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Up to 250 street-connected boys and girls from 19 countries on five continents will come together to play football and challenge the negative perceptions and treatment of street children everywhere.

David Beckham, OBE said“I look forward to Brazil in 2014 when street children from around the world will play football and represent the millions of children who still live or work on our streets.“ 

As a prelude to the world famous Rio Carnival, the samba-drumming school children are expected to turn the Royal Albert Hall into a cauldron of vibrant colour and sound as they revel in the carnival atmosphere. Hosted by television presenter Andy Akinwolere and Hayley McQueen of Sky Sports, the event will feature an exclusive performance of the official SCWC anthem, “I Am Somebody” by Hospital Records artists London Elektricity, S.P.Y and Diane Charlemagne.

The groundbreaking event would not be possible without the expert tuition provided by world-music workshop provider Inspire-works and the support of the Royal Albert Hall, whose management and staff have not only provided London’s most spectacular venue but also their in-house and creative expertise. As a charity, the Royal Albert Hall strives to develop its education offer as part of its extensive public benefit remit.  Not just providing a venue for some of the world’s most popular artists, its education and outreach programme reaches 100,000 young people each year and aims to support cultural life of the country for future generations making the Hall more accessible to all.

Caroline McNamara, Senior Education Consultant at the Royal Albert Hall, said “We are proud to be supporting this great cause as part of our education and outreach work and what better chance to break a World Record in the process. We look forward to welcoming all the schools involved for what will be an unforgettable event”

John Wroe, Chief Executive of SCWC, commented “The Royal Albert Hall, in the heart of London, is the ideal launch pad for the second Street Child World Cup in Brazil, as children in the UK show solidarity with the millions of children worldwide who are forced to live or work on the streets”

The performance is the culmination of weeks of hard work by the pupils who have been taking part in a 10-week intensive samba course with Inspire-works facilitators to prepare for the attempt on the world record. Inspire-works have specially written the teaching material with Trinity College London, one of the world’s leading providers of music assessments, and the children will also obtain their “Discover” Arts Award for taking part.

15 facilitators will lead the drumming, perform as a samba bateria or percussion band and will be joined by dancers from the London School of Samba. Stewards throughout the venue will ensure that the World Record guidelines are adhered to and every child is watching the Inspire-works facilitators closely and playing in time!

Mike Simpson, Musical Director at Inspire-works, said “We are delighted to be supporting the Street Child World Cup by facilitating the World’s Largest Samba Band at the Royal Albert Hall and using music as a platform to inform as many people as possible about the vision and aims of Street Child World Cup. We are really looking forward to uniting 1,500 London school children together to make as much noise as possible for street children’s rights!”

Event sponsors Fat Face commented, “We’re absolutely thrilled to be supporting the World’s Largest Samba event, in aid of Street Child World Cup. It’s a fantastic way of spreading the word for the charity and the fantastic work that they do. This is also a brilliant opportunity to bring young people in London together in such a novel way and in an incredibly iconic building.”

To protect the children’s ears from the sounds of 1,500 drums they will all be wearing high-fidelity hearing protection donated by ACS.

Jono Heale, Director of Education at ACS says: “We are delighted and proud to support the World’s Largest Samba Band at the Royal Albert Hall and raise awareness of the incredibly important work of Street Child World Cup. The event will be amazing and very loud so in order for everyone to enjoy performing safely we are very happy that the children will be using our high-fidelity hearing protection.”

Brazilian samba manufacturers, Contemporanea, have specially made the 1,500 instruments in Sao Paulo which the children will be playing in the Royal Albert Hall.

Contemoporanea commented, “Contemporanea Percussion and Soar Valley Music are delighted and honoured to have been involved with this amazing project. We wish Mike and the team lots of luck (although we know they do not need it) on the day, and look forward to a truly uplifting and memorable,performance.

I have worked in some of the poorest places in Brasil, and seen the conditions these children have to cope with. Their intelligence, enthusiasm and spirit should be a lesson to us all. Brasil is a country of great inequality, however out of this comes some of the most amazing projects, many involving music and the performing arts, which we all know changes children’s lives and focuses them in such a positive and empowering way. Best of luck mike and the team at SCWC”

Help bang the drum for street children’s rights and TEXT SCWC14 and the amount to 70070 to donate to Street Child World Cup and make a difference today.

Street Child World Cup needs you! We need 80 volunteers to help us facilitate this event – mainly to usher, and to potentially act as adjudicators – for info on how to volunteer please contact:

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