Dignitaries and leaders of Hackney Council were led by Scottish Bagpipers closely followed by the Dagenham Eagles Drum Corps in a parade from the Town Hall Square to the Assembly Hall for a Classical Concert led by the East London School of Music on bank holiday Monday 8th May in recognition of the coronation of King Charles III.
Invited guests were welcomed into the Council’s Assembly Hall by the Madam Speaker of Hackney, Councillor Humaira Garasia followed by speeches by Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville and Royal Family Representative for the London Borough of Hackney, Deputy Lieutenant, Stephen Howlett, who shared a special message from Buckingham Palace from none other than the newly coronated King himself: “Both my wife and I are enormously grateful to all the communities, families, neighbours and friends who are coming together across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth to mark our Coronation. We greatly appreciate everyone’s efforts to organize such celebrations, and very much hope that it will be enjoyable and happy occasions. As we look towards the future, we feel deeply touched and sustained by the heartfelt good wishes and support of so many kind people around the country. Charles and Camilla, King and Queen.”
Following the Palace message was a Classical Concert Courtesy of HACS Philharmonic and East London School of Music Orchestra which also included a reading of the poem, A Prayerfor the King by Eileen G Philip which was read by Adventist Radio London Presenter, Claudia Welsh. As East London School of Music Director, Fiona D Pacquette, introduced the final piece, I Vowto Thee My Country, she confessed that it had been unrehearsed. By the end of the piece, the musicians humbly took in the standing ovation and loud applause which filled the hall. Deputy Mayor of Hackney, Councillor Anntoinette Bramble, expressed her delight at the breadth of talent on display during the Classical Concert: “It was such a privilege to attend the concert in the Town Hall. I spoke to some of the children and young people before the performance and they were excited to play at the Town Hall and to be part of the Coronation. It is great that so many young people are able to make their own history and bring diversity to mark this occasion. The performances were exquisite and breath-taking. I was taken back by how emotional I was hearing each piece played by the orchestra. It was deeply moving. The level of talent is outstanding and I am really proud to see a composer as young as 16 (Matthew Umole) being part of this rich musical ensemble.
Among those playing in the Orchestra was BUC Director for Health, Women’s Ministries and Community Services, Sharon Platt-McDonald, herself a trained classical musician from the Trinity and Royal College of Music, who said: “It was an absolutely amazing experience. As an orchestra we did not get to practice all the pieces together but diligently practiced at home and the last item - I vow to thee my country – with the trombones, trumpets and wind instruments, literally blew me away as much as it did those in the audience. It made me think of what Heaven would be like if the music such as was played today is this rich.”