HIGH PRAISE: Joy Sigaud (centre) receives a standing ovation from the audience [PIC CREDIT: Lucyelliottphotography.com]
INSPIRATIONAL AND superb are just some of the words used to describe composer Joy Sigaud's classical event at The Orangery Kensington Palace last week (Sept 23).
The charity concert, in aid of The Alpha Institute (Jamaica) and Rainbow Trust Children's Charity (UK), saw The Philharmonia Orchestra - one of the world's oldest and foremost orchestras – bring Joy's scores to life.
The evening began as guests were dropped off directly at the Queen's Entrance.
A steady stream of cars were waved through the majestic gates of London's Kensington Gardens in the twilight, which created an atmosphere of total enchantment.
Dr Makaziwe Mandela, daughter of the late Nelson Mandela, was just one of the high profile guests spotted chatting on the red carpet to the likes of David Hornsby society publisher.
Palace staff were on hand to usher guests through an exhibition of some of the most beautiful royal gowns. Guests were treated to champagne and delicate canapés before the start of the concert. Composer Joy had set the tone for the evening and the music that was to come.
Born in England to Jamaican parents, Joy tells a story through her music of the movement of peoples in both an historical and contemporary context.
EVENING OF ENCHANTMENT: The Philharmonia Orchestra in action at Kensington Palace
"The drums of Africa could be heard" one guest said of the piece called The Lagoon.
“I closed my eyes and the scent of Africa was with me," they added.
The audience interjected to applaud after Bluefields was played and another guest exclaimed that she could “see the waves in her mind and feel the tranquillity of the hills”.
After London Rhapsodie was played the whole room stood with rapturous applause.
As the concert drew to an end, Jamaica’s High Commissioner, Ms Aloun Ndombet Assamba, gave an impassioned speech praising Joy for choosing the Alpha Boys School as one of the beneficiaries from the concert.
Joy's musical movements were aptly described as "a display of cultures encompassing Africa, Jamaica and Europe with ease". Everyone was touched. Conductor John Gibbon’s passion was evident.