School pupils across Herts are hard at work getting ready for their moment in the spotlight at a world-famous venue.

Every year youngsters from Herts schools head into London to take their places for a Royal Albert Hall showcase of the county’s talent.

This year’s gala concerts, on Sunday, March 13, will feature the talents of almost 3,000 children in a variety of ensembles which are overseen by Herts County Council’s music service team.

The theme this year is Fable and Fantasy, and the varied programme of music features a new commission by Richard Sisson describing the legendary Hertfordshire highwaywoman – The Wicked Lady.

The concert will also mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare through a celebration of music and dance featuring the Herts Schools’ Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ben Gernon and Rufus Frowde, the Herts County Youth Choir and Cantate – conducted by Tori Longdon and Nicholas Shaw – and dancers from Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.

Also performing will be winners of the Hertfordshire Songwriter 2015 competition – Amelia Lawn, from Stevenage’s John Henry Newman School and Nick Cowles from Bishops Stortford, as well as djembe drummers from Stevenage’s Woolenwick Junior School.

There will also be a spectacular massed choir of 2,400 children.

Letchworth-based children’s illustrator James Mayhew will bring an extra dimension to the concert with live illustrations that grow in time to the music.

Councillor David Williams, County Hall’s cabinet member for education, said: “The gala concert gives young musicians in the county the opportunity to perform at one of the world’s greatest concert venues.

“It is a fitting way to showcase the county’s talented musicians and celebrate the excellent work of the music service.”

There are performances at 1.45pm and 7.45pm, with tickets costing between £12.50 and £31 from the Royal Albert Hall box office on 0207 589 8212 or