On Friday 10 November, one of our Confetti Lecturers, Ajay Henry, organised a memorable ‘Do It For Real’ opportunity for a group of our Music degree students. Helping to raise awareness for a rare genetic disorder, Rett Syndrome, Ajay and students performed to a crowd of 300 people at the 14th Annual Reverse Rett Gala hosted at the Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park, London.
The event was organised by Reverse Rett, a patient advocacy and research charity who focus on delivering treatments and a cure for Rett Syndrome. Our involvement wouldn’t have been possible without Ajay’s collaboration with Confetti first-class graduate, Eli Ellis, and their contact, Hazel Beiny, Fundraising Coordinator for Reverse Rett.
“The gala is our biggest fundraiser. We usually have some entertainment i.e. a magician, a comedian or a band. This year, our CEO, Rachael Stevenson – the lady who started the charity 12 years ago – and I came up with the idea of having a choir. And I immediately thought about Eli and Ajay.” – Hazel Beiny, Fundraising Coordinator for Reverse Rett
In addition to our Nottingham BA (Hons) Music Performance students, the opportunity was also extended to our London music degree learners. It was great to see the two groups of students working harmoniously together on this project. Here’s what Confetti London student, Ruchita Singh, enjoyed most about the experience:
“It was lots of fun, I had a great time. My favourite part was meeting the other students from the Nottingham campus and making new friends.”
Our Confetti choir performed a three-song set, including a version of the Proclaimers 500 miles set to a heartfelt video made by the charity. Drawing on Ajay’s guidance and Eli’s talent on the keys, our students also debuted a compelling original song, written and produced at our Metronome studios in Nottingham. Take a look at what they got up to during the rehearsals:
The trip was a fantastic opportunity for our music students who got the chance to apply and develop their songwriting and performance skills outside of the classroom, whilst supporting a truly worthwhile cause. We caught up with Nottingham Music Performance degree student, Bill Redfern, to find out what they took away from the collaboration, they said:
“I’ve really enjoyed the whole experience. My favourite part, well there’s multiple…I really enjoyed the songwriting process and bouncing ideas off other students, and I also really enjoyed performing and meeting all the people, both those living with Rett syndrome themselves, and those with loved ones impacted by the disorder.
“I used my songwriting and composition skills from my course, as well as my performance skills whilst on stage, and so I got to put into practice what we learnt about stage presence from Ajay’s lesson. It’s meant a lot to me.”
The 14th Annual Reverse Rett Gala united families, friends, supporters, industry partners, clinicians, and researchers for an evening of fun and inspiration to benefit the vital work of the Reverse Rett charity. We were so grateful to be involved – a massive thank you to Hazel and her incredible team. Check out some great photos of our Confetti choir all dressed up and performing at the Gala:
“The Gala was a smashing success and raised over £80,000! This year, two girls were given gene therapy for the first time in Canada and it’s proved to be successful. The funds raised from the event will help them continue their crucial work to find a cure.
“I can’t tell you in words how wonderful the experience has been. For them and for us. Ajay, Eli and students couldn’t have been more enthusiastic, helpful and delightful. Their performance was exceptional and a huge hit with our audience.” – Hazel Beiny, Fundraising Coordinator for Reverse Rett
Photo credit: Nick Jackson Photography