VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. VSO brings people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and ultimately change lives to make the world a fairer place. VSO has worked in Sierra Leone since 1961. For more information about VSO’s response to Ebola and their ongoing work in Sierra Leone, please visit: https://www.vsoint.org/
Hugh Grant is an actor and film producer. Grant achieved his international recognition after his performance in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’ He has gone on to establish himself as one of Hollywood’s leading actors with hits such as ‘Notting Hill’, ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ and the critically acclaimed ‘About A Boy’. His numerous films have earned more than $2.5 billion from theatrical releases worldwide. His awards include a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, The Peter Sellers Award for Comedy, Best Actor at The Venice Film Festival and an Honorary César. Grant’s other interests include art, football, golf and cars. Grant is on the Board of the Hacked Off campaign.
Whilst studying Mandarin Chinese in China, Mary-Jess won a singing competition live on Chinese TV with a viewing audience of 70 million people that the UK press called ‘The Chinese X Factor’. Shortly after, she released her début album ‘Shine’ which won both ‘Album of the Year’ and ‘Best Newcomer’ from classical-crossover.co.uk http://www.mary-jess.com/
Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and activist from Benin, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Time magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva” and the BBC has included Kidjo in its list of the African continent’s 50 most iconic figures. , She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and co- founder of the Batonga Foundation. Her hit songs include “Agolo”, “We We”, “Adouma”, “Wombo Lombo”, “Afirika”, “Batonga“, and her version of “Malaika“. http://www.kidjo.com/
Juliet Stevenson, CBE is an English actress of stage and screen. She is known for her role in the film Truly, Madly, Deeply, for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Her other film appearances include Emma Bend it Like Beckham, Mona Lisa Smile, Being Julia, and Infamous. Stevenson has starred in Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre productions, including Olivier Award nominated roles in Measure for Measure (1984), Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Yerma. For her role as Paulina in Death and the Maiden (1991–92), she won the 1992 Olivier Award for Best Actress. This is her second year supporting the VSO Christmas Carol Concert by reading.
Jyotsna Srikanth is Europe’s leading violinist from the Carnatic classical tradition, Jyotsna Srikanth is also an accomplished western classical musician who’s collaborated with acclaimed jazz, western classical and world music artists. Jyotsna Srikanth has a strong Indian classical base and also performs Indian contemporary music, based in London. Her recitals combine a deep understanding of traditional music with a jazz and a contemporary touch. This rare balance between tradition and modernity has helped her carve a unique niche, captivating audiences across the globe. http://www.indianviolin.eu/Jyotsna.html
City of London Choir is a ‘leader among non-professional choruses’ led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Hilary Davan Wetton, As a charity, no choir members are paid for what they do, they are fully professional in all other aspects, performing with great energy and focus that come from a deep love of music-making and commitment to the highest standards. They have their own concerts at least four times a year in London’s main concert venues, with leading professional orchestras, instrumentalists and soloists. http://cityoflondonchoir.org/
Inner Voices was set up in 2011 as collaboration between Ralph Allwood, ex-Director of Music at Eton College, and Ed Watkins, Director of Music at the West London Free School. The aim of the choir is to bring together great singers from a group of state schools in London with the best choral direction from the private sector to create a choir that tackles challenging music to a first class standard. http://innervoices.co.uk/
“We first got involved because two choir members were volunteers. Since then, we have performed at every VSO Christmas Carol Concert for the last twenty years. We share the platform with musicians from different traditions – typically brilliant African or Indian performers. It’s a joyous celebration of World music. Our members particularly enjoy the multi-cultural nature of this unique event.” Hilary Davan Wetton, City of London Choir Conductor.
‘Christmas for me always starts with the VSO Carol Concert’ John McLean, previous attendee
“A world class mix of festival music is the most fantastic way to start the Christmas Season” Greg Allen, previous attendee
“Five years after attending our first VSO Christmas Concert, it remains a popular and memorable event to bring colleagues and clients to. A very special occasion to support a great organisation.” Andrew Nicol, previous attendee and sponsor, AXA
“Christmas is my favourite time of year, and the VSO carol concert is a wonderful way to start the seasonal festivities.” Lindy Estlin, previous attendee …
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