QE musician in glittering showbiz fundraising gala

One of the School’s leading young musicians took part in the star-studded gala performance at the National Theatre that raised more than £1m to provide access to the arts for children and young people.

Drew Sellis, of Year 10, performed with the Finchley Children’s Music Group choir at the biennial fund-raising Up Next Gala.

The event featured live performances from celebrities including Sir Lenny Henry, Tamsin Greig, Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff and the programme included a new piece specially commissioned from Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Other guests were Billie Piper, Lily James, Nathan Lane, Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani.

""The gala was held to raise vital funds for the National Theatre’s Learning Department, which provides young people from across the country with the opportunity to access the arts, develop new skills and experience live theatre performances. NT Learning works with schools, young people, families, community groups and adult learners. In 2015-16, it engaged with more than 181,000 children and young people.

""Drew won a Music prize in this year’s QE Senior Awards. He also performed one of the musical interludes at the Senior Awards Ceremony, playing alto saxophone in Phil Woods’ Sonata for Alto Sax and Piano.

Named as a Music Scholar in Year 7, Drew last year won the Original Composition category of the Spring Grove Music Festival. For his work, Swing Groove, he played alto sax, while classmates Tai Oyama and Bhiramah Rammanohar made up the ensemble.