Bristol Man with Learning Disability Performs at Royal Albert Hall

A learning disabled man from Bristol recently had the ‘thrilling and awesome’ experience of singing at the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London when he took part in a concert that was an emotional rollercoaster for the performers and audience alike.

Frederico, who is supported by learning disability charity Hft, was part of the Music Man Project, a multi-award-winning, world record-breaking disability charity which performed Music is Magic at the Royal Albert Hall in April.

The concert showcased the talents of hundreds of musicians with learning disabilities from across the charity’s UK network, accompanied by His Majesty’s Band of the Royal Marines. It featured the world premiere of a new musical The Music Man Time Machine, with a special performance by Patron Michael Ball who sang a new track titled Make A Difference.

Freddie, as he is known, has been a member of the Music Man Project Keynsham at Keynsham Mencap since August 2023 and enjoys singing and playing the drums. The group of 30 meet each week to rehearse and enjoy making music.

He explained:

“Music calms my nerves and gives me confidence to sing in front of people. It also enhances my social life.”

His key workers, Anya Oruada and Peter Kasujja, who attended the performance in London with him, said:

“It was an emotional rollercoaster, filled with joy, laughter and tears. We witnessed the power of music binding people together and creating a sense of community.”

David Stanley BEM, the Founder and CEO of the Music Man Project, has a long association with Hft, having helped to write and direct an original song to celebrate the charity’s 60th anniversary in 2022.

David was the composer, producer, director, pianist and compere for the concert, and said:

“Music is Magic at the Royal Albert Hall was the UK’s largest-ever celebration of accessible music-making. It was a truly spectacular occasion and I was blown away by the professionalism and talent of all the Music Man Project performers. I could not have been prouder of them, and I know they stole the hearts of the nearly 4000 people who were there to support them. I’m already busily writing new music so we can do it all again in two or three years’ time!”