A University of Leicester music lecturer and composer recently heard his music commended in high places following the first Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust annual memorial lecture in a converted tramshed in Shoreditch, London.
HRH Prince Charles, who gave the lecture, described Philip Herbert's composition, Elegy, in memoriam, Stephen Lawrence as "a wonderful piece of music", while Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, who was presiding over the occasion, talked of the music as "a haunting, lyrical piece that had the tramshed awash with tears."
Philip Herbert, Organising Tutor for Music at the University of Leicester Richard Attenborough Centre, conducted a multi-ethnic, 18-piece string ensemble, in a rendering of his composition.
Delighted at the response to his music, he said : "During the reception I had chance to meet the guests, many of whom described my music as "very moving", and I discussed it with Mr Lawrence. The next day Mr Lawrence contacted me to make plans for a CD recording, and Madeleine Holt, Head of BBC Cultural Affairs for the programmeNewsnight, has also been in touch, as she would like to explore the subject in greater depth, in the context of the work of black classical composers."
During his lecture on architecture, Prince Charles announced a scholarship to be named after him, which aims to increase the number of architects from ethnic minority communities. He also expressed his sympathy to Doreen and Neville Lawrence for the loss of their son, who had wanted to be an architect.
Stephen Lawrence's parents described the achievements of the Trust, which has, itself, provided scholarships to enable young people to study architecture at universities in Britain, Jamaica and South Africa. As a tribute to Stephen Lawrence, the Trust has also founded the Stephen Lawrence Technocentre, a purpose-built educational and arts building in Deptford, south-east London.
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