It was a night to remember for 1500 Merton kids as they got the chance to perform at the Royal Albert Hall.

Choirs from 19 schools joined forces with bands, ensembles and special guests to wow guests last week.

Percussion played an important part of the evening from the moment the doors opened, with a samba band and steel pans bringing a carnival atmosphere while Merton Music Foundation's Drum Corps grabbed the audience's attention debuting compositions by its two senior members, Finn Genockey (16) and Lulu Vallejo (17).

Elisabeth Wigley, chief executive of MMF was proud of what the students showed on the night.

"We have been overwhelmed with the messages of congratulations to the young people of Merton who took part," she said.

"Their performances were both inclusive and of the highest possible musical standard.

"A thrilling evening of outstanding music-making.”

The first half of the concert showcased the talents of young instrumentalists who attend MMF's music centre at Harris Academy Morden.

Highlights included Rhythm of Rivers, an ambitious massed percussion piece written by Grand Union Orchestra's Tony Haynes, during which the Royal Albert Hall was bathed in ultraviolet light with bright jellyfish and other sea creatures dancing around the auditorium to the rhythms of more than 80 percussionists.

Another of the first-half highlights was an energetic and uplifting collaboration between Cricket Green School and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Head teacher Celia Dawson said: “The joy Cricket Green children share when they engage with music is magical.

"Taking part in the Royal Albert Hall gives them the unforgettable experience of performing on an equal level with peers, as well as showcasing amazing talents.

"For parents, the pride of seeing their sons or daughters shine alongside their peers cannot be underestimated.”