• MYCO Starmaker Gala Concert @ Oxford Town Hall, October 20

The Musical Youth Company of Oxford (MYCO) have been a part of the cultural life of this city for 30 years. Their anniversary celebration was always going to be a special occasion, but exceeded all expectations.

In the grand setting of Oxford Town Hall, our hosts, former MYCO members Ashley Harvey and Edward Blagrove were a perfect Ant and Dec-style comedy duo, introducing each act.

The show featured about 120 performers singing 25 songs, most taken from past MYCO productions. The solo performances were outstanding, but together, with the company’s voices blending together as a whole, it was wonderfully powerful .

Young people aged 12-19 make up the company, and each demonstrated ability and professionalism beyond their years. Joining them were former members, many reprising previous roles.

Each performance was noteworthy. A favourite of mine was The Best of Bond medley, which included the iconic theme tune and some of the films’ most recognisable hits.

So impressed was I with the first half of the evening, I didn’t expect the level of talent to reach even greater heights – yet the company surpassed themselves in the second half. Their camaraderie was clear to see.

Ellis Lovett’s rendition of And I Am Telling You was one of the standout performances. This bold song choice would be a challenge for most, but she breezed through it.

Henry Jenkinson, who had flown over from New York to be there, gave such a passionate soloist performance of Gethsemane it blew the crowd away. His roaring standing ovation was well deserved.

The evening finished with One Day More from Les Misérables, fittingly bringing the house down.

As the ex-members were only able to rehearse with the rest of the group the night before, this concert was a great organisational feat. Everyone involved should be thoroughly proud of themselves.

With many members going on to have successful careers in the industry, MYCO proved that its future is just as bright as its glittering past.

Here’s to the next 30 years.