A Concert For Alice

Former X Factor and Britain's Got Talent contestants have taken part in a charity concert in the West End in memory of murdered teenager Alice Gross.

Award winning singer-songwriter Laura Mvula was also part of A Concert For Alice on Tuesday 21 July 2015, to raise funds for Alice's Youth Music Memorial Fund, set up by her parents Ros Hodgkiss and Jose Gross.

Alice, (pictured) a keen musician, went missing from her home in Hanwell, west London, last August, sparking Scotland Yard's biggest search operation since the July 7 London bombings. Her body was found concealed in the river Brent on September 30.

Arnis Zalkalns, 41, was later found hanged in Boston Manor Park, west London, and police said the Latvian convicted killer would have been charged with Alice's murder if he had still been alive.

The memorial fund was established by Ms Hodgkiss and Mr Gross to provide a lasting legacy for Alice by supporting the work of national charity Youth Music which offers opportunities to children and young people facing challenges in their lives.

Mvula, a Youth Music ambassador, said: "I'm inspired that Alice's parents, in the face of tragedy, have chosen to create this legacy. Hopefully lots of people will be able to come and support a great cause.

"The charity works hard to make sure that all children and young people have access to the experience of making music, regardless of their circumstances. For many who have taken part in Youth Music funded projects, including myself, the experience can have a great and lasting impact."

The concert is being produced by Forecast Academy, the performing arts school in Clapham, south London, which Alice attended as a singer, songwriter and musician. She played the violin and piano and was learning the guitar and she hoped to have a career in music.

Mvula will be performing at the Ambassadors Theatre in London's West End along with a host of entertainers including theatre star Julie Atherton, the X Factor's Niki Evans and Lloyd Daniels, Britain's Got Talent electro string quartet Escala along with the London Contemporary Voices choir and dance troupe ZooNation Youth Company.

Donations to Alice's fund can be made at http://alice.poppymadeleine.gross.muchloved.com/

Oliver Boito, who was one of Alice's teachers and co-founded Forecast Academy, said she was a hugely talented musician and the concert was a celebration of her life.

Mr Boito said: "I remember her audition and I was immediately struck by how talented Alice was. It is extremely emotional but this is a celebration of Alice, and it's exactly how we all want her to be remembered.

"Alice was a fantastic student and we all wanted to do something for her and the fund, and as performers this is how we could help."

He added: "I'm enormously proud of how everyone has come together to put this on for such a wonderful and powerful cause."

Hannah Dodson, 23, who attended Forecast Academy, described her friend as a "wonderful person" and a talented musician.

"This is a great way to share our memories of Alice as our friend with people who are willing to share their talent with us," she said.

Miss Dodson added: "I'm humbled that Laura Mvula is doing this for someone she doesn't know. I feel blessed that such talented musicians are willing to do this for Alice."

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