Thursday, 1 November 2018

Massed Ensembles, new music and 1000 young musicians: Music for Youth Proms

Music for Youth Massed Ensemble at the Royal Albert Hall
Music for Youth Massed Ensemble at the Royal Albert Hall
Rather appropriately the fireworks start on Monday 5 November, as that is the day that the Music for Youth Proms begin at the Royal Albert Hall. These are three nights of performances involve a thousand young musicians from across the country performing full-scale orchestral pieces, jazz arrangements, chamber works, rock and choral music. Things kick off on Monday 5/11 with a massed ensemble made up of members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) working in partnership with three local music education hubs, performing a special arrangement of a new commission celebrating the BSO's 125th anniversary.

There is another anniversary being marked on Tuesday 6/11, as 2018 is Leicestershire Schools Music Service’s (LSMS) 70th anniversary, and the Leicestershire Schools Music Service Massed Ensemble will be performing a new piece by Fraser Trainer who has been working creatively with musicians and schools this year, incorporating their own ideas into the performance. The piece has an emphasis on bringing together young musicians from diverse genres and cultures, incorporating Indian instruments, western classical instruments, steel pans and voice. Players and singers are working in partnership leading up to the event with the Philharmonia, lyricist Hazel Gould, sitar player Roopa Panesar and professional Indian classical musicians from Darbar Arts Culture Heritage Trust.

This year, the Music For Yout Proms programmes champion young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) so the BSO is hosting two SEND schools as part of the Massed Ensemble, which include members of the National Open Youth Orchestra project, the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra. And Fifty percent (around 300 young people) of Oxfordshire County Music Service (OCMS) Massed Ensemble on Wednesday 5/11 will be SEND instrumentalists and singers, working with special schools and youth arts organisations in the local area as part of a buddying project in which there will be workshops (led by OCMS) to bring both mainstream and SEND musicians together. Part of the OCMS performance will be a new composition with melodic and rhythmic themes written by the students themselves and conducted by John Lubbock, founder and conductor of Orchestra of St. John’s.

Full details from the Music for Youth website.

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