National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain to spread joy of music

Bognor Regis cellist James Dew will be among the musicians taking part in a national live performance celebrating the joy of music.

Bognor Regis cellist James Dew
Bognor Regis cellist James Dew

17-year-old James attends St Philip Howard School (sixth form) in Barnham and the Royal College of Music Junior Department in London on Saturdays.

“I have been playing the cello for ten years and I am a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

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“With concert halls and schools closed, we haven’t been able to meet physically as an orchestra.

“But our responsibility as the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers remains, and we are continuing our mission to bring joy and inspiration to people’s lives during lockdown, a time when they need it the most.

“On Friday, April 17 at 5pm, we’re calling on every musician in the UK to join in a national live performance from their doorsteps, on their balconies or out their windows, playing as a socially distanced orchestra.

“Led by us 164 NYO musicians, we invite everyone to share a heartfelt performance of the Ode To Joy, dedicated to people who need it the most: our frontline NHS staff, key workers, isolated family members, or friends struggling with loneliness.

“Throughout the week, every musician in NYO will take part in a digital residency where we’ll meet together in webinars and smaller creative groups, all inspired by the themes in Beethoven’s Symphony No 9, and we’ll be creating the resources everyone needs in order to take part.

“There will also be a BBC broadcast of our archive BBC Proms performance, and a partnership with Marin Alsop and the Southbank Centre to share musical postcards of the music that brings us greatest joy.

“We’d love to see musicians of all ages and abilities taking part in the joy-a-thon.

“You can find out more about it and how to take part on our website.”

An NYO spokesman said: “We believe in the unlimited potential of teenagers, and as the future of orchestral music, our musicians are powerful advocates.

“By harnessing the power of peer inspiration, we target those with the greatest musical commitment and cultural need.”


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