Three ‘Massed Ensembles’ from across the country will head to the Royal Albert Hall next month for the annual Music for Youth Proms, which provide performance experiences for young people of all backgrounds and musical abilities.
These events are one of the cornerstones of the Proms and involve a thousand young musicians. This year, the programme champions youngsters with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is working in partnership with three music education hubs to form one of the largest and most varied Massed Ensembles ever.
To commemorate its 125th anniversary, the orchestra will perform a special arrangement of a new commission by composer James Redwood.
The orchestra is hosting two SEND schools as part of the ensemble, which include members of the National Open Youth Orchestra project, the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra.
Elsewhere, a new commission by Fraser Trainer will be performed to mark the 70th anniversary of the Leicestershire Schools Music Service.
The piece brings together young musicians from diverse genres and cultures, incorporating Indian instruments, Western classical instruments, steel pans and voice.
Players and singers have worked in partnership with lyricist Hazel Gould, sitar player Roopa Panesar and professional Indian classical musicians from Darbar.
The third Massed Ensemble, from Oxfordshire County Music Service, will include SEND and mainstream instrumentalists and singers from the local area, who will perform a new composition written by the students themselves.
They will be conducted by John Lubbock, founder and conductor of Orchestra of St. John’s and a staunch advocate of bringing live music to children with SEND.
The Massed Ensembles take place from 5 to 7 November at the Royal Albert Hall, London. For more info, and tickets, see http://www.mfy.org.uk/events/mfy-proms/
Music for Youth is a charity providing over 60,000 young people each year with free opportunities to perform and experience live music through nationwide festivals, concerts and tailored projects.