Since the Covid-19 lockdown began in the UK in March, the Showcase Virtual Youth Orchestra has been providing opportunities for hundreds of musicians under the age of 18 to keep playing music while unable to attend their lessons, orchestras or bands.
The project, set up by Alex Pope, the founder of Showcase Music School in Southampton in the south of England, is free and open to young musicians of all instruments and any abilities.
Participants receive a new piece of music each week and a guide track with their part to support their practice. They are then invited to record themselves playing their part in a video which forms part of a final piece featuring all musicians as a giant youth orchestra.
So far, the virtual orchestra has completed 15 pieces of music of varied genres and styles with an average of 400 young musicians taking part in each piece.
The orchestra have been invited to record the music themes to Sky News, Sky Sports News and Good Morning Britain as part of the organisation’s campaign to raise awareness across the world about the importance of inclusive music access for young people.
Founder Alex Pope said:
‘Our musicians are spreading joy across the world with their videos and players come from all corners of the Earth with 27 countries represented.
‘The Virtual Youth orchestra highlights how music transcends all that is worrying in the world while bringing children from all backgrounds and cultures together to bask in the universal power of music.
‘We have over 2,500 registered musicians who have taken part and our dream one day would be to bring them together to perform a big concert for charity and to spread awareness of the vital need for music in education.’
For more information about the Showcase Virtual Youth Orchestra, visit the Showcase Music School website.