Union Overture and Celebration

To mark the 40th anniversary of the government’s Music and Dance Scheme (MDS), young musicians from the UK’s five specialist music schools release the results of an unprecedented collaboration, written and performed during lockdown.

A new virtual orchestra brings together around 80 young musicians – aged 15 to 18 – who currently study at the UK’s five specialist music schools: Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, The Purcell School in Hertfordshire, Wells Cathedral Music School in Somerset and the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey. This is the first time that five separate orchestras, located hundreds of miles apart, have been able to collaborate so successfully, and on such a large scale. Lockdown has not stopped these exceptionally creative young performers from creating something special. The pupils recorded their own individual parts of a new piece, specially written for them by Gwilym Simcock, who has been critically acclaimed at home and abroad as one of the most gifted pianists and imaginative composers working in Europe today. This new piece of music, called Union Overture and Celebration, was specially composed for this joint project.

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Vicky Spires says:

    Just love the energy of this puece. Must have been difficult technically too. Thanks Gwilym, see you perhaps when next in tge UK. Vicky

  • Ian McDonald says:

    Gwilym, and orchestra, how visually clever and pleasant fun to watch with excellent sound quality and timing , more please .
    One day, I only had one square but have enjoyed watching it ever since.
    Nice to meet you all this time and hope we meet up again sometime, if ever your close to Virginia Water, Surrey.
    Ian McDonald.

  • Eugene Skeef says:

    Stupendously beautiful and so affirming of the union of humanity and creativity – like the petals of a flower celebrating the beauty and interdependence of all life…

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