Musicians from the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra will be embarking on a 12-day music tour of the United Kingdom from 10th to 21st October 2023.
The orchestra was formed in 2018 in partnership with the Kanneh-Mason family and is now celebrating its fifth year of music-making.
The tour will begin with the launch of an exciting new partnership between the ABYSO and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO).
The partnership aims to bring together ABYSO’s aspiring young musicians with RPO professionals to develop cross-cultural musical experiences in both the UK and Caribbean.
The touring musicians will have the opportunity to participate in open rehearsals, instrument and sectional coaching sessions with RPO principals, and also perform pre-concert for public audiences at Cadogan Hall.
In addition, the musicians will collaborate in a creative workshop to produce a brand-new piece of music led by the award-winning composer James Redwood.
The tour will also include a two-day project that will bring together ABYSO with young musicians in the Brent Youth Concert Pops Orchestra (BYCPO).
The RPO sessions will culminate in a concert on 15th October in The Duke’s Hall at the Royal Academy of Music in London, featuring steelpan player Khan Cordice, saxophonist Jess Gillam, RPO musicians, the BYCPO, and members of the Kanneh-Mason family.
The tour will then take the ABYSO to the historic Christ Church Cathedral at Oxford University. The ABYSO will perform with the choristers of Christ Church Cathedral School (CCCS) on Sunday 16th October.
CCCS has developed a close relationship with Antigua and Barbuda over the years. The National Youth Choir performed at the school during their UK tour in 2019. CCCS also raised funds to support the Red Cross Barbuda hurricane relief effort in 2017.
Tutors from the school, led by Director of Music Sophie Biddell, have mentored ABYSO musicians. After the performance, the ABYSO will have lunch at the College followed by a tour led by Antiguan student Ianthe Fraser, who is currently studying at Oxford.
The ABYSO will then travel to Jersey, Channel Islands, as guests of the Jersey Music Service. The visit is part of the Jersey Music Service’s plan to relaunch a youth orchestral programme on the island.
The concert in Jersey will be held on 18th October at Les Quennevias School. Finally, as part of the Commonwealth Year of the Youth, the ABYSO will perform at The Commonwealth Secretariat at Marlborough House in collaboration with its longstanding partner, The Commonwealth Resounds (TCR).
The performance will feature music composed by Antiguan and Barbudan composers. The TCR has held several composition workshops in Antigua and Barbuda as part of its continued efforts to promote music education and cultural exchange..,