NYO rehearsing in Liverpool, Jan 2015

NYO launches the NYO Inspire Orchestra

The NYO is in London this weekend, following up their Radio 3 appearance earlier this week at Sage Gateshead, with a Festival Hall concert on Saturday night. They’re also announcing the launch of NYO Inspire Orchestra – an NYO ensemble touring the UK’s secondary schools and working with talented musicians who wouldn’t otherwise have access to advanced music making. In short, the NYO are touring the country and inspiring schoolchildren in music-making.

The simple idea is illustrated in a film the NYO has made available on its website. It’s a good idea too, so good in fact one wonders why it hasn’t been done before. If you’re going to inspire the next generation of music makers, why not get people just a little bit older than them to do the inspiring. The message is far more likely to get through that way, isn’t it?

The first NYO Inspire Orchestra will come together in Manchester at the end of June for five days of rehearsals before touring secondary schools in the north-west of England between 2 and 6 July 2015. The 70 musicians selected from the NYO’s 164 strong membership will work together and inspire other young people across the country by taking orchestral music into schools where they may have had little or no chance to enjoy it before now.

It’s a collaboration with the UK’s Music Education Hubs – an attempt to deliver the National Plan for Music Education. And judging by the film at the top of this post the project looks like it should generate quite a lot of warmth. I found the Highbury Grove project quite an emotional watch. I’m really excited other schoolchildren are going to get to experience this.

If you’re looking for another flavour of the kind of enthusiasm NYO musicians can share, be sure to take a look at this arrangement of Pharrell’s Happy played by the band’s double bass section during their summer course last year. A real joy to watch.

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