NYO Connections

This year, when our ability to meet face to face has been restricted, we’ve seen the true value of our connections with others. And while it’s more difficult to connect in a large group, we can still power up the relationships we can make with others in order to fuel our music-making. We want to peel back the layers of what makes an ‘orchestra’ and focus on connecting more deeply with others: with musicians who play different instruments from us, in different styles, who can offer us new ideas, challenge our perspectives, and fuel our creativity. That’s why, this winter, we are forging connections with artists and creatives from a wide range of art forms and genres, to help us think outside the box and see the music we love through new eyes.

We’ll be bottling some of this creativity and sharing the creative responses from the musicians in the new year, using the hashtag #NYOConnections. But it’s not a one-way street! We’re also hoping to use the power of creativity to connect with as many people as possible using our social channels, inviting you to take part in our duet challenge on TikTok, and sharing what we’ve learnt with you, so you can take it into your schools, music colleges, and your music making with others.


NYO 2021: Lift off and lift up

We’re marking the start of a brand-new year of music making, kicking off the year with a spirit of positivity and optimism. We invited teenagers across the UK to sign up to play music with us, and an incredible 600 musicians put their faith in the power of the NYO community, committing to playing music together when so many other opportunities have been cancelled or changed. We want to catch these musicians before they fall, giving them the chance to meet each other, play together, and lift each other up through lockdown.

We are so pleased to be launching NYO Inspire 2021 with a UK-wide music making mission that is impossible to cancel, to lift the spirits and keep the momentum for teenage musicians all over the country.

Over 16 days, we are inviting 600 musicians to share in 16 live performances of the same piece, with others from their local area, celebrating the spirit of their hometowns and villages, and building connections with other like-minded musicians. The piece, Jigsaw, composed by Dani Howard, is designed to be playable by any combination of instruments: every performance will be slightly different, brought to life in different ways by musicians in different areas. The result will be a musical relay around the UK, with musicians making connections with young people in their area, before passing the baton to the next performance, showcasing the resilience and spirit of young people in every corner of the UK.

Follow #NYOLiftOff and join us as we explore music together.


The Hope Exchange: NYO's exploration of hope and music

NYO is embarking on a mission to create The Hope Exchange, a resource created by young people, for young people, to explore the role hope has played in their daily lives throughout the pandemic, and to allow other young people to borrow or lend hope as and when they need it. The first stage is to invite NYO musicians to explore their personal relationship to hope: how they have stayed optimistic, how they have continued to feel inspired to play their instrument, and what they have done when hope feels out of reach. 

You can keep track of what NYO musicians are up to as we embark on our Spring project, introducing The Hope Exchange in the week after Easter. NYO musicians will be working with a range of different artists and creatives to explore what hope means to us individually, through poetry, words and musical creativity, finding genuine hope and excitement in the creative process. We will be sharing webinars with inspirational musicians who find hope through creativity. 

In May, these reflections will be turned outwards, with each of the musicians sharing a personal performance designed to inspire hope or reflect how they are feeling in solidarity with other young people, who will also be invited to share their own performances. In June, each of the musicians will take their performances into local schools to inspire the people they meet, giving both the performers and the audiences the thrill of having a live performance date in the diary to work towards.

In July and August, we remain hopeful to share our first in-person performances since October 2020, showing the resilience of young people, and allowing teenagers across the UK to experience the optimism and spirit of young musicians sustained by hope, and moving forward to a year where we can meet together and perform once more. 

Follow NYO musicians’ latest updates with the hashtag #NYOHopeExchange

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