What happens when 164 of the UK's most dedicated musicians are supposed to be performing on stage at the Southbank Centre, but instead, they're all in lockdown, hundreds of miles apart?
On 17 April, they all threw open their front doors and windows, and inspired the nation to perform Beethoven's well-known 'Ode to Joy', from his Symphony No. 9, a piece of music with community and joy at its heart. Every performance was dedicated to people who need a musical pick-me-up at this time: our key workers, NHS staff, or people who feel vulnerable or isolated.
The original performances at the Southbank Centre were set to be a festival of music making of all ages, with a whole host of performing groups including Kinetika Bloco, Tomorrow’s Warriors, Finchley Children’s Music Group, Only Boys Aloud and Southbank Centre’s Voicelab, conducted by Marin Alsop as part of the Global Ode to Joy project. So, in lockdown, NYO invited EVERYONE across the UK to take part in the performance, and created the sheet music to be downloaded from the NYO website. Read the full story here.
NYO is a charity, and we are doing our best to continue to be a musical community at this time, powered by incredible teenagers who are dedicated to inspiring others through music. We rely on fundraising for over 70% of our income; if you feel able to donate to help us keep playing, please click here.
Join our socially distanced orchestra and play Beethoven’s Ode to Joy on your doorstep, dedicated to those who need it the most. At 5:00pm on 17 April, NYO's 164 musicians will throw open their windows, get out on their doorstep, and share their own 40 second performance of the well-known piece, dedicated to the people in society who need a musical pick-me-up at this time: our NHS staff, our key workers, or people who feel isolated in their homes. In the days before, they will all be meeting on a 'digital residency', where they will spend time playing together in small groups, creating multi-track videos, perfecting their practice techniques, and connecting with each other musically, as well as creating resources and guidance for everyone joining in with the Ode to Joy-a-thon at home.
We want everyone to join in, so we have published the music for musicians who play at all levels, whatever your instrument.
We'd love you to share your performance, not only physically, but also digitally, so we can share it as widely as possible. Capture your performance on video or snap some photos on your phone, and share using the hashtag #NYOdetoJoy, letting us know who you're dedicating your performance to.
This sheet music has been created by musicians in the NYO Creative Collective. They have created a simple line of music, and have added a harmony on the second page for anyone who has a family member who plays the same instrument and would like to duet, or would like to create a multitrack video on their phone using an app like Acapella.
• Print off the music from our website or social media channels or learn it off by heart – we’ve included all the orchestral instruments, guitars and recorders.
• Ask someone if they would be able to film you at 5pm.
Make sure they film in landscape.
• Think about who you want to dedicate your performance to: who needs a musical pick-me-up at this time? Make a sign, plan a few words for who you'd like to perform for, or write it on a t-shirt!
• On 17 April at 4.55pm, go outside on your doorstep, into your front garden, or on your balcony, and get ready, make sure you have someone standing by to film your performance.
• At 4.58pm you may like to watch conductor Marin Alsop on NYO’s social media channels – she will count down and conduct for those who would like to be conducted!
• At 4.59pm, share your dedication: hold up your sign, or shout out who you'd like to perform for.
• On the dot of 5.00pm give your performance!
• Share your performance, tagging @NYO_GB using the hashtag #NYOdetoJoy