NYO news

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


It’s been a year where hope has sometimes felt out of reach, and sometimes kept us going: now, NYO’s young people will explore the subject through music. 


Teenagers have lived through a year where so much of what they have hoped for has shifted, changed, or disappeared. Without the structure of exams, performances, and seeing family and friends in their lives, many have told us they are feeling lost and not sure what to hope for. But in a year where so much has changed, the one thing allowing us to keep going in the face of shifting restrictions and ever-changing goalposts is hope: not naive, relentlessly optimistic hope, but the conviction that there are better days ahead, and by staying curious, connected, and uplifting each other, our musicians are bravely committing the ultimate act of hope: allowing themselves to commit to a future which looks very different from what they had imagined in 2019. 


Over the next six months, 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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