[Updated with photo gallery & video] While many of their peers are enjoying free time, 35 budding string players and percussionists from many of the islands public and private schools — ages 10 – 19 — have spent the better part of this week being coached in musical styles, technique and interpretations in preparation for public performance today [Feb 14] at 12:30pm on the steps of City Hall.
The Bermuda Youth Orchestra [BYO] encourages students and teachers to pool their energies to create a single musical organization in which all young musicians can participate. Although an audition is not required, students must demonstrate proficiency on their instrument and be recommended by their teacher.
Update: Video of today’s performance [apologies for the audio quality!]
The BYO is a rehash of an old idea, as more than 30 years ago a similar organization existed—with the same name. The older BYO concentrated solely on strings, whilst the current BYO has broadened its scope with a view to attracting and providing opportunities for a broader spectrum of instrumentalists.
The orchestra’s repertoire is as diverse as its student-base. The playlist contains a range of genres – from classical and Broadway to top 40 pop hits.
“The students have been a joy to work with. They’re all dedicated to this project and it shows in the resultant product,” says Tiffany Fox, Music Teacher at CedarBridge Academy and committee member for the BYO.
Major Dwight Robinson, of the Bermuda Regiment and Band stated, “It has been a great couple of days. The students have been enthusiastic and receptive to the instruction and coaching offered. They are to be applauded. Bermuda’s students have long been in need of opportunities such as this.
“It gets them out of the classroom and exposes them to the wider world of musical performance. They find themselves performing out of their comfort zone and alongside persons they will have never met before; but there is an instant commonality among the students that transcends all manner of demographic.”
He continued, “We encourage all who can spare a few moments on Thursday lunchtime to come and support these scholars and virtuosos-in-the-making.”
Update 1.43pm: Photos of today’s performance, click to enlarge