Commonwealth Community Music Initiative FAQs

Birmingham 2022

Who are The People’s Orchestra?

The People’s Orchestra are a music-based charity from West Bromwich, United Kingdom, set up in 2012 by CEO Sarah Marshall. We run community orchestras across the UK and help people find employment through our back-to-work scheme. Recently, we received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for our charity work. Our mission is to change people’s lives for the better through the power of music.

What does CCMI stand for?

CCMI stands for Commonwealth Community Music Initiative.

How do I sign up to take part?

If you have heard about CCMI, but would like more information, please register your interest, email us at, or WhatsApp is +44 7786 629531. Once you have decided to sign up, you will need to visit our website, and purchase the appropriate ticket to take part.

Why should I get involved?

CCMI is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your own musical talent, as well as that of your nation. It will help educate people across the Commonwealth about the culture, art and music of different nations and presents an opportunity for you to make your own international contacts.

Will I need to travel to the United Kingdom?

All parts of the CCMI project, with the exception of Curiosity, can be completed remotely. You will not need to travel to the United Kingdom. If you are taking part in Curiosity, you need to tell us in advance that you are intending to come to the UK. This musical extravaganza event will be taking place around Birmingham, UK, on 23rd - 24th July 2022.

How can I get to Birmingham? What are the transport links?

Birmingham has direct train links to all major cities in the United Kingdom, including London. There is also an airport – Birmingham International. If you need more specific transport guidance, please get in touch.

What about Covid-19 Safety?

For ‘Opportunity’, ‘Vision’ and ‘Spirit’, please follow all guidance in your region when taking part. We are hoping that ‘Curiosity’ will not be negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, however all government guidance regarding travel, self-isolation and social distancing will be followed. Should the risks be too great for large-scale travel to the United Kingdom due to Covid-19, we may be forced to cancel in-person events. This will be a last resort and we will do everything in our power to make sure these events take place safely.

Can I apply if I am not from a Commonwealth nation or territory?

This initiative is exclusively for current Commonwealth nations, countries or territories. If you are not seeking to represent a region within those boundaries, unfortunately we will not be able to collaborate with you on this project. In the future, we may work on a project where you would be eligible to take part. If you are interested in working with The People’s Orchestra but are ineligible for CCMI, please let us know and we will keep your contact details on file for future projects.

I am in a choir, can I take part as well?

Yes, we are also looking for choral performers to take part. You can take part both as part of a choir or as an individual.

What are the deadlines?

The deadlines are different for each project, and are as follows: For ‘Opportunity’, we will need your final submissions by January 31st , 2022. For ‘Spirit’, the final date for submissions is February 24th, 2022. Winning entries will be notified in March 2022 and final video recordings will be needed by May 19th, 2022. For ‘Curiosity’, the final registration is for the end of June 2022, with the final deadline for payment on June 30th, 2022. Registration may close early if all spaces in this project have been filled’ For ‘Vision’, there is no deadline for submissions. This cycle of CCMI will end in September 2022, so to be featured, please send your artwork by August 2022 at the latest. The sooner you send it, the more people will get to see it!

How much does each project cost?

Opportunity - Participation is free. Spirit – Participation is free. Curiosity – Participation will cost £65, which covers rehearsal materials and entry to our exhibition events only. Vision - Participation is free.

Will I be able to get a refund if I can no longer participate?

If the circumstances surrounding your withdrawal are ‘exceptional’, and your non-participation is unavoidable despite having taken all reasonable measures to take part, you will be entitled to a refund. Please check our terms and conditions for more specific information; we are happy to discuss any queries regarding this through our email

Will I be able to get a refund if the event I have paid for cannot go ahead?

Yes, you will be refunded the full amount you paid if The People’s Orchestra cannot fulfil its stated obligations.

Will my personal data be stored?

Please refer to our Terms & Conditions.

Can I sign up for more than one part of this project?

Yes – you may sign up for as many as you like. We encourage participation in as many of our projects as you’d like, and signing up individually means you’ll get specific updates just on the projects you’re interested in. Additionally, we suggest that you get involved with ‘Vision’, as it is an extremely easy way to showcase your country’s art and music to the rest of the world.

What will happen with my participation fee? Is there any assistance with funding my participation?

The People’s Orchestra is a charitable organisation with a strong focus on using music to drive positive change in the local community. All of our funding goes into our projects to help better people’s lives, from helping people find long-term employment through our back-to-work schemes to engaging communities around the United Kingdom with our orchestras and choirs. Regarding CCMI, this funding will be used in a variety of ways enabling it to go ahead – these include: hiring of venues, acquisition and renting of equipment, commissioning music, carrying out safety precautions and promotion of the events. We do not have the funding to pay performance fees etc; we have been careful to inform all participants of this situation from the beginning. Being a voluntary project, The People’s Orchestra is not responsible for any costs which you may incur through your participation. We will not cover the costs of accommodation, food or travel if you choose to come to the United Kingdom for our ‘Curiosity’ project. We are willing to help you find organisations in your region who can assist you with any costs incurred in this project, which will be provided in the strictest confidence. More information regarding expenses can be found in our Terms & Conditions.

How will any art I provide be used?

All art provided by collaborators will be liable under our standard GDPR guidelines; for use as promotional purposes for CCMI, with credit. For our Vision project, all art provided to use by collaborators will be stored in our virtual ‘library’, accessible for all Vision participants to use in their own nations as part of CCMI, with credit to the original artist. Any art provided to us for CCMI will not be used outside of CCMI, and it will not be used without crediting the creator.

Do I need to bring an instrument?

If you are participating in the ‘Curiosity’ project as a musician, you will need to bring your instrument with you.

What happens if my instrument is too big to transport? Or if I don’t want to travel with it? Can I still take part?

Unfortunately, The People’s Orchestra cannot offer any additional instruments for your use. We can assist you with finding alternative instrumental hire with prior notice. Please contact to make arrangements or for any further information.

Are there any guidelines/rules as to the artwork I can submit?

Artwork you submit must not contain any profanity, political messaging, discriminatory language or actions, or religious references. If you wish to discuss a specific piece, please contact us.

How can I access the final products?

Content will be shared across social media and through email correspondence. Final pieces will be posted on Youtube, easy to access for participants. We are also happy to provide any specific content which you may want. In the case of ‘Vision’, we will be allowing participants to download submitted and completed videos, in order to share in their own communities.

Can I share this in my country?

Please feel free to share the CCMI project with anyone who you think may be interested. They can register their interest on our website and email us on or WhatsApp +44 7786 629531 if they would like to begin a conversation with us.