Birmingham 2022

“The Commonwealth makes the world safe for diversity” - Nelson Mandela 

Welcome to the Commonwealth Community Music Initiative: a new music project from The People’s Orchestra. We are curating a series of events in celebration of the Commonwealth, starting during Commonwealth Week March 2021 until 30th September 2022.

This unique collaboration has been launched to promote international engagement and showcase the best of community music, orchestral playing and choral singing from across the Commonwealth, through:  

mass digital performances  

new compositions

live music events

The Commonwealth Community Music Initiative will show, through its music programmes, that the 21st Century Commonwealth is an opportunity for engaged diversity in action, on a vast international scale, and we’d love for you to participate in any and all of these projects with us if you’re interested. 

This initiative is based around four ‘strands’: Opportunity, Spirit, Curiosity and Vision. 


Award-winning composer John Koutselinis is composing an inspirational orchestral piece titled ‘We Are One’ for orchestra and choir, and we are asking musicians and singers from across the Commonwealth to participate in a virtual performance of this piece. This will be a mass digital collaboration like no other. To get involved, read more..


This project offers the chance for composers from each Commonwealth nation the chance to collaborate to create a global song, over an established bass line, uniting the diversity of worldwide musical styles in a single piece. This will be a mass composition and collaboration involving as many of the Commonwealth nations as possible. Click to read more... 


In July 2022, amateur music groups from all commonwealth nations are invited to come to Birmingham, UK, to take part in workshops, live performances and a gala concert. Individuals can sign up to take part, or established groups can bring their orchestra/choir as a larger group. This is also open to people from across the UK who are of Commonwealth heritage. You can find out more here... 


We will showcase the best of the music and art from across the Commonwealth by projecting video footage onto buildings and landmarks around our local area, and this footage will be available to any participating commonwealth nations that wish to highlight their own national scenery in the same way. If you are a composer, musician or artist and are interested in your work being showcased in this project, please contact us. Read more about the project… 

International Partners


We collaborated digitally with L’Orchestre Philharmonia Mundi de Montréal (OPMM) and Orchestras Central in our first international, virtual performance during 2020, and have cultivated a strong international relationship with these orchestras, based in Canada and New Zealand, respectively. An essential part of this initiative is strengthening bonds with existing international partners, as well as establishing new ones.   

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 sovereign nations, and musicians, composers and singers from these nations will have the opportunity to take part in a one-of-a-kind international music collaboration. 

We have planned virtual and in-person music-making events for musicians, local and global, to get involved with.  

For a taste of what you can expect, check out our ‘War of the Titans’ performance, showcasing orchestras from the UK, New Zealand and Canada, or read our interview with acclaimed composer John Koutselinis, who will have a unique role in this initiative. 

We are really looking forward to collaborating with you in these projects, and showcasing the talent, skill and hard work of musicians, composers and singers throughout the Commonwealth. To receive updates about any of these projects, click to ‘register interest’, and if you would like to become a part of our orchestras or choirs, why not Join Us