Commonwealth Opportunity

Making music with orchestras and choirs around the world

The first strand of our Commonwealth Community Music Initiative is titled ‘Opportunity’. The intention of this project within the wider campaign is to create a mass virtual musical work to be shared to all commonwealth countries. Enhanced with local art and in collaboration with our overseas partners, the work will be shone into unloved spaces in all nations and territories across the Commonwealth, and onto public spaces in Birmingham and the Midlands.

What is Opportunity?

The People’s Orchestra has commissioned a piece of music by film composer John Koutselinis, called We Are One, to share with amateur musicians and singers across the Commonwealth, for the creation of a mass virtual Commonwealth Community Orchestra & Choir performance.

The ‘We Are One’ theme provides a musical platform to celebrate the best of music, arts and cultural life from many locations, with points of connection and collaboration around our shared achievement in a single piece of music. We need amateur musicians and singers across the Commonwealth to participate by recording a performance of this piece individually or with their organisation, then submitting the video and audio to us in order to collate the finished performance.

How do I get involved?

If you are interested in participating in this project, please fill out our contact form (link) to register your interest and one of our team will send you more information. There is no limit to the number of groups who can be involved in this project, however there will be a set of criteria emailed to those taking part and we reserve the right not to include a submission should it fail to meet the criteria. We would love as many people as possible to be involved, so do register (link) or email us if you have any questions.

Timeline

The music for We Are One will be released to those who have registered in the summer of 2021, and all recordings will need to be received by the end of November 2021, so that the video can be edited in time for our release date in March 2022. The virtual performance will then be made available for everyone who participated to view and share.

Additional Information

Our international conductor David Curtis will be hosting online workshops to give advice and guidance to participating musicians, and our choral programme director Ula Weber will be hosting similar workshops for singers.

We trialled our first virtual digital collaboration recently, with members from our partner orchestras in New Zealand and Canada. You can see the results here, to get a taste of what the outcome will be for We Are One.

John Koutselinis, composer of We Are One, stated that his vision is for this piece to be inspirational” and “encapsulate the human spirit, especially in these troubled times”. He is seeking to “instil a sense of unity and diversity in the piece” and we’re confident that this composition will be a real testament to the collaborative potential of the Commonwealth, and a huge amount of fun for all involved.

John Koutselinis, composer of We Are One, stated that his vision is for this piece to be inspirational” and “encapsulate the human spirit, especially in these troubled times”. He is seeking to “instil a sense of unity and diversity in the piece” and we’re confident that this composition will be a real testament Commonwealth Games, which are being hosted here in Birmingham. Here at The People’s Orchestra, we believe in bringing music to local communities at every opportunity, so what better time than through one of the biggest platforms this city has ever had! We are launching the Commonwealth Community Music Initiative to honour the Commonwealth Games in a multi-cultural music collaboration that will bring these competing nations together, through mass digital performances, collaborative compositions from around the globe, showcasing the work of local artists from all commonwealth participants, and a music festival. We believe this initiative is a great opportunity to showcase the best musicians, composers and singers from across the Commonwealth, and we’re really looking forward to seeing the culmination of these collaborative projects. We’d love for you to participate in any and all of these projects with us if you’re interested - celebrating the beauty of diversity in all of these projects will make these performances the best they can be.