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Did you see it?   

After months of hard work, August 22nd 5pm saw the debut of  a concert livestream made possible by the members of The People’s Orchestra, The Rusty Players Orchestra and The People’s Show Choir. Showcasing pieces from John Koutselinis’ ‘War of the Titans’, to the iconic ‘Feeling Good’, this performance had something for everyone – even a singalong of ‘Three Little Birds’! 

This community has committed to enjoying making music together, even through the challenges of technology and lockdown, and we’re really proud of the result. Covid-19 restrictions prevented a traditional in-person concert, both with social distancing of members and audiences, but especially in the case of choirs. Obviously this is not how we typically enjoy live music, with no intermission ice-cream or big beautiful venues, but a virtual concert still meant we could dress up for the occasion, get excited for the big night and also enabled a really personal experience as each person was spotlighted in their little recording window. 

The livestream was a great medium for engaging in-real-time with online members and audience, interacting with the pieces and commenting in response to some of our livestream challenges! (Can you guess what year ‘All of Me’ by John Legend was released?) It created an authentic sense of occasion as people collected in their homes to watch the concert and support The People’s Orchestra community – we even had several European viewers! 

Creating the concert necessitated members to learn their parts alone at home and record themselves playing these individuals parts, so they could be sent over and compiled into the full orchestra and choir parts. Organising this was a challenge in itself, as members had to record these parts with no mistakes, and send them over to be arranged into a mix which worked musically and visually. This was quite an involved process, and took a good amount of time: to see some of our members interesting and sometimes precarious recording set ups, do check out this blog post – Virtual Videos: Is It All As Glamorous As It Seems?

The livestream was then released with interceding hosting from Orchestra Manager Liz Read, and we were able to highlight some of our great members as we advocated the charity aspect of The People’s Orchestra (charity no. 1151321), which uses music and live performances to provide volunteer placements for the unemployed, NEET and those recovering from mental ill-health. 

Rehearsing and performing in-person aren’t feasible right now, but this community are really committed to making the next best thing as good as can be, so do check out the livestream on The People’s Orchestra Facebook page under ‘Videos’.  

We’re looking forward to when (corona-allowing!) we can return to live performances with social distancing measures in place, and we have some really exciting plans for Spring and Summer 2021, so stay tuned!  

Looking to join a choir or orchestra in the West Midlands, for more information about events and memberships, or to learn more about volunteering with The People’s Orchestra and getting involved in our charity, check out https://thepeoplesorchestra.com/ or on our social media profiles ‘The People’s Orchestra’ on Facebook/YouTube, ‘ThePeoplesOrch’ on Instagram/Twitter.  

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