The People’s Orchestra is tackling life in lockdown with the production of its first virtual performance with its pilot virtual commonwealth orchestra. Never shying away from a challenge, musicians at The People’s Orchestra have turned the global pandemic into an opportunity to keep making music, despite rehearsals being suspended.
Members have been busily practising and performing from their homes over the last few months in anticipation of their first virtual performance. Working alongside John Koutselinis in his latest commission for the orchestra, War Of The Titans, musicians recorded their parts from living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens across England.
However, recordings did not stop with the UK. The People’s Orchestra invited their friends from L’Orchestre Philharmonia Mundi de Montreal in Canada and Orchestras Central in New Zealand to join them for this international virtual performance in celebration of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in 2022. The People’s Orchestra was proud to perform in the handover ceremony back in 2018 in Birmingham and are looking to continue their commemorative projects in the build-up to the games.
Liz Read, Orchestra Manager, spoke about the optimism and make-do-and-mend spirit The People’s Orchestra have risen to. “It has been tough. Videoing yourself at home with limited technology and on your own is a drastically different experience to playing on stage with your friends. Our players have shown great resilience and determination to keep playing and keep each other motivated.”
With the success of War Of The Titans, The People’s Orchestra will be returning to the virtual stage with another special commonwealth commission from John Koutselinis. In keeping with the celebrations, the invitation is extended to musicians and singers from across The Commonwealth. Registration is available for orchestral and choral musicians to get involved with the next international ensemble. Players can get access to all the materials needed to perform from their homes, no matter where they are, and be a part of our mission to keep the world performing.
CEO and Founder Sarah Marshall says, “Working with John is always fantastic – I’m particularly proud of Titans because everyone involved has had to go above and beyond the usual. There’ve been Zoom orchestra meetings and makeshift recordings in bedrooms. It’s a testament to what a special group The People’s Orchestra is that members give up their spare time so willingly. We are not just an orchestra – we’re a community.”