With its Summer Celebration successfully broadcast yesterday NCO should be congratulated on an incredible period of activity through lockdown and in the face of considerable difficulties. As a member of the NCO Board, it is so pleasing to see the work that Sophie Lewis and Catherine Arlidge have been leading in making sure that NCO members stay connected and have support as musicians. There have been regular webinars sine the spring, there has been a huge amount of work put into planning for the eventual re-opening of live activity and now there has been a joyous celebration of all that can be done with technology to bring these young musicians together.

The celebration had a huge number of participants in this multi-tracked event and it was wonderful to see demonstrations of individual multi-tracking (one player playing four parts or more) as well as the finale Mambo involving over 500 musicians in performing and bringing this about.

As the Covid-19 crisis continues the need for this kind of technology for performing music will become more and more important. That NCO is putting young musicians at the centre of this revolution is really admirable. Hopefully we will be able to return to some kind of norm for live music-making in 2021, but surely the lessons learned during lockdown are here to stay as well.

Sophie Lewis, Managing Director, National Childrens’ Orchestra


Catherine Arlidge, Artistic Director, National Childrens’ Orchestra





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