Cancelled concerts have sadly been a regular feature of 2020 and 2021. However here at RYO we were determined to stay festive by holding our own mini Christmas concert!
During 2021, local charity PACT invited us to play at their Christmas concert ‘Carols at the Minster – A Christmas celebration for all the family’ on 20th December 2021. They asked us to play three pieces: Walking in the Air from The Snowman, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker, and the Twelve Days of Christmas (how many gifts does one person really need??). We were only too happy to oblige! We were excited to perform for a larger audience, including many children who may not often get to hear live orchestras.
Sadly, on the 8th December, instead of giving us eight maids a-milking the concert was cancelled due to rising Covid numbers. We had only had a quick run-through of two of the pieces by that point – what would we do? We decided to keep up our festive spirit and crammed a rehearsal and recording into our 2-hour session on the 10th December!
Walking in the Air
Here is the first piece we recorded that evening, Walking in the Air from The Snowman, by Howard Blake.
As ever, our young musicians rose to the challenge, and performed all three pieces admirably despite the unplanned lack of rehearsal time!
A recorded concert instead of live
With our live concert cancelled, we had good reason to film our pieces. We wanted to share our videos with the charity PACT so that they could in turn share the music with their members. Concerts such as the one planned are an important fundraising event for charities. It felt like the least we could do given the loss of the concert.
A big thank you goes to one of our cellists, Nolan, who edited all of the sound and videos together into what you see here. Also to his parents and Elena for recording footage for him to use.
We are happy to say that Elena was also able to use one of the pieces for her fantastic project Bee Music, which puts together virtual performances for care homes.
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Here is our second piece which we hope those enthusiastic audiences in local care homes enjoyed too! This is Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker Suite, by Tchaikovsky.
We’d like to give our thanks to PACT for inviting us to perform. We hope to join them at their Christmas concert next year instead.
PACT – Parents And Children Together – is an adoption charity and family support provider helping hundreds of families every year. They do this through outstanding adoption and adoption support services and community projects. They work across London and the south east of England. You can read more about their excellent work on their website.
The Twelve Days of Christmas
We’ll leave you with all 364 gifts of the Twelve Days of Christmas.