The exceptional talents of Pembrokeshire’s young musicians have been showcased in a summer concert, which was premiered digitally recently.
Performing with professional musicians originally from West Wales - the West End of Wales (WeoW) Orchestra – the young people each recorded themselves playing their part at home or school before their segments were mixed by WeoW for the final video.
“The concert is an absolute triumph,” said Cllr Guy Woodham, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning.
“I was so impressed not only by the music, beautifully played by the young musicians and their professional counterparts, but also by their evident determination to continue learning, practising and performing over what has been a very difficult time for them. Huge congratulations.”
The concert saw Pembrokeshire’s Wind band and vocalists performing Bridge Over Troubled Water and the Orchestra performing Faure’s Pavane along with solo performances from some sixth form pupils across the county. Covid restrictions mean that Year 13 pupils have not had the usual performance opportunities before they leave school, so the concert allowed them to share their music albeit digitally.
The young people participating in the concert learn music with Pembrokeshire’s Music Service (PMS) which led the digital project with WeoW Orchestra, with financial support from Valero.
PMS coordinator Philippa Roberts she hoped it had been an enjoyable experience for the pupils and praised their resilience.
“We are so proud of our young musicians who have continued to play or sing during the pandemic,” she said. “It has not been an easy task. Pupils have not been able to attend County Ensemble activities or Valero Music festivals due to Covid, and they have missed performing with their peers and friends across the county.
“This digital project is how we can keep ensembles music available to pupils and we are very grateful to WeoW for working on this with us. Wellbeing is so important at the moment and what better wellbeing is there than playing an instrument or singing!
“Our grateful thanks also go to Valero, for their continued sponsorship. Their support is invaluable as it allows PMS to reach out across the county uniting young musicians.”
Philippa said nearly 200 pupils (aged 7-21) have attended online workshops with the professional musicians from WeoW this term alone, and pupils have practised their parts with support from their PMS instrumental/vocal tutor at school too.
Ben Field, manager of Pembrokeshire’s Music Service, which is run by Pembrokeshire County Council, thanked tutors, parents and most importantly the young people for engaging and continuing to learn with enthusiasm. “We are pleased to have been able to provide opportunities for pupils to engage, practice and perform despite the pandemic, and hope that this has been a fun, uplifting experience for them.”
· To view the Pembrokeshire Music Service Digital Summer Concert 2021, please go online at https://youtu.be/k3kj7stl9gA