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Commonwealth citizens invited to join musical collaboration for healing human spirit during COVID

23 September 2020

The Secretariat is inviting applications from all Commonwealth citizens to represent their country in a mass musical and cultural performance. 

The ‘Uniting the Commonwealth through music during COVID-19’ project is a never-before-attempted musical feat to combine the voices of 54 musicians from the 54 member countries in one powerful virtual performance. 

Delivered in partnership with a professional music group, Dionysus Ensemble, the project will demonstrate the power of music and art to lift spirits, improve mental health and encourage international camaraderie, as countries face up to the challenges of the pandemic. 

Layne Robinson, Commonwealth Secretariat head of social policy, said: “This is a great opportunity to work with an outstanding and internationally recognised music partner to showcase the amazing talent and rich cultural diversity in 54 countries. 

“Music has the ability to communicate the unspoken feelings of these challenging and uncertain times, we celebrate the contribution of the arts, music and culture in healing and inspiring the human spirit, even as we focus on rebuilding our lives and the society.

“This project will also help to establish a bond and solidarity between people and communities in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe and the Pacific.”

Applicants will perform to a track produced by the Dionysus Ensemble. They will also be required to record a short video about themselves and their community. 

Founder and artistic director of the Ensemble, Léonie Adams, described the project as inclusive and intergenerational. She added that it aims to demonstrate the healing power of music and its role as an international language of understanding, solace and jubilance.

She said: “Whether you are in your village playing for no other reason than that you love it, or in a city singing at the end of a long day’s work, we want to hear you.

"We believe that everyone in the Commonwealth has a voice, so we are inviting applications from all citizens - young or old, rich or poor, city or village dweller, a beginner or a professional musician. 

“The project, we hope, will showcase the Commonwealth’s huge range of musical traditions.”

The Dionysus Ensemble is the Ensemble-in-Residence for the Commonwealth Resounds - the accredited music organisation within the Commonwealth.

Find out more and apply by 10 pm BST on 25 October 2020.