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Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir launch CD for Diamond Jubilee

15 March 2012
As part of a week of activities marking Commonwealth Day, the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir (CYO) launched a CD on 13 March 2012 to raise funds for the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

Fifty per cent of the funds raised from the distribution of the CD ‘A Celebration of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee’ will go to the trust, which funds initiatives in Commonwealth countries. The rest will go towards the CYO’s music education workshops - engaging and inspiring school-children in all 54 countries on the benefits of working together.

In her Diamond Jubilee year HM Queen Elizabeth II has agreed to be patron of the CYO. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall had watched rehearsals for the evening’s launch event earlier that day at Lancaster House.

Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir

The CYO was established to mark and celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth - to bring together young musicians from the 54 member states of the Commonwealth.

Speaking at the event, where the CYO sang the Commonwealth Anthem and performed classical music, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said: “The Commonwealth’s theme ‘Connecting Cultures’ encourages us to explore how the Commonwealth can use culture to build bridges of exchange and understanding. We want these links to be strengthened in new and special ways in 2012 in order to learn and to deepen the appreciation we have of one another. We see before us in the CYO a superb example of how music can bring cultures together in celebration.”

Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba said: “Music has always been a ‘language’ that transcends cultural and social barriers – linking people and places, despite their differences.”

She added that music was a vehicle through which diversity could be harnessed and through the orchestra they could promote the composers of the Commonwealth and youth participation.

At the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Mauritius this year, the Commonwealth Youth Programme will launch the Pan Commonwealth Students Council to help build capacity and unity among already established student organisations and advocate for a greater focus on the role students can play in the decision-making processes of the Commonwealth

Professor David Roland, CYO Trustee and Director of Studies, said the orchestra will become the first group to hold artist in residence at Christ’s College in Cambridge, where they will be able to rehearse and hold events.

The CYO performed at the Commonwealth Day Observance in Westminster Abbey and for the Queen at the Commonwealth Day Reception on 12 March, where CYO Artistic Director and Conductor Paul Carroll presented Her Majesty with a framed copy of the score of the Commonwealth Anthem.