Somerset pupils scale musical heights with one brilliant recording


Not being able to get out and perform because of the coronavirus has been tough for the county’s many talented young musicians when it comes to staying focussed.

But thanks to a unique online project, Somerset’s musical groups including students from 32 of the county’s schools and colleges will be performing virtually after months of lockdown. They’ve put together a stunning a recording of Elbow’s One Day Like This. 90 young people, with ages ranging from 8 to 21 took part.

Organised by Somerset Music, part of Somerset County Council’s Support Services for Education, One Day Like This, features the Somerset County Youth Choir, Somerset County Youth Orchestra and Somerset County Youth Concert Band.

The groups were sent the words and music during the summer term and after 99 individual video recordings were submitted a spectacular version of the song is due to be made public on YouTube at 8pm on Wednesday 26 August.

In addition, the County Youth Choir held regular Zoom sessions for its members throughout the summer term, with Director Kat Stevens and Assistant Director Kate Lynch.

The plan came about because it was clear there would be no possibility of performing concerts just yet, or rehearsing face to face.

The county groups are partly funded by The Arts Council and raise the rest of the costs of running the groups through members’ subscriptions and concert takings, so the current situation is a real problem.

That’s why a donations page has been set up on the County Council website to help keep the groups running. https://secure1.somerset.gov.uk/forms/PortalShowForm.asp?fm_formalias=SMD

“This is an inspirational performance by our talented young musicians,” said Faye Purbrick, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education.

“It must have been incredibly difficult to be deprived of all the usual performance opportunities. I can only pay tribute to their hard work and dedication to their musical activities during such a challenging time.

Flute tutor of the Somerset County Youth Concert Band, Louise Palmer conceived the idea.

She said: “It just goes to show the power of music – even separated in our own spaces, the young people rose to the occasion and were truly magnificent.

“It also shows how important music is to all of us at a time like this.”

The groups were incredibly fortunate to obtain the services of Adam Palmer (husband of the Youth Band flute tutor, whose daughter also plays in the band) to do the sound mix and picture editing.

You can see the performance above.

To find out more about Somerset Music visit here.