Music for Youth celebrates inclusion, accessibility and diversity


This year, Music for Youth’s annual proms focus on young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Its three Massed Ensemble concerts bring together groups from across the country to perform at the Royal Albert Hall on 5th, 6th and 7th November. 

Music for Youth (MFY) provides life-changing performance experiences for young people of all backgrounds and musical abilities. Its Massed Ensembles are large-scale collaborative performances from different areas of the UK. They support innovation, inclusivity, ambition and good practice and showcase the successes of local partners and organisations working together, on a national stage.

Music for Youth mass ensemble

Three MFY prom concerts, traditionally held at London’s Royal Albert Hall each year, are the culmination of the MFY season and showcase high-quality performances from some of the UK’s most creative, innovative and energetic young musicians.

These events are one of the cornerstones of the MFY proms, and involve around half of the 1,000 young musicians who perform each night. This year, the programme champions young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SENDS).

The three Massed Ensemble groups

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is working in partnership with three music education hubs to form one of the largest, and most varied massed ensembles ever.

BSO is hosting two SEND schools as part of the massed ensemble. It includes members of the National Open Youth Orchestra project, the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra.

To commemorate its 125th anniversary in 2018, BSO will be performing a special arrangement of a new commission in partnership with SoundStorm and composer James Redwood.

Music for Youth musicians

Leicestershire Schools Music Service

2018 marks Leicestershire Schools Music Service’s (LSMS) 70th anniversary, and its musicians will be performing a new commission by composer Fraser Trainer. He has been working creatively with musicians and schools this year, incorporating their own ideas into the performance.

The piece has an emphasis on bringing together young musicians from diverse genres and cultures, incorporating Indian instruments, western classical instruments, steel pans and voice.

Oxfordshire County Music Service

50% (around 300 young people) of Oxfordshire County Music Service’s (OCMS) massed ensemble will be SEND instrumentalists and singer0. It’s been working with special schools and youth arts organisations in the local area as part of a buddying project. Its workshops bring both mainstream and SEND musicians together

Part of the OCMS performance will be a new composition with melodic and rhythmic themes written by the students themselves and conducted by John Lubbock. John is founder and conductor of Orchestra of St. John’s and staunch advocate of bringing live music to children with SEND.

Music for Youth male musicians

Music for Youth

Founded in 1970, MFY is a national youth music charity that provides free opportunities to both perform and experience live music, Each year more than 60,000 young people aged 21 and under come together in a season of nationwide festivals, concerts and tailored projects.

MFY offers young people the opportunity to perform live in a supportive, non-competitive environment, celebrating and supporting the breadth of music-making by young people both in and out of schools and music hubs. MFY stages a series of free concerts, performed by young people for young people, providing first-hand experience of live music- making.

For more information, please visit the Music for Youth website.

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