Some Young Orchestras projects, including European Youth Music Week (EYMW), previously operated under the National Association of Youth Orchestras (NAYO), which closed in March 2010. EYMW, originally the Anglo German Youth Music Week, ran just over 30 years, supported by Internationaler Arbeitskreis fur Musik (IAM) and the former National Association of Youth Orchestras (NAYO).
Young Orchestras has traded as YoungOrchestras.com since 1 April 2011, with the original primary intention of continuing European Youth Music Week and its associated alumni orchestra, The Rochford Ensemble. However, the Board of Directors who established the CIC recognised the potential for further opportunities involving music and young people.
The 40th anniversary of EYMW was held in Stouridge, which continues with the support of Young Orchestras and IAM. The Rochford Ensemble continued until 2016, with the final concert lead by the original founder of the Anglo German Youth Music Week, Jeff Babb at the age of 89, and current Director of Young Orchestras and EYMW conductor Keith Horsfall.
The Rochford Ensemble met annually in the Welsh border town of Hay-on-Wye, usually in the first weekend of October for a full weekend of orchestral music making with members of the music week orchestras, both past and present. The concert was part of the Hay-on-Wye Music Festival and provided the opportunity to rehearse and perform together; a well-regarded social occasion by all involved.
Many current and former EYMW musicians continue to have the opportunity for musical experiences with ensembles led by EYMW staff outside of Young Orchestras.
History in the Making
"Through its current main European Youth Music Week project, Young Orchestras offers unique experiences for young musicians from across the globe. Its founding principles of international friendship and understanding combined with the highest quality of music making sets it apart from other summer music courses. These principles are key to everyone involved and to the design and implementation of our projects.
Long standing international partnerships, and friendships, with organisations and people are thus embedded in the way that Young Orchestras operates.
Such sentiments drive our planning to extend the founding principles of the original Anglo-German Youth Music Week to a contemporary setting, involving young refugees from around the world to establish a European Refugee Youth Choir.
Music can be the most wonderful and effective catalyst for bringing people together. I am very proud to work with my fellow Directors of Young Orchestras, colleagues based in other countries and, of course, the young people themselves."
Keith Horsfall, a Director of Young Orchestras