EVENTS AND PROJECTS
EUROPEAN YOUTH MUSIC
"developing international friendship through music making"
EUROPEAN YOUTH MUSIC WEEK
EYMW has developed from the Anglo-German Music Week which was created after World War 2 between the German and UK governments to integrate the young people of both countries through music making, after such a damaging conflict. More recently, the week long course has expanded to include and inspire students from across Europe and has welcomed young people from across the globe.
EYMW is supported by Young Orchestras in the UK and Internationaler Arbeitskreis für Musik (IAM) in Germany. One of the founders of Young Orchestras, Keith Horsfall, is also Course Director for EYMW. In Germany, Peter Koch and IAM continue to build on their success over many years. Over 40 years later, EYMW still maintains the same principles and unique opportunities; creating international friendship through the challenge of high quality orchestral and chamber music making.
Working with top orchestral conductors, students have the unique opportunity to be inspired and develop their instrumental and ensemble skills through experiencing challenging repertoire they would not normally encounter.
EYMW also challenges a small selection of young composers by commissioning new works. For the more advanced, determined and loyal students there is an opportunity to take a concerto roles.
A unique feature of EYMW is that seating arrangements are not fixed. A violinist is just as likely to find themselves leading a section as sitting on the back desk; or a flautist playing a challenging solo or doubling second flute. This provides an equal opportunity for everyone to develop their orchestral playing.
The students of the EYMW orchestra are aged between 16 and 26 and are drawn from schools, youth orchestras, conservatoires, universities and the orchestral profession. We have many participants who, although now in employment, see this week as a wonderful opportunity to further develop their skills and enjoy a holiday with friends too. Social events in the evenings are always an enjoyable feature of the course, as are the afternoon visits to local places of interest.
Many students come back year after year and we have even welcomed the offspring of students from the early years who originally met on the course.
EUROPEAN REFUGEE YOUTH CHOIR
In August 2016, Young Orchestras Directors discussed a new project that would aim to support young refugees in the only way we know how; through music. European Youth Music Refugee Choirs was born.
In August 2018, after a year of applying for funding, working with partner charities and recruiting our refugees, the European Youth Music Week welcomed 32 young refugees and hosts from all over the world who now live in England. Whilst on the course the choir participants took part in a structured week of choral training, Arts Awards and improving their English. At the end of the week the choir performed three pieces in a concert in Leicester Cathedral, one of these, Ubi Bene Ibi Patria, they performed alongside the symphony orchestra made up of the participants from the European Youth Music Week.
The hope of the Directors of Young Orchestras is that we can secure enough funding to make this an annual music course and to support rehearsals across the country in the lead up to the course.
Originally, the Anglo German Youth Music Week, ran just over 30 years before becoming European Youth Music Week.
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.
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.