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Posted on: 12 May, 2021

West Kent Youth Orchestra is back in action for the summer

After a year of online rehearsals, weekly remote sessions and virtual performances, the West Kent Youth Orchestra (WKYO) are finally rehearsing together again.

That’s not to say the WKYO has been idle during the pandemic – over the past year they’ve tackled a huge range of repertoire with patience, good humour and talent.

From Handel’s Music for Royal Fireworks to Doctor Who, Mozart to Bernstein and Brahms, under the guidance of musical director Benedict Collins Rice the WKYO has grown from strength to strength.

Two pieces from the online sessions, Mambo from West Side Story and Mozart’s Sleigh Ride were developed into virtual recording projects for Kent Music’s Midwinter Music Festival, released in December 2020. You can listen below!

With restrictions now lifting, the Orchestra was able to meet in the large hall of the Weald of Kent Grammar School in Tonbridge. Students were overjoyed to see their friends from other schools who they’d only seen on a computer screen for the past year.

The Kent Music tutors and staff were delighted to be back making music in person as well!

The large, ventilated hall was perfect to allow the students to rehearse while practising social distancing. During their first week back, they tackled the entirety of Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, putting all their online rehearsing into practice.

For the first time in months, students and tutors heard the orchestra playing together, making beautiful music and a roomful of smiles.

Now that the orchestra is back to in-person rehearsals, we’re delighted to be opening some new places for talented young musicians.

The Orchestra meets on Friday evenings during term time from 4.30pm – 6pm at the Weald of Kent Grammar School, Tonbridge. Members should play an orchestral instrument at Grade 5 or above.

If you are interested in joining, please contact us on musiccentres@kent-music.com. More information and an online application can be found on our website. Spaces are limited due to restrictions so do not delay!

We look forward to welcoming all new members and sharing music with you all soon.