The Commonwealth Resounds! Connecting musical cultures since 2005We promote music and musicians across the Commonwealth through collaborative events worldwide with a particular focus on young people and the developing world. Thousands of our musicians have been involved in our life-changing projects and gala performances including the opening of the Royal Commonwealth Society’s brand-new auditorium in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, as part of Prince Charles's Official Dinner for the 53 Heads of Government in Sri Lanka and at the Official Launch of the Prince's Trust in Malta. Our musicians have also given regular appearances at the Commonwealth Observance Day services at Westminster Abbey and at Commonwealth Forums Opening and Closing Ceremonies in Uganda, Perth and Sri Lanka. In 2015 our Commonwealth Festival Choir and Orchestra gave a Concert for the President of Malta at Verdala Palace in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund. We have been proudly supported by the Royal Over Seas League, the International Federation of Musicians, the Musicians’ Union Phonographic Performance Ltd, The Royal Society of St George and numerous Rotary Clubs throughout the UK and overseas.
The Commonwealth Resounds is delighted to be able to welcome the brilliant Dionysus Ensemble, our first-ever Commonwealth Ensemble-In-Residence. We look forward to a highly productive partnership with them, and are delighted by their strong commitment to cross-cultural musical partnerships, performances and outreach work.
On Thursday 5th June a group of singers and dancers from The Commonwealth Resounds made their way to Marlborough House for a very special occasion! The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were visiting the Commonwealth Youth Leaders, and TCR was invited to compose a special piece in honour of their visit. Juan Pablo Barrios, a brilliant young composer with strong Caribbean family connections was invited by Alison Cox to compose the piece. This was performed by six musicians and three dancers, representing the different regions of the Commonwealth.
Performers – Gemma Riley (trombone) Samuel Mallia (saxophone) Pablo Barrios (steelpan), Abass Dodoo (djembe) Niki Moosavi (cello) and Lorraine Lionheart (singer) Dancers were Hannah Crown, Abbeyrame Sriharam and Shyam Dattani
The performers were applauded and congratulated by the Duke and Duchess and also by Baroness Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General. Pablo presented them with a signed copy of his musical score.
I am speechless. Gratitude is my attitude always. I am a proud Motswana. #LorraineLionheart #CommonwealthYouth #HarryandMeghan#DukeanDuchessofSussex @OfficialBrandBW @BrandBotswana @UnpluggedBW @BWGovernment @rtBotswana @UKinBotswana @CWResounds pic.twitter.com/4lAvrNxB4Q
— Lorraine LIONHEART (@LLHofficial) July 6, 2018
TCR’s Commonwealth celebrations for CHOGM 2018 came to a spectacular conclusion at St James’s Church, Piccadilly on Friday 20th April, hosted by TCR itself in collaboration with the Purcell School and many musical partners from all over the Commonwealth!
The young musicians and dancers worked very hard indeed for months beforehand, composing pieces, researching Commonwealth music, auditioning, choreographing dances and preparing sound tracks for this unique event.
SOUND, IMAGE, MOVEMENT – THE HIGHLIGHTS!
Before the event, we were all dazzled by the Ardvreck School Pipers who travelled all the way down from Scotland to perform in this event. These young people were all under the age of 13, and their accomplished piping brought tears to many eyes. They ‘framed’ the concert – processing in at the beginning, down the aisle to the front of the church and then out again at the end, bring it all to a close.
To follow the Ardvreckian Pipers, everyone’s ears were turned inside-out by the huge sound of 53 drummers, performing again their spectacular performance “Rotary and the Commonwealth, Drumming for Peace”, featuring expert sub groups – Chenda Drummers from India and drummers from Ghana and Botswana.
Billy Watmon, Sky TV’s Guitar Star Finalist, performed a fascinating new piece inspired by the sounds from the rainforest. This was followed by songs and music written by young people, influenced by the musical cultures of India, Cyprus, Aboriginal Australia and the Caribbean.
After the interval, there was a stunning performance by the Bearfoot Dance Company, including young dancers from different cultural backgrounds performing a new piece composed specially for them by 16-year-old Abigail James.
Sound, Image, Movement – The Commonwealth! was a genuinely cross-cultural musical feast. It was a huge success and we are hoping to run something similar for CHOGM 2020 in Rwanda!
SOUND, IMAGE MOVEMENT – THE COMMONWEALTH! managed to raise over £200 for the Commonwealth Hurricane Support Fund, created to help rebuild cultural projects in Antigua and Barbuda.
Thank you to our supporters and partners…
We were enormously grateful to the immense skill and professionalism of AB Lighting from Watford, who made the performance look every bit as good as it sounded, producing spectacular colourful lighting effects to enhance every part of St James’s Church, and to give a celebratory atmosphere to the whole event.
Without the financial help and logistical support of Sree Vallipuran and Rotary in London, many of our CHOGM 2018 events, including this concert would not have been able to happen.
The concert was also sponsored by the Toby Davies Fund. Toby was a very talented, popular young bassoonist who died suddenly and tragically at the age of 16. The Purcell School has a special fund for musical enterprise, devoted to his memory.