National Youth Choir of Antigua and Barbuda in the UK!

National Youth Choir of Antigua and Barbuda in the UK!

On Thursday June 28th, The Commonwealth Resounds (TCR) was very proud to welcome the National Youth Choir of Antigua and Barbuda to Hertfordshire. Alison Cox, TCR’s Founder and Chair of Trustees worked closely with Karen-Mae Hill, The High Commissioner of Antigua and Barbuda whose amazing fundraising efforts enabled the choir to visit the UK in 2018.

As part of their programme, the National Youth Choir visited primary and secondary schools in Hertfordshire who had raised funds for Antigua and Barbuda as part of TCR’s Commonwealth Hurricane Support Concert Programme.

Firstly, they visited the Bushey Academy, who are donating the proceeds of their annual House Music Festival to Antigua and Barbuda. The young people at Bushey greatly enjoyed the choir’s performance!

The second concert took place at the Purcell School, who performed as part of CHOGM 2018 and raised funds for the Hurricane Appeal from two spectacular Commonwealth concerts in St James’s Church, Piccadilly and St George’s, Hanover Square. The choir gave a brilliant lunchtime concert, and then met young people from the Purcell School who will be coming to help with musical projects in Antigua and Barbuda in February 2019. Lots of new friendships were formed over lunch!

The final concert was at Bowmansgreen Primary School whose magnificent fundraising efforts were greatly appreciated by the High Commissioner and the choir members. The children sang a special song written by a 16-year-old composer called Elissa Street about Hurricane Irma. Everyone loved the song.

At the end of each concert, the High Commissioner thanked everyone warmly and invited us all to come and visit Antigua and Barbuda!

The Commonwealth International Composition Award – Official Launch

The Commonwealth International Composition Award – Official Launch

We are delighted to announce the official launch of The Commonwealth International Composition Award will take place on 30th April 2019, in Marlborough House.

The evening will be presented by BBC Radio 4 presenter and newsreader, Zeb Soanes.

As well as The Commonwealth Resounds, the main partners and sponsors are the ABRSM and the Purcell School for Young Musicians which is the administrative base for the Composition Award.

Around the world, very few young people are learning how to to compose music This is why the Commonwealth International Composition Award has been created. It will be run and managed by The Commonwealth Resounds, an officially accredited Commonwealth musical organisation, supported by the ABRSM and have its administrative base at The Purcell School for Young Musicians.


In association with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and the Purcell School for Young Musicians

Do you want to learn how to compose music?

If so, click here to find out how….

The Official Launch of the Commonwealth International Composition Award was held at Marlborough House on Tuesday 30th April. It was attended by many distinguished guests from the music profession and the Commonwealth and hosted by Zeb Soanes, BBC Presenter and Author.

Speakers included Her Excellency The Secreatry_General of the Commonwealth, Her Excellency the High Commissioner of Antigua and Barbuda, Geoff Parkin, Artistic Director, Royal Over-Seas League, Michael Elliot, Chief Executive, ABRSM, Paul Bambrough, Principal, The Purcell School for Young Musicians, Daniel Spreadbury, Marketing Manager, Dorico, Kuljit Bhamra, Composer, Tabla Explorer and De-mystifier of Indian Music and Alison Cos OBE, Founder and chair of Trustees, The Commonwealth Resounds.

Two exciting new pieces by young composers were presented. ‘Tiger Teeth’ by Sasha Scott aged 17 (cultural background from Barbados, Jamaica and the UK) performed by a school-age string quartet from the Purcell School for Young Musicians and ‘Adam’s Peak’ by Vionthya Perinpanathan (cultural background from Sri Lanka) performed by Kuljit Bhamra – tabla and Leonie Adams. – cello. Leonie is the Musical Director of Dionysus, Ensemble-in Residence for the Commonwealth Resounds.

There was a great deal of lively discussion! Guests had plenty of time in between speeches and music for networking and conversation. Everyone was treated to tasty snacks and canapés, prepared by Roberts Macnaughten and wines form Commonwealth countries, New Zealand Australia and South Africa!

The Composition Award is already running in four pilot countries – Antigua and Barbuda, India, Rwanda and New Zealand. Young people are being trained to compose their own music, and other countries (including Cyprus and Sri Lanka) are hoping to join them for the second phase of the award.

“A Connected Commonwealth is a Composing Commonwealth!” Her Excellency, Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

“Composition is a very special and personal thing. I am excited to see what the results will be from the four pilot countries!” Geoff Parkin, Artistic Director, Royal Over-Seas League and Patron of the Commonwealth Resounds

“I have no doubt that the Composition Award will flourish and deliver some life-changing experiences for young people across the globe.”Paul Bambrough, Principal of the Purcell School, the oldest specialist music school on the Commonwealth.


Hurricane Support Concert, Cambridge

Hurricane Support Concert, Cambridge

Images and names of pupils supplied by parents with their full permission.

Lily, Magdalene and Butterfly are three outstanding young musicians studying for their Gold Arts Award at The Purcell School.

As part of this, they organised their own concert, and have donated all the proceeds to TCR’s Commonwealth Hurricane Appeal. The poster was also designed by the pupils, and they are doing all their own marketing, promotion and fundraising.

Concerts to support hurricane victims

Concerts to support hurricane victims

In 2017, Hurricane Irma created great devastation, especially in the Commonwealth countries of Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica.

Before CHOGM 2018, The Commonwealth’s Secretary-General appealed to all Commonwealth Accredited Organisations, asking them for some help and support. The Commonwealth Resounds, as a musical organisation wondered at first how we could possibly do anything to help. Then we had an idea!

We contacted many of our musical outreach partners in the UK – primary and secondary schools, individuals, music hubs and others – and asked them to consider running their own Hurricane Support Concerts, educating children and audiences about the Commonwealth, the Caribbean and hurricanes, and raising funds to rebuild cultural programmes in affected countries. There was a very positive response to this appeal! Schools in London, Hertfordshire, Manchester and Norfolk responded and created excellent concerts, raising funds for the hurricane victims.

The Commonwealth Hurricane Support Concerts programme is making excellent progress, and more concerts will be taking place in schools  throughout 2018 and 2019.

To offer a concert, find out more or to support for the programme in other ways please email Alison Cox OBE, Founder and Chair of Trustees, The Commonwealth Resounds at Alison will be delighted to hear from you, and will be able to answer all your questions.

Ensemble in residence

Ensemble in residence

The Commonwealth Resounds continues to be very proud of its first-ever Ensemble-in Residence, The Dionysus Ensemble. Cross-cultural musical projects run by these exciting, enterprising young musicians are highly valued by those involved, and the ensemble is flourishing. We look forward to future exciting collaborations during the term of their residency.