On Tuesday, 14th September, the Commonwealth community celebrated the launch of the Commonwealth Music Relay at St James’s Palace. Supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the launch of the relay was presented as a special event at the end of the prestigious Commonwealth Youth Awards.

In the presence of HRH Prince Edward, The Duke of Edinburgh, we were delighted by his keen interest in the project. As a patron of several arts and music organisations, Prince Edward said he was eager to witness the Music Relay’s progress and its impact across the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Music Relay is an ambitious, collaborative project that seeks to unite every country within the Commonwealth through the universal language of music. This project encourages talented musicians to create and share their musical ideas, forming a collaborative Music Relay that will eventually span across all participating countries.

To kickstart the Commonwealth Music Relay, a song was specially composed and premiered at St James’s Palace. This was performed by musicians from the Purcell School for Young Musicians and Meera Maharaj, a brilliant young professional flautist with cultural connections to Trinidad.

Over the course of the Music Relay, this original song will inspire musicians and composers across the Commonwealth to reimagine, reinvent, and share their own versions online.

The grand culmination of the Commonwealth Music Relay will be a spectacular final performance set to take place in Samoa, coinciding with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2024.

Join the Relay: An Open Call to Young Musicians and Composers

After the global success of our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee project, broadcast live from Buckingham Palace in June 2022, we are offering a new musical challenge to all young Commonwealth musicians and composers.

The Commonwealth Music Relay is now open to participants in two distinct categories:

Musicians, singers, and composers aged between 18 and 30 as of 1st September 2023.
Those under the age of 18 as of the same date.
The relay invites participants to draw inspiration from the song ‘Symphony’, crafted by young composers from all five regions of the Commonwealth. Participants can either present their unique arrangement of ‘Symphony’ or create an original variation inspired by fragments of the song.

The Relay Process

Listen: Begin by immersing in ‘Symphony’, as performed by pupils from The Purcell School for Young Musicians.
Create: Use the song as a creative springboard for your own rendition.
Record: Film or record your piece, ensuring authenticity and passion. Expensive setups are unnecessary.
Upload: Share your masterpiece with the global community.
Pass it On: Extend the relay by sharing your music with another musician or group, urging them to offer their take.