Our friends at Wiltshire Young Musicians have been really busy making music from home! We can't wait for them to join us back at WMC, but in the meantime we spoke to their Musical Director, Matt Thorpe, about what they've been up to recently.

We loved listening to WYM’s Lockdown Project! What was the inspiration behind the video?

There are lots of groups making videos similar to this at the moment but we wanted to provide an opportunity for all of our membership to get involved in a project. This meant it had to be accessible by beginner players as well as being engaging for our more advanced players. Members chose to record one of four eight bar phrases of varying difficulty and some members of staff recorded eight bar solos. Once we’d received all the videos I had the task of trying to put them all together to make a piece of music.

Why do you think it is important for young musicians to play in ensembles?

Playing in an ensemble is an essential part of any young musicians development. It provides opportunities to play regularly and to experience a wide variety of music. It can help you to understand how your instrument fits within the musical landscape and give the inspiration to progress to the next level. All this as well as being a fantastic social experience and chance to meet lots of like minded people.

What is the best thing about remote music-making?

Obviously it can’t come close to making music with other people in person but remote music making gives an opportunity to learn new skills like playing with a click or backing track and is a great way to keep people practising and engaged with making music whilst we have no alternative.

How else is WYM continuing to connect with young musicians during this period?

WYM staff have continued to engage groups in a variety of ways. Some groups have done projects of their own in a similar way to the ‘Lockdown Project’, others have been setting composition tasks, sending links to inspiring performances and arranging online group socials.

What are you looking forward to most about returning to WMC, apart from the Auditorium?

We very much look forward to being able to see all our members again and hearing the general buzz of music making as you walk around the building.

How can young musicians get involved in WYM during the summer?

We provide ensembles for all orchestral instruments from complete beginner up to grade 8 and beyond. We are always looking for new members and we’d love to see lots of new faces when we are able to resume our rehearsals. If you want more information about what we provide then visit our website or contact info@wiltshireyoungmusicians.org.uk