12 May 2020
More than 500 young musicians from across the world have come together to mark International Nurses Day, dedicating their latest ensemble to University Hospital Southampton.
The Virtual Youth Orchestra was set up at the start of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic to ensure young people still had the opportunity to perform.
The Southampton-based initiative was developed out of the Showcase Music School in the city and attracts young musicians from across the world aged from five to 18.
To mark International Nurses Day, the musical director Alex Pope has put together an arrangement of The Rembrandts’ chart hit ‘I’ll Be There For You’, made popular as the theme tune of the popular sitcom Friends, and dedicated to staff at UHS.
The piece involves participants recording their own part of the musical arrangement and sending it into Alex for it to be pulled together in to one complete piece of music. Members of the orchestra from other countries have dedicated their performance to their local health services.
This week’s production includes images of UHS nurses along with messages of thanks for the work they do.
Chief nursing officer Gail Byrne said she was overwhelmed by the gesture. She said:
This day is always of huge significance for the nursing profession, no more so than this year. Our nurses are marking it by continuing to provide the care that is so needed at this challenging time and so it is wonderful to have this sort of tribute paid to them.
“I want to say a personal thanks to each and every young person who has taken part and dedicated their time and talent to producing this musical tribute. It is a very special way to say thank you to healthcare workers across the globe.”
This has been a wonderful opportunity for us. The idea behind the Virtual Youth Orchestra is to ensure that the wellbeing of young children is impacted positively during these difficult times. To connect this with thanks to those fighting to protect us is extremely special.”
To find out more about the Virtual Orchestra, please visit www.showcasemusicschool.com and via their social media by searching ‘Showcase Virtual Orchestra’.
Source: Press release issued by University Hospital Southampton.