&ldquoAs Alsop faced the cellos and drew from them the most tremendously shaped phrases with every inflection of her baton, you were aware of being in the presence of greatness.&rdquo
24th May 2016
Join Marin in the BBC’s ‘virtual orchestra’ at the Last Night of the Proms

BBC calls on music lovers to be part of The Last Night of the Proms Celebrations
Digital orchestra launched for amateur musicians all over UK

Today BBC Music launches its online ‘virtual orchesra’, conducted by Marin Alsop, and calls all music lovers and musicians to take part.

Amateur musicians, lapsed players and anyone over 16 who loves music is urged to log on, tune up and get playing for the chance to feature in a unique digital performance which will be part of the world famous Last Night of the Proms celebrations on Saturday 10 September.

To join in, they will need to upload a short video of themselves playing The Toreador Song from Bizet’s opera Carmen to the BBC Get Playing website by Saturday 27 August.  A whole range of instruments are welcome and there will be arrangements on the Get Playing website for everything from piano and guitar to bagpipes! The BBC will then edit the videos into a spectacular three minute performance which will be shown on BBC iPlayer and Big Screens at Proms in the Park around the UK.

Marin will lead the BBC Get Playing virtual orchestra which also features musicians from the Royal Academy of Music.

Marin says: “For me it’s incredibly important to support amateur musicians because music is a way to connect, communicate, transcend barriers, transcend differences and perhaps it’s a way to promote tolerance and peace in a world that desperately needs it.”

The ambassador for BBC Get Playing is comedian David Baddiel, who is a keen piano player and who will be adding his performance to the BBC Get Playing virtual orchestra.

He says:  “There is something about playing music as an amateur which is brilliant and life enriching. This is a unique opportunity to be part of something amazing on the biggest night in the classical music calendar, and I hope that everybody will feel able to have a go and join in the fun.”

Anyone who wants help  brushing up their playing or learning a new instrument  can turn to Get Playing’s partners Making Music, Music For All and ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music ) who are arranging public practice events during the Summer, free instrument lessons helpful support videos and online tips.’

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor BBC Four says “Get Playing aims to ignite and celebrate a new wave of amateur music making across the country, uniting music lovers young and old  and getting them involved in the spectacular Last Night of the Proms celebrations, one of the biggest musical events in the world.”

The virtual orchestra is part of the BBC Get Playing campaign, which aims to inspire amateur music lovers everywhere throughout the summer.  On TV, Get Playing includes two prime time TV shows for BBC Two and BBC Four – the UK’s Best Part Time Band and a series showcasing a contest of the nation’s most inspiring amateur orchestras.

A host of BBC presenters have pledged to support the campaign this Summer including Gemma Cairney and Clara Amfo (BBC Radio 1), Yasmin Evans (BBC Radio 1Xtra), Craig Charles (BBC Radio 2), Katie Derham and Sarah Walker (BBC Radio 3), Reverend Richard Coles (BBC Radio 4),  Clare McDonnell (BBC Radio 5 live), Shaun Keaveny (BBC 6 Music), Nihal (BBC Asian Network), Mark Forrest (BBC Local Radio), Bryan Burnett and John Beattie (BBC Scotland), Anne Lundon (BBC ALBA), Noel Thompson and John Toal (BBC Radio Ulster), Aled Hughes (BBC Radio Cymru) and BBC Wales weather presenters Behnaz Akhgar, Sue Charles, Rhian Haf and Llyr Griffiths-Davies.

The BBC is also providing six special online masterclasses with some of the world’s greatest musicians including James Rhodes (piano), Alison Balsom (trumpet), Evelyn Glennie (percussion), Thomas Gould (violin), Courtney Pine (saxophone) and Nitin Sawhney (guitar).

For further information on how to upload to the BBC Get Playing virtual orchestra visit www.bbc.co.uk/getplaying