Her Majesty The Queen, Head of The Commonwealth
Diamond Jubilee Patron 2012, Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir
“The Commonwealth has an inspiring way of bringing people together and the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir is a reminder of how truly vibrant this international family is.”
The Queen’s Christmas Message 2017
The Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir (CYO) is the first, and remains the only, full-time music organisation in the world which works 24/7, 52 weeks a year, exclusively throughout the 53 Commonwealth Nations.
In 2011 the CYO has received an unique, specific and unanimous endorsement and support from all the Commonwealth Heads of Government.
This historic mandate was published in the Final Communique of the Biennial Meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) in Perth, Australia.
With Her Majesty The Queen, Head of The Commonwealth, as its Diamond Jubilee Patron, the CYO continues to work tirelessly to deliver its mission of “using music as a means of international dialogue, knowing no boundaries”, through it three-point plan “Engage-Educate-Empower”.
On Commonwealth Day 2019 a new song Believe was world-premiered on Horse Guards Parade and the following day the recording of the song was launched at a special event in Westminster hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir (CYO).
Dedicated to Her Majesty The Queen, Head of The Commonwealth, Believe is an inspirational song, which has been composed by CYO’s Commonwealth Composer-in-Residence Simon Haw MBE, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Commonwealth in 2019.
Believe has been composed as part of CYO’s educational programme “Inspire to Aspire” and its message is central to CYO’s theme for the 70th Anniversary of The Commonwealth, which is “To Celebrate the Past and Plan for the Future”.
Believe, featuring vocalist Mica Paris, is to be released as a charity single to raise funds for CYO’s Commonwealth Music Education Fund.
From 12 midnight local time on Thursday 25 April 2019 the track will be available to download online from all major music platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube etc.
Believe was recorded at Abbey Road, Studio 2, on 17 January 2019, by members of the Commonwealth Orchestra and Youth Orchestra, Commonwealth Children’s Choir, Commonwealth Scholars’ Choir, featuring Mica Paris and conducted by Simon Haw MBE.
To mark International Peace Day September 2018, the CYO launched at Cambridge University,
with a performance of Earth Dance by Simon Haw MBE,
the CYO’s Commonwealth Music Education Programme:
Inspire to Aspire - Creating Opportunities for Engaged Diversity
“You must be the change you want to be” - these insightful words of Mahatma Gandhi form part of the text of the opening lyrics of Earth Dance, composed by Simon Haw MBE, and is dedicated to HM The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Diamond Jubilee Patron of Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir.
Earth Dance was commissioned by the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra (CYO) to mark the Biennial Meeting, held in April 2018 at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, of the 53 Commonwealth Heads of Government.
The text of Earth Dance - drawn from writings, ancient, modern and new - reflect on the values of
Engagement, Unity, Respect, Diversity, Renew and Empowerment.
These themes are the inspiration behind CYO’s mission and its numerous initiatives, including the
For many years CYO has been delivering its mission of “using music as a means of international dialogue, knowing no boundaries” through its three-point delivery plan: Engage-Educate-Empower.
CYO engages with individuals and communities throughout all 53 countries of the Commonwealth - across nations, international and racial divides – resulting in extensive engaged diversity in action on a vast scale.
“Every man, woman and child sits on the shoulders of previous generations, inheriting the courage and discovery of those who went before and the opportunity to learn the lessons of the past and to build for a better future.”
In April 2019 the CYO has established the Commonwealth Music Education Fund to support the CYO’s Commonwealth Music Education Programme: Inspire to Aspire - Creating Opportunities for Engaged Diversity
A Just Giving page has been set up to support the work of the Commonwealth Music Education Fund: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/commonwealthmusiceducationfund
On International Day of Peace Wednesday 21 September 2016, the CYO launched an important and ground-breaking internet platform which is the CYO’s Commonwealth Music Hub. A new central CYO music hub website and six independent linked CYO satellite websites, to give huge visibility to the CYO’s major programmes for delivering its mission. The Hub Graphic is shown below.
Since September 2016 CYO’s seven websites have been rolled out with the first stage culminating in March 2019. At this point CYO has created an expansive internet platform - a space, going forward, for engagement, education, visibility and connectivity across the 53 Nations that are the 21st century Commonwealth.