At the annual Commonwealth Week Gala Event at Marlborough House on Tuesday 15 March 2016 His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma in his Opening Remarks celebrated the extraordinary achievements and ground-breaking work of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra & Choir (CYO). He personally congratulated the Director-General and called her a “Commonwealth Pioneer” and praised her courage and determination to deliver an unique vision of using the soft power of music as a meansof international dialogue throughout all 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
The Secretary-General made a generous presentation to the Director-General and in turn she presented him with an inscribed presentation box containing two conductor’s batons. He congratulated Artistic Director and Composer-in-Residence, Maestro Paul Carroll, for creating a new Commonwealth Classical Music genre and for his brilliant direction and engagement of all the young musicians from across the Commonwealth –“this organisation is the embodiment of unified diversity” he said.
His Excellency also expressed his delight about the launch of the CYO’s newly established Commonwealth Music Council, with its unique mission to curate the music of the Commonwealth. He explained that through its programme, Commonwealth Community Heritage, the Commonwealth Music Council will engage with communities in all 53 countries of the Commonwealth to gather current, heritage and traditional music, in all genres, to curate the music heritage of the nations and its peoples.
The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General Designate - who has now taken up office, on 1 April 2016, as the sixth Commonwealth Secretary-General - most graciously made the Closing Remarks. She was also presented with an inscribed presentation box containing two conductor’s batons and taking up her baton with relish, she exclaimed that she would happily continue the legacy of HE Kamalesh Sharma and would build on his last 8 years of support of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra & Choir and all its associated organisations and music partners.
The Secretary-General Designate, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, praised the “magical music” as she expressed her thanks to Mr Sharma and Ms Shebe for their “joint vision” to give young people the opportunity to sing and play songs from across the Commonwealth. “It is a huge pleasure and privilege to hold the baton that has been passed to me by the Secretary-General,” she said. “There is much for us to do for the Secretary-General’s vision for the orchestra and choir to be fulfilled. I hope that together we will make great music, in harmony with each other.”