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Simon Haw In Unity CD
Photo credit: Chris Lobina

Simon Haw, composer and conductor at a special performance of Earth Dance - A Commonwealth Cantata in Six Parts


In Unity CD – April 2018
To mark the occasion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting London 2018 the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir launched a third new recording.

At Cadogan Hall, London, on Monday 23 April 2018, to mark the occasion of the 2018 Biennial Meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in London, the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir launched the third CD of its trilogy of non-commercial recordings made with the ceremonial state Band of the Coldstream Guards conducted by Major Simon Haw MBE.

This CD is called In Unity and it is dedicated to Prince Harry on his taking up his new role, on 16 April 2018, of Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.

To launch In Unity, 53 members of the Commonwealth Children’s Choir sang “To Be A Friend” accompanied by the Band of the Coldstream Guards, conducted by Major Simon Haw MBE.

This specially composed song, “To Be A Friend”, was performed at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 19 April 2018 to welcome the Commonwealth Heads of Government on their arrival at the Opening Ceremony of their Biennial Meeting, which was formally opened by Her Majesty The Queen, Head of The Commonwealth.

Also included on In Unity CD is a special orchestral and choral work, Earth Dance – A Commonwealth Cantata in Six Parts composed by Simon Haw, which was commissioned by the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir as a musical manifestation of the core values of the 21st century Commonwealth.

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City of London CD


City of London CD - April 2018
On 17 April 2018 the CYO released a special, non-commercial CD “City of London”, which has been produced with the support of The City of London Corporation.

The CYO’s City of London CD was launched at a Banquet, which was hosted by the City of London Corporation, held on the occasion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting London 2018.

The Commonwealth Children’s Choir, conducted by Major Simon Haw MBE, performed “To Be A Friend” a special song written to welcome the Commonwealth Heads of Government to their meeting in London on 19 April 2018.

After their performance the Commonwealth Children’s Choir, composer and conductor Major Simon Haw MBE with Director-General, Sally Shebe, were presented to distinguished guests including:

  • The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Charles Bowman
  • His Excellency The President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa
  • The Rt Hon the Baroness Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General
  • The Rt Hon Philip Hammond, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the British Government
  • City Remembrancer Paul Double, LVO
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    A Song For Malta CD

    A Song For Malta - April 2018 - A new Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir recording to celebrate the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office (2015-2018) Prime Minister of Malta, The Hon Dr Joseph Muscat

    Key moments in the Commonwealth calendar, including the 2009 Diamond Jubilee of the Commonwealth, the 2012 Diamond Jubilee of HM The Queen and the Biennial Meetings of the Commonwealth Heads of Government, are marked in a highly visible way with major Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir performances and recordings.

    In April 2018 the CYO releases a special, non-commercial CD “A Song For Malta”, which has been produced, with the support of the Government of Malta, to mark and celebrate the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office 2015-2018, of the Prime Minister of Malta, The Hon Dr Joseph Muscat KUOM.

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    Members of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir Support events ahead of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018
    Piers Allardyce

    Members of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir Support events ahead of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018

    In the weeks building up to the Biennial Meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government the members of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir were honoured and delighted to be invited to support the following events:

  • International Women’s Day - HE Mrs Janice Charette, High Commissioner for Canada, hosted an event at Canada House, Trafalgar Square, London.
  • Commonwealth Countries League - Commonwealth Heritage Event at South Africa House, Trafalgar Square, London. Speakers The Rt Hon The Lord Howell of Guildford and Dr Chris Nonis, former High Commissioner for Sri Lanka.
  • Commonwealth Girls’ Education Fund - Splendours of the Commonwealth event in Mayfair in London to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Girls’ Education Fund
  • British Museum - A performance to herald the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government in London, April 2018.

  • Featured music in these performances was "A Commonwealth Cantata in Six Parts - Earth Dance” by Simon Haw. This brilliant composition has been commissioned by the CYO to mark the occasion of the Meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government 2018.



    "To be a Friend" New song launched for commonwealth day
    Photographer Credit – Chris Lobina

    “To Be A Friend” a new song launched on Commonwealth Day Monday 12 March 2018

    This special song, “To Be A Friend”, which is dedicated to Her Majesty The Queen, Head of The Commonwealth, has been especially commissioned by The Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir to welcome the Commonwealth Heads of Government attending their biennial meeting to be held in London, April 2018.

    On Commonwealth Day 2018 at 12 noon, despite torrential rain, “To Be A Friend” was given its world-premiere performance, in Whitehall, London, UK, by 400 members of The Commonwealth Children’s Choir and The Band of the Coldstream Guards, conducted by Major Simon Haw MBE.

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    Commonwealth Youth Orchestra for Queen's Christmas Message 2017
    Photographer Credit – Chris Lobina
    Copyright - Sky News

    The Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir honour new President

    The Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir is honoured and delighted that The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of City of London, Alderman Charles Bowman has become its new President.

    The Lord Mayor came to greet the children and musicians during the recording of 52 members of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir conducted by Paul Carroll for the broadcast of The Queen’s Christmas Message 2017 in the East Crypt of Guildhall, London.



    Commonwealth Youth Orchestra for Queen's Christmas Message 2017
    Photographer Credit – Chris Lobina
    Copyright - Sky News

    All 52 Commonwealth Nations were represented by the Commonwealth Orchestra and Choir in The Queen’s Christmas Message 2017

    The Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir is hugely honoured to have been invited to perform on The Queen’s Christmas Message 2017.

    For this broadcast there were 52 children with Commonwealth Heritage singing in the choir and each child represented one of the 52 Commonwealth Nations.

    In The Queen’s Christmas Message 2017 the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir was mentioned as being a reminder of the “vibrancy of The Commonwealth”.

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    A Celebration of the Sapphire Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen & Jack A Local Hero Dedicated to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh

    A Celebration of the Sapphire Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen & Jack A Local Hero Dedicated to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh

    In June 2017 to mark and celebrate the Sapphire Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, 65 years as Head of The Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Children’s Choir in collaboration with the Ceremonial State Musicians of the Household Division, have produced two musical tributes - one for Her Majesty The Queen and the other for His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, as an act of thanks for their 65 years of service to The Commonwealth.

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    Commonwealth Day 13 March 2017

    To mark and celebrate Commonwealth Day 2017 and the Sapphire Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, 65 years as Head of the Commonwealth,“A Song For The Commonwealth” words and music by Major Simon Haw MBE was performed by 600 members of the Commonwealth Children’s Choir and Coldstream Guards Band, Conducted by Director of Music Major Simon Haw MBE – Commonwealth Music Ambassador (2016 – 2018)

    The Coldstream Guards Band performed by kind permission of Major General B J Bathurst CBE, The Major General Commanding The Household Division.

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    International Day of Peace, Wednesday 21 September 2016

    Two Commonwealth Music Competitions are launched by the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra & Choir to mark and celebrate International Day of Peace 2016:

    • Commonwealth Community Choir Competition 2017 – Music for Peace & Development

    • Commonwealth Children’s Choir Competition 2017 – Music for Peace & Development

    For more information please visit: www.commonwealth-music-competitions.net



    Celebration of 90th Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen

    "A Song For The Commonwealth", words and music by Commonwealth Music Ambassador Simon Haw MBE.

    Performed by 53 members of the Commonwealth Children’s Choir and Musicians of The Household Division.

    Recorded and Produced by Abbey Road Studios on 20 May 2016.

    Dedicated to all the Children of the Commonwealth

    To celebrate the 90th Birthday of
    Her Majesty The Queen
    Head of The Commonwealth

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    New President for the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir
    18th May 2016

    The Commonwealth Youth Orchestra & Choir, together with all its Commonwealth Orchestras and Choirs, Commonwealth Music Partners and Commonwealth Music Council, are honoured and delighted to announce that as of Wednesday 18th May 2016 it will have a new President.

    The Lord Marland of Odstock, having completed his two-year term as President, now steps down fromthat role. The Trustees and Executive are most grateful to Lord Marland for his support and enthusiasm over the last two years.

    The new President is His Highness Prince Albert Esiri.

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    Commonwealth Week Gala Event
    15th March 2016

    Commonwealth Secretary-General The Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland QC takes up the baton from former Commonwealth Secretary General HE Kamalesh Sharma, to build on his legacy of support for the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra & Choir and its associated Commonwealth Music Partnerships and Commonwealth Music Council.

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    International Day of Peace
    21st September 2015

    Members of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Members of the Commonwealth Children’s Choir marked and celebrated International Day of Peace 2015 with the launch of its major new initiative “Commonwealth Community Heritage” Convening the Constituency of the Commonwealth on a Path to Peace

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    The Castle Of Mey CD

    The Castle of Mey CD is Launched at Marlborough House
    23rd June 2015

    On Monday 22 June 2015 The Castle of Mey CD was launched at Marlborough House in London. The CD features the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Commonwealth Children’s Choir conducted by Paul Carroll with violin virtuoso Hui-Ti Wang and Maltese soprano Nicola said.

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    HE The President of Malta makes a presentation to the young composer, Natasha Senanayake, from Colombo, Sri Lanka, who is the Winner of the Commonwealth Music Competition 2014.

    Commonwealth Week 2015

    Commonwealth Week is always a high point in the year of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra & Choir and in 2015 the young musicians took part in a packed schedule of events and workshops.

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    His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma Commonwealth Secretary–General with members of the Commonwealth Children’s Choir

    Human Rights Day 2014

    His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma Commonwealth Secretary–General
    with members of The Commonwealth Children’s Choir at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London,
    celebrating Human Rights Day on Wednesday 10 December 2014.



    Lord Marland of Odstock, President and Maestro Paul Carroll, Artistic Director and Composer-in-Residence, with The Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and The Commonwealth Children’s Orchestra & Choir

    Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 - Queen’s Baton Relay Project

    Commonwealth Week is always a high point in the year of the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra & Choir and in 2015 the young musicians took part in a packed schedule of events and workshops.

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