Carribean joy comes to christ church

Christ Church Cathedral School (CCCS) and The Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra (ABYSO) are proud to announce their forthcoming collaboration, in a programme of vibrant music for orchestra, choir and steel pan. The short concert is open to the CCCS community and will be held at Christ Church Cathedral on Monday 16th October at 12 noon.

The concert will feature nearly fifty members of the ABYSO alongside a combined choir representing all three sets of CCCS choristers. It consolidates the unique link between the musicians of CCCS and this inspirational Caribbean orchestra at an exciting time in its development. The programme will include a waltz by Shostakovich, a selection of worship songs popular in Antigua, and an innovative performance of Winter from Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ arranged for orchestra and steel pan.

Sophie Biddell, CCCS’s Director of Music

The ABYSO was established in 2018 under the guidance of the Kanneh-Mason family; seven internationally renowned musical siblings from Nottingham who have Antiguan heritage. Antigua’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Gaston Browne, also backs the ABYSO and hopes it will enable Antigua to become the Caribbean’s hub for classical music. He said in April 2023, “It is proven that classical music adds to the life of individuals, and I believe that our youth in the future will be of a better calibre in terms of their education and skills background. Through the ABYSO programme, they have had significant exposure to creative arts through classical music.

I am delighted to continue our special relationship with Christ Church Cathedral School. CCCS warmly welcomed the Antigua and Barbuda National Youth Choir in 2018 just a few months after its touching fundraising effort for the Barbuda recovery fund, following the devastation of Hurricane Irma. Now we are again bringing our Youth Orchestra and CCCS together, demonstrating the unparalleled power of music to inspire, educate and unite.

Her Excellency Karen-Mae C. Hill, OBE Antigua and Barbuda High Commissioner

Sophie Biddell visited Antigua most recently at Easter, to work on ABYSO’s ‘Playing to Inspire’ project alongside the Kanneh-Masons. She mentors members of the orchestra online, has coached Antigua’s Youth Choir and is conductor of the Junior ABYSO.

CCCS has an exceptional culture of musicianship, and I am delighted that we are able to bring our pupils together with the young musicians of Antigua. It deepens our boys’ understanding of the value of classical music to communities around the globe, and they are incredibly excited to be hosting the ABYSO at Christ Church.

Sophie Biddell

During their visit to England ABYSO will also be collaborating with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, and participating in a joint performance at the Royal Academy of Music on 15th October.

For more information, please contact Lucy Channer at Christ Church Cathedral School.