New Hampshire Youth Orchestra Seeks Collaboration

We have recently been contacted by a small El Sistema-inspired music program for 4-17-year-olds in the mountain-region of New Hampshire in the United States.

They want to find a youth orchestra somewhere in Ireland who they could connect with for some international collaboration projects such as pen pal letters between the young musicians, picking some common repertoire and doing simultaneous concerts in our respective communities, and planning a trip to visit Ireland in 2024 with a return trip by the Irish youth orchestra if they wish to visit New Hampshire.

They are hoping to use the commonplace of music to expand their student’s worlds and feel that there is no better way to do this than connect with other young musicians in Ireland!

The Orchestra is a new group and only started in 2020 and have 20 young string players. They currently meet in a barn and all their staff are volunteers. They have 5 pre-orchestra students who perform on self-made paper violins (see picture below) for the first semester before earning their real instrument, 5 violinists in Orchestra 2 (intermediate strings) and 10 beginner musicians in Orchestra 1 including cello, viola, piano, violin and percussion players.

The groups like to perform a mixed repertoire including classical music, Irish tunes and singing square dance tunes. They would love to share some square dance music, which is traditional in their area, with their partner orchestra in Ireland!

They are looking to connect with either another young, beginner orchestra or a well-established orchestra as they feel they could learn so much from them, ideally with a large string base. They come from a very rural community in the mountains and they are the first string programme of their kind. They are hoping to find an orchestra that would like to build the relationship over the course of several years because they think that sort of longevity would be powerful for motivating the young and would allow them to get to know their international peers.

You can watch a small video of a few members of Orchestra 1 here.

If you are interested or would like to know more, please contact Jessye Bartlett on fiddleheadfield@gmail.com.