Leaps and Bounds in partnership with another organisation Young Orchestras CIC were engaged with an exciting project titled European Youth Music Refugee Choir. Young Orchestras CIC was born out of the National Association of Youth Orchestras (NAYO) in 2011. NAYO had been the custodians of a post-war initiative between the German and British governments to help rebuild relations of the two countries, for young people of Germany and Britain through music and specifically through a youth orchestra. This resulted in the establishment of an annual European Youth Music Week, more information can be found on their website here . The aim of the project was to create a stand-alone European Youth Music Refugee Choir, in its own way, addressing some of the very same issues that were prevalent all those years ago.
Working with 60 young refugees and asylum seekers, aged 16 - 26 years, in three urban centres - Birmingham, Bristol and Leicester. This project brought young refugees together with other young people to create and perform a newly commissioned piece for choir and orchestra that expressed their experiences and hopes for the future. Between Apr 2018 and Aug 2018 the participants received a series of vocal and personal development training sessions leading up to the final concert that summer. The rehearsals initially took place in each city before bringing all the participants together for a week long intensive residential course prior to the final concert in Leicester.