As part of the Britten and Beyond Project, the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra have been establishing partnership links with Cecilia Luvenilis Orchestra in Rome. Although the orchestra is relatively new, it is part of the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia, which was established in its present guise more than 130 years ago. As far back as the 16th century, musicians hoping to play in the Papal Kingdom had to pass a special exam there before they could do so. It includes amongst it former pupils the Honourary Academy Award holding composer Ennio Morricone, most famous for his score to ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.

The Cecilia Luvenilis Orchestra has around 30 pre-degree level musicians gaining performance experience and coaching from the Conservatoire’s professors and staff. Below is the initial letter we received from them:

Dear Dury and the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra,

I would like to introduce you to the newly formed Cecilia Iuvenilis Orchestra.  Alfredo Santoloci, the director of the Santa Cecilia Conservatory, has founded the orchestra aiming to bring together pre-degree students to gain experience in high-level ensemble playing.

The orchestra began rehearsing early this year and performed its first concert a few weeks ago on the 8th June.

There are 30 young musicians aged between 10 and 20 years including some degree-level students. All instrumental sections are present in the orchestra and we are looking forward to more students joining next academic year.

For the opening concert, we performed orchestrations of piano works by Clementi, Mozart, Schumann, adapted by Marco Massimiliani, a degree-level composition student, along with adaptations by both Maestro Santoloci and Marco Massimiliani of music by Vivaldi.

The orchestra is currently on the summer break and will perform its next concert in October.

We look forward to hearing more about your concerts and will be sending photos shortly!

Best Wishes,

Marco Massimiliani

The group have been joined with the SCYO via the British Council, and we hope to establish stronger links with the group during the next Academic Year. We were thrilled earlier this week to receive an email including a video link from their first concert in their new guise.

Dear Dury and the South Cotswolds Youth Orchestra,

We’d like to share with you a clip of our first performance as the Cecilia Iuvenilis Orchestra. The concert took place on 8th June in the Sala Accademica of the  Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia, was conducted by Maestro Alfredo Santoloci and teachers, parents and friends made up the audience of about 150. We are looking forward to starting rehearsals in September after the summer break and are particularly excited to be performing in October for the Pope!

Best Wishes,

Marco Massimiliani and the Cecilia Iuvenilis Orchestra

You can watch the video below, and we look forward to hearing more from them, and sharing news of our ‘Symphony in a Day 2014′ and Music for Youth Trip with them!