International Project - Weymouth

International Youth Symphony Orchestra visit to Weymouth

In May 2008, a group of singers from Weymouth, under the auspices of 'One Voice' choir visited Panevezys in Lithuania and, joining with a local junior and senior choir and a youth orchestra, introduced them to Englishman John Rutter's 'Mass of the Children'. We are now planning to host that youth orchestra during a visit by them to Weymouth and Portland from 4th to 11th April 2011. The group will comprise an orchestra numbering 25 with 5 adults.

The leader will be Kestutis Planciunas who is a musical director and arranger and leads a brass band, light music orchestra and Panevezys District youth symphony orchestra. Plans are afoot for the orchestra to play specially arranged music, some with Lithuanian and some with English flavour.

Kestutis Planciunas Leader and conductor of the Youth Orchestra Laima Planciuniene Director of Panevezys District Music School
Kestutis Planciunas
Leader and conductor
of the Youth Orchestra
Laima Planciuniene
Director of Panevezys
District Music School

It is envisaged that the orchestra will interact with some Weymouth and Portland schools during their visit by taking part in some school assemblies. There will be at least two formal concerts at which the musicians will perform but also they will accompany a youth choir and a senior choir.

We already have a nucleus of a youth choir but are looking for some support from as many Weymouth & Portland schools as possible. The music for the occasion will be made available by November. We are hoping that some school groups will be able to rehearse on their own before all joining together sometime in March 2011. Grazina will be on hand to provide support and guidance. If there are no established singing groups within a school, arrangements will be made, if possible, to include individuals in the main choir's rehearsals.

Panevezys District Youth Orchestra, 2009


Panevezys District Youth Orchestra, 2009

The age range that we are looking at will be from 7 to 18 years, although this will be a guide, as we have no intention of excluding anyone unnecessarily.

A committee is in place to oversee the organisation of the trip, including developing a project to help the finances.

Contacts are:

Grazina Ellis, Music director
Telephone: 07891 899479 or 01305 815531

John Ellis, Treasurer
Telephone: 07779 772264

If anyone would wish to help us in the funding of this venture, please contact John Ellis (details above)

Our desire is that the occasion will be one of upliftment, excitement, community enrichment through sharing music making that will be unique and fulfilling. You are invited to join the dream!


Preparation and Progress

Updated: 01 March 2011

Preparation for the visit of a Lithuanian Youth Orchestra (Panevezys District) from 4th to 11th April 2011 is now well underway. The program is set with minor last minute adjustments being made. What started out as a dream turned into a vision, then plans, decisions and finally commitment!

Music has been used to celebrate and inspire many aspects of human life; from the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup to Royal Occasions; from 'Feed the World' to Religious Celebrations. Lithuania celebrates this year the 20th Anniversary of the country's independence and subsequent entry into the European Union. Although the students will have all been born since independence, their music will emphasise what freedom and hard work can accomplish.

Besides three major concerts together with massed choirs, the 29 strong orchestra will be sharing time and talents at morning assemblies at the three schools mentioned, outside Debenhams on Saturday and at Abbotsbury Tropical Gardens on the Sunday. The educational side for the local students will be immense. They will experience music making at first hand with some instruments new to them. The orchestra will be received by the Mayor of W&P and the Portland Mayor and will share some of the delights of the Jurassic Coast.

There are some practical issues that still need to be addressed. Although our guests have personally paid for their travel costs on the Lithuanian side, 'One Voice' is committed to looking after them while they are here. Fund raising is ongoing with travel and hosting being the major costs. We are a little short on the 'hosting' front and would appeal for anyone who has the means and would like to experience the joy of sharing by offering to provide accommodation for a week. As their timetable is so full, it would literally be B&B.

One of our choir member's recently celebrated a birthday and presented all the proceeds of her party to the trip. Click here for a write-up of the event on page 7.


Updated: 28 March 2011

"Voice across the continent" - Dorset Echo

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Updated: 30 March 2011

"Group's plea for instruments" - Dorset Echo

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