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Be part of the BBC's Last Night of the Proms celebrations!

3 years ago


Digital orchestra launched for amateur musicians in the UK

Calling all music lovers and musicians! Now is your chance to pick up an instrument and be part of the BBC’s world famous Last Night of the Proms celebrations.

Today, BBC Music launches its online ‘virtual’ orchestra’ – and it needs players!

Amateur musicians, lapsed players and anyone over 16 who loves music is urged to log on, tune up and get playing for the chance to feature in a unique digital performance which will be part of the world famous Last Night of the Proms celebrations on Saturday 10 September.

The BBC Get Playing virtual orchestra will be led by the celebrated conductor Marin Alsop and features musicians from the Royal Academy of Music.

The virtual orchestra is part of the BBC Get Playing campaign, partnered by ABRSM in addition to Making Music and Music for All. The campaign aims to inspire amateur music lovers everywhere throughout the summer. On TV, Get Playing includes two prime time TV shows for BBC Two and BBC Four - The UK’s Best Part Time Band and a series showcasing a contest of the nation’s most inspiring amateur orchestras.

How do I participate?

To join in, you will need to upload a short video of yourself playing The Toreador Song from Bizet’s opera Carmen to the BBC Get Playing website by Saturday 27 August. A whole range of instruments are welcome and arrangements will be available on the Get Playing website for everything from piano and guitar to bagpipes!

The BBC will edit the videos into a spectacular three minute performance which will be shown on BBC iPlayer and Big Screens at Proms in the Park around the UK.

Expert tips: how to tackle The Toreador Song


ABRSM examiner Russell Hepplewhite provides an insight into how to approach The Toreador Song

Transcending barriers and promoting peace through music

The ambassador for BBC Get Playing is comedian David Baddiel, who is a keen piano player and who will be adding his performance to the BBC Get Playing virtual orchestra.

David Baddiel, BBC Get Playing virtual orchestra

Baddiel says: 'There is something about playing music as an amateur which is brilliant and life enriching. This is a unique opportunity to be part of something amazing on the biggest night in the classical music calendar, and I hope that everybody will feel able to have a go and join in the fun.'

Conductor Marin Alsop says: 'For me it’s incredibly important to support amateur musicians because music is a way to connect, communicate, transcend barriers, transcend differences and perhaps it’s a way to promote tolerance and peace in a world that desperately needs it.'

Online masterclasses

The BBC is also providing six special online masterclasses with some of the world's greatest musicians including James Rhodes (piano), Alison Balsom (trumpet) Evelyn Glennie (percussion) Thomas Gould (violin), Courtney Pine (saxophone) and Nitin Sawhney (guitar).

Further information

For further information about the BBC Get Playing virtual orchestra, visit

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