ABYSO Undertakes Pioneering UK Music Tour


Musicians from the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra will undertake a 12 day music tour of the United Kingdom from 10th to 21st October 2023.

Formed in 2018 in partnership with the Kanneh-Mason family, the current ABYSO is celebrating 5 years of musicmaking. 

The tour will begin with the exciting launch of a new partnership between the ABYSO and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO).

This partnership will bring together ABYSO’s aspiring young musicians with RPO professionals to develop cross-cultural musical experiences in both the UK and Caribbean. 

The ABYSO touring musicians will benefit from open rehearsal opportunities and instrument and sectional coaching sessions with RPO principals.

They will have the opportunity to perform pre-concert for public audiences at Cadogan Hall.

Musicians will also participate in a creative workshop to produce a brand-new piece of music led by award winning composer James Redwood. 

The musicians will also collaborate in a two-day project bringing together ABYSO with young musicians in the Brent Youth Concert Pops Orchestra (BYCPO).

The RPO sessions will end with a concert on 15th October in The Duke’s Hall at the world-renowned Royal Academy of Music in London.

This concert will include steelpan player Khan Cordice, saxophonist Jess Gillam, RPO musicians, the BYCPO and members of the Kanneh-Mason family.

The tour will next take the ABYSO to the historic Christ Church Cathedral at Oxford University.

The ABYSO will perform with the choristers of Christ Church Cathedral School (CCCS) on Sunday 16th October.

CCCS has developed a close relationship with Antigua and Barbuda over the years. 

The National Youth Choir performed at the school during their UK tour in 2019.

CCCS also raised funds to support the Red Cross Barbuda hurricane relief effort in 2017. 

Tutors from the school, led by Director of Music Sophie Biddell, have mentored ABYSO musicians.

After the performance, the ABYSO will have lunch at the College followed by a tour led by Antiguan student Ianthe Fraser who is currently studying at Oxford.

The ABYSO will then travel to Jersey, Channel Islands, as the guests of the Jersey Music Service.

Antigua and Barbuda and Jersey continue to build close ties in hospitality, cricket and cultural exchanges.

The ABYSO visit will be part of the Jersey Music Service’s plan to re-launch a youth orchestral programme on that Island.

The concert in Jersey will be held on 18th October at Les Quennevias School.

As part of the Commonwealth Year of the Youth, the ABYSO will join with its longstanding partner The Commonwealth Resounds (TCR) to perform at The Commonwealth Secretariat at Marlborough House. 

This performance will feature music composed by Antiguan and Barbudan composers.

The TCR has held several composition workshops in Antigua and Barbuda.


The final formal engagements will be a visit to the headquarters of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) on 19th October.

The ABRSM has been a close partner of the ABYSO for several years. 

Director of Culture Khan Cordice will travel with the Orchestra and bring the sounds and rhythms of the steel pan to the various performances. Mr Cordice is currently working with an ABYSO pan ensemble to prepare repertoire for this tour.  

The ABYSO serves over 200 young musicians weekly across its initial, junior and senior orchestral programmes, Train the Trainers programme, its Inspire Youth Choir and outreach programmes at the Potters Primary School and in Barbuda.

Thriving in its sixth year of existence under the patronage of the Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Rodney Williams, and his wife, Lady Williams, the ABYSO continues to offer exciting opportunities to its young people, including international partnerships. 

The ABYSO is also seeking to build a brand-new state of the art music home for the Orchestra.

The ABYSO extends thanks to our many sponsors and partners for making this tour possible.

In particular, special thanks are extended to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Dr Sharad Nair, Leo Flores, Anthony and Sarah Bolton, Sarosh Zaiwalla, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart and Lady Judy Moody-Stuart, Albert Esiri, the ABRSM, The Galleon Foundation, Jersey Music Service, Brent Music Service, Christ Church Cathedral School, The Commonwealth Resounds, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission (London) and the Ministry of Education, Sports and the Creative Industries.






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