Croydon is set to harmonize for the Anthem of Peace in a new festival set for next summer.
The Festival of Peace will be a week long festival starting on June 16 next year encouraging people to dedicate events to peace before a full communal concert including artists, performers and the public.
Organised by Croydon’s London Mozart Players, Fairfield residents for 25 years, the festival has just launched a funding page for donations to make the event a reality.
Julia Desbruslais, executive director and co-principle cellist of LMP, said: “We thought for 2018 it would be wonderful for something to go forward and is positive – and is completely accessible to absolutely anybody.
“It’s going to be so catchy and easy.”
The festival will begin with a performance at the Croydon Minster where community leaders will be invited to sing the anthem.
On the last Saturday of the festival people who have learnt the anthem will sing in a joint recital.
During year leading up to the festival the LMP will release their version of the piece to the internet where anyone can upload their interpretation to it – whether that’s rapping, singing or dancing.
The idea stems from a commissioned piece in 2014 named ‘Unknown Soldier’ by Jonathan Dove which was set up as a communal but could only be contributed to by a trained choir.
Ms Desbruslais said: “We wanted to do something that resonated with people right now. It’s quite hard for young people to relate to the World War and for it to be a real reality.
“But there is so much conflict in our communities on so many different levels that the one thing music can do is be a language that everyone can be a part of and understand.”
The anthem will come in three stages with the first section involving choirs, the second contributions from well known artists and the third a world music section with instruments from all over the world.
Hoping that the festival will go global, the LMP are launching the piece in the Middle East in October for a festival there – hoping that the concert will connect Croydon with the globe.
The Festival of Peace is one of many community festivals appearing in Croydon in a short space of time.
Ms Desbruslais said: “With Fairfield closing suddenly all these things are bubbling up and things are happening.
“Suddenly you see these really wonderful cultural things in many different forms.”
The LMP are the first chamber orchestra in the country to be self run by the players themselves without conductors.
Information and ways to donate to the Festival of Peace can be found here.
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