Musicians from across the nation have gathered virtually for a performance orchestrated by Cornwall Music Service Trust (CMST), which is leading the way in keeping musical talents alive and thriving at a time when neither orchestras nor music teachers and students can meet.

The performance of Abba’s Thankyou for the Music coordinated by Sara Munns – area lead for CMST – is the culmination of the trust’s virtual summer school this month, with more than 180 delegates in Cornwall and beyond signing up and enjoying three days of wide ranging online musical activity options every hour, on the hour.

This event was provided voluntarily by music leads of CMST so that the delegates could enjoy these sessions completely free of charge.

This itself has led into the trust’s ground-breaking MusicEL project, developed by CMST’s Inclusion manager Steve Hawker, which has put a collection of eLearning resources online to ensure students and schools can keep playing, learning and enjoying their music into the future.

“Music is so important for the body, soul and wellbeing – and we knew it would be terrible if all the wonderfully talented musicians out there felt isolated in this lockdown age,” said one of the trust’s founders and head of service, Gareth Churcher.

“The Cornwall Music Service Trust (CMST) has worked so hard over the last six years to keep music education alive in Cornwall at a time when central funding was being cut – and the pandemic and its lockdown created yet another challenge which our virtual summer school and MusicEL project, along with others, has overcome with incredible results.”

The finale orchestral performance of Thankyou For the Music was created by some of the 180 musicians recording themselves playing a part, or parts of the music provided and uploading the results, along with a couple of photos of themselves in action, all collated into a performance by the Cornwall Music Service Trust.

“We want to share this virtual orchestra performance, plus others that we have collated, far and wide to allow people to enjoy wonderful music making while we cannot meet in real life,” said Churcher.

“The performance promotes both our fantastic virtual summer school to a wider audience and our MusicEL project which will allow musicians to have a fun and educational experience at the same time – into the future.”