Youngsters receive special permission to play John Lennon song to reflect on lockdown

Young musicians in Oxfordshire have been given special permission to share a unique virtual performance of John Lennon’s famous 1970s song “Imagine” that they put together during lockdown.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Music Service approached the ex-Beatle’s estate with the project and were thrilled to be given permission for their performance which will be shared on social media on July 3 and will be allowed to remain live until October 3.

Individual musicians had their own part in the piece recorded and they were then pieced together to re-create the familiar chart-topping 1971 song which came from an album of the same name. The video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/Yk51u-vmjr8

Jessica Gray, Area Manager from the Music Service explained: “The recordings took place during a time when the social restrictions were starting to ease, but we still could not meet together to rehearse or perform. The message within the music, about unity, is fitting at this time as we all start to look forward to a time when our all members of all our ensembles will be able to meet together to make music again. We hope people enjoy the recording when it goes live.

Councillor Neil Fawcett, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and Safety said: “A lot of hard work and planning has gone in to this and the virtual nature of the performance is a reflection on the way our lives have changed since March 2020. I encourage people in Oxfordshire to take a look at this performance when it goes live and enjoy the musical skills of our young people and another example of the ingenuity and creativity of our highly-regarded music services.”

Flautist Emma Lee took part in the performance. She said: “This was my first virtual orchestral recording and it is definitely more challenging compared to choral recording. I'm glad to be part of this experience knowing that the part I contributed may be small but significant when we piece the music together and listen as everyone plays in perfect harmony. This has been a difficult year, but I believe we will get through all the tough times as long as we work as one.

People who would like to sign up for lessons with the Oxfordshire Music Service can learn more here: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/music-service/music-lessons/learning-instrument