Cambridgeshire Music is proud to bring you the second Online Orchestra performance – La Bamba – all the way from Mexico! We were absolutely bowled over by the enthusiasm of musicians across the county and beyond who contributed 115 tracks to the toe-tapping Mexican performance.

Every orchestral instrument was represented in the final performance – from harps to bassoons and from marimbas to ukuleles. And we also received some great contributions on less well-known instruments – from a Chinese two-stringed erhu to a stylophone and even kazoos (see story from Wyton on the Hill Kazoo Orchestra below)!

“People put so much effort into recording their parts,” said Cambridgeshire Music’s Head of Ensembles Mark Aldous, who spent much of last week editing the parts together. “Everyone was smiling, some people dressed up – everyone got really into it and that’s lovely!”

Mark was particularly impressed by people’s willingness to improvise one section: “It was great to see that lots of people really went the extra mile to put their own take on the music,” said Mark. “And that has spun this performance into a completely different realm. We had the feeling that everyone was playing together. It was truly magical – and it’s a unique performance.”

Musicians from across Cambridgeshire and even further afield took part in the performance and the praise has been pouring in.

One parent told us: “Our daughter loved doing it and seeing the final result.”

“I'm in awe at how this has come together,” commented another admirer. “What a brilliant job! Thank you for all the hard work!”

Another simply said: “You’ve brightened up a rainy day.”

We received contributions from as far afield as sunny Los Angeles – from former Cambridgeshire Music student Bas Janssen, who started out playing percussion in Mark’s ensembles and is now a session drummer playing around the world.

He said: “The power of music has always and will be something that unifies us and the internet only makes that easier. I can be on the other side of the world and still support Cambridgeshire Music. The lockdown has forced us to be creative, think outside the box and find a way to do something when it looks impossible. The results have been impressive.”

The joyful performance is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Over 1,300 people have seen it on YouTube already, and you can enjoy it yourself here...

Watch the video here...