Premiere of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas on Christmas Eve at 12pm to mark the end of an extraordinary year of virtual music making

Following the enormous success of the first ever Virtual Sessions in May this year, and the Global Violin Sessions: A Cultural Exchange Part One which are currently underway, the Benedetti Foundation presents its first ever Christmas Sessions from 7 – 24 December.

The Christmas Sessions will bring together string players of all ages and stages, from all across the world to prepare and perform together, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, in a unique arrangement especially written for these sessions by the Ayoub Sisters.

Over a two-week period, the Benedetti Foundation will work with beginner, intermediate and advanced level string players to prepare the parts initially through a tutorial video and play along track. On the second week there will be Zoom sessions for school age musicians and a simultaneous live stream for musicians over 18 to work on the parts live with the Foundation tutors.

To conclude the Virtual Christmas Sessions, all participants will have the opportunity to record a video of themselves performing their part and submit this for the final film. The Foundation will try to include as many videos as we possibly can in the film.

Throughout the two weeks, the Foundation will be encouraging creative responses from young people reflecting on this time of year and will work with participants to suggest some activities that can be done alone, with siblings, families or friends.

The Foundation will premiere the music video on Christmas Eve at 12pm as everyone joins together across the world to mark the end of an extraordinary year of virtual music making. The final music video will include a selection of the creative responses received.

Nicola Benedetti said, ‘We cannot wait to welcome everyone to our very first Christmas Sessions and so look forward to seeing you there. It will be a lot of fun and let’s be together this Christmas.’

7 – 13 December – Explore and Discover

The first week is about familiarisation and getting comfortable with the part ready for week 2.

December 14 – 17 – Prepare and Perform 

During week 2, each group of the participants will meet on Zoom for a live prepare and perform session.

Schedule

Monday 14 December – Violins

Tuesday 15 December – Cellos

Wednesday 16 December – Violas

Thursday 17 December – Double Basses 

Timings

5-5.30pm UK Time – Beginners

6-6.30pm UK Time – Intermediate

7.15-7.45pm UK Time – Advanced

For Adult Participants, the live sessions will be streamed to the Benedetti Foundation website so adults can take part alongside the young people. For those in time zones unable to attend live, a catch-up recording will be made available.

Tutors

Beginner                                                             Intermediate                                     Advanced

Rachel Cooper (Violin)                                   Alex Laing (Violin)                            Elena Urioste (Violin)

Ruth Nelson (Viola)                                         Meghan Cassidy (Viola)                 Jenny Lewisohn (Viola)

David Munn (Cello)                                         Su-a Lee (Cello)                                 Laura van der Heijden (Cello)

Stewart Wilson (Double Bass)                     Jo Bradley (Double Bass)               Alice Kent (Double Bass)

Sign Up

  • To join the Christmas Sessions, please visit www.benedettifoundation.org/christmas to sign up.
  • The Christmas Sessions are free to attend, with a recommended donation of around £10 per person. However, please give what you can, and no one will be prevented from attending due to financial circumstances.
  • Register by 6 December to maximise preparation time.

Watch a video on the Christmas Sessions here