Following an overwhelming response to the first two projects, Classic BRIT award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam today launches the third Jess Gillam Virtual Scratch Orchestra, inviting singers and instrumentalists of any standard from around the world to once again join her in mass virtual music-making.

The third track will be Sleigh Ride. Written in 1948 by Leroy Anderson and recorded by The Ronnettes, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby, the track is a firm Christmas favourite. Today Jess launches the call-out for musicians young and old to film themselves performing the piece using parts made available on her website. There are parts available for complete beginners, those who don’t read music and advanced musicians too – her aim is to bring together musicians of all abilities from across musical worlds to collaborate and share some Christmas joy. Participants are encouraged to get creative for their videos and don their best festive costumes and sparkle! The entries with then be stitched together into a final video, with Gillam performing the solo. You can download parts from this page.

The deadline for video submissions is 7pm on Wednesday 18 November and the video will be premiered on Jess’s YouTube channel on Friday 11 December at 6pm. Audio from all videos will be useful in the final video.

The Orchestra’s first two projects were David Bowie’s Where Are We Now? and The Beatles’ Let it Be. Around 2,000 entries from musicians were received across the two projects, with participants performing on a huge range of different instruments, from nearly 30 different countries and with an age range of 6 to 81.  Jess Gillam said: “I am so excited to launch this Christmas Virtual Scratch Orchestra Project! At a time where, unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to physically make music together, I hope that this will provide a fun and exciting way to bring people together with the power of music. As Christmas concerts, school plays and gatherings are cancelled and we face what may be a difficult winter, I hope that this will bring smiles and joy to those taking part and to those who watch. Right now, we need hope and light and music making can bring that in abundance!” 

Following the uplifting debut of the Jess Gillam Virtual Scratch Orchestra, Classic BRIT award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam invites singers and instrumentalists of any standard once again to come together and play music virtually with her. The second track will be Let it Be by The Beatles: the deadline for video submissions is Wednesday 27 May at 5pm BST and the video will be premiered on Saturday 6 June at 5pm BST. All audios will be used in the final video.

The Orchestra first performed David Bowie’s Where Are We Now? and it was made up of 934 musicians playing a variety of different instruments, from 26 countries with an age range of 6 to 81. You can watch it here.

Jess Gillam says: “I am very excited to launch the second project for the Virtual Scratch Orchestra!  I’d like to say a huge thank you once again to all of those who participated in the Where are We Now project, I was extremely moved to see so many entries and I was overwhelmed by the performances and messages of unity.  

Our second track will be Let it Be by the Beatles – a song universally known and loved. To me, the message the song holds is very pertinent for the time we find ourselves in; it’s one of togetherness, positivity and love. Paul McCartney had a dream that his mother (Mary), who had sadly passed away, came to him to reassure him that everything was going to be ok and to ‘let it be’. His mum had been a nurse, so I hope that this project can express a deep gratitude to the NHS and all of those working tirelessly to keep us safe. 

The Virtual Scratch Orchestra is open to anybody of any ability, any instrument. We have parts specifically designed for beginners and also parts for singers. I really hope you may be able to join us!

For full instructions and to download parts and click tracks, please visit the ‘Let it Be’ page.

A copy of the latest press release can be downloaded HERE.

Today Classic BRIT award-winning saxophonist Jess Gillam launches the Jess Gillam Virtual Scratch Orchestra. She is inviting musicians of any standard to come together and play music virtually with her, giving the first performance online on Friday 17 April.

Jess Gillam said: ‘For me, music is all about people! People uniting, people sharing and people listening. At a very difficult time, when it is not currently possible to be physically together to share and make music, hopefully this is a way in which we can create something together from afar. ‘Where Are We Now?’ is one of my favourite songs by David Bowie. It’s hauntingly beautiful and seems very appropriate as we all reflect on the world and what is happening around us. This is the first song he released after a long period of silence in 2013.’

Find out more here – https://www.jessgillamsax.co.uk/virtual-scratch-orchestra/