Jess Gillam launches third Virtual Scratch Orchestra project in time for Christmas

Jess Sleigh Ride graphic

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!”