Good news from young people

Last night I was part of the large audience of people who gathered at the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra Inside Out Concert held at Fortwilliam & Macrory Presbyterian Church. It genuinely was a privilege and I don’t use the word ‘privilege’ as a kind of punctuation but with real feeling. The concert is part of a fundraising drive for the pupils at the School of Music for the various events that they put on and their summer tour programme. It is the young people taking responsibility for themselves and for what they want out of life. It was am impressive performance of skill and craft and love of performance. This was not pulled out of the hat without hard work, dedication and planning. Yes – all of those words can be attached to young people in our society, in today’s Belfast: responsibility, planning, love, hard word, dedication, skill craft. In large groups, small quartets and trios, as individual performers, as stage managers and as the ‘awesome’ link man the young people of CBYO put the programme together, planned it together, asked for help where they needed it and got on with it where they could get on with it. And they practiced and practiced and practiced some more to reach a standard of performance that was worth far more than the sum we were invited to give for the privilege of being there. A far cry from the stories we hear about young people who menace their neighbours, waste their lives and live with very little sense of self esteem. So congratulations CBYO. You are a credit to yourselves and a credit to Belfast. You demonstrated what community is, what commitment is, what love of life is and what friendship and good humour can give to life. I say it again – congratulations! Your legacy is a real one.


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