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‘Cumbria anthem’ to be played by BBC orchestra

The BBC Philharmonic

The song that best symbolises Cumbria – as picked by you – will be covered by an 80-piece BBC orchestra.

You can call, text, tweet or email your nomination for the “anthem of Cumbria” from today.

The winning track will be picked by BBC Radio Cumbria presenter Mike Zeller before being sent to the 80-piece BBC Philharmonic.

They will have just two weeks to write, rehearse and perform the tune, with each musician recording their part from their own home.

It means music from bands like Fleetwood Mac could be rendered into an impressive piece of music which will become part of the local music scene.

Mike Zeller

Presenter Mike Zeller said: “I’m really excited to see the nominations people come up with: Cumbria is chocked full of talented people and we’ve produced some remarkable musicians.

“So let’s find out once and for all: What is the anthem of Cumbria?”

The chosen tune will be played on the Breakfast Show and will be added to the ‘Great Northern Playlist’, made up of the tracks picked from each of the 10 BBC Local Radio areas in the North.

All of the songs will be played by the BBC Philharmonic, which has been serving the North from its base in Manchester for nearly 100 years.

Simon Webb, director of the BBC Philharmonic, said: “We have honed our skills creating lockdown tracks like this for 5Live, 6Music, Radio 3 and Radio 4 but have never attempted something on this scale before. To take ten popular songs, turn them into pieces that dozens of classically trained musicians can play – all while those musicians are stuck in their own homes – is going to be a real challenge.

“But the BBC Philharmonic is no stranger to creative challenges and we can’t wait to get stuck in. For nearly a century we have been playing for audiences across the North – and we’re really pleased to be finding new and exciting ways to do serve those same communities during the pandemic.”

Nominations run from today (May 22) until midday Thursday (May 28).  The finished song will be played two weeks later on the Breakfast Show.

Rozina Breen, head of BBC North, said: “The Philharmonic is a northern institution and to hear it connect directly with our diverse communities across the North will be very special.

“The North has produced some of the world’s best bands, musicians and songwriters and our aim is to bring communities in crisis together creatively, through music, with a celebration of our shared and world-renowned musical heritage.”

To submit your nomination:

  • Call:  0800 111 4950
  • Text: 81333 – start your text with the word ‘CUMBRIA’
  • Tweet @BBC_Cumbria using #GreatNorthernPlaylist
  • Email: [email protected]

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