Introducing the WaterAid H2Orchestra!

The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra swap woodwind for water glasses to highlight the importance of H2O.


6 Jan 2014

Commuters in London this morning were treated to a one-off performance from the WaterAid H2Orchestra - aiming to make the first Monday of 2014 a little more bearable by bringing water to life through music.

Members of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra swapped their usual instruments to play hundreds of glasses of water – the January drink of choice for the UK after the excess of Christmas and New Year. The exclusive performance on the bank of the Thames was celebrating the amazing power of water as a life giver, life saver and life changer.

The internationally renowned orchestra spent 174 hours composing, preparing and rehearsing over the festive season, perfecting the two-hour performance that included popular songs from 2013 such as Katy Perry's Roar, Story Of My Life by One Direction, Adele's Someone Like You, Let it Go by Gary Barlow and Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift.

Chris Wainwright from WaterAid said, "The talented musicians of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra have really helped bring water to life through music today. Today there are over 760m people without access to safe, clean water - a human tragedy that results in the needless deaths of over of 2000 children each day. This most basic of necessities is the one thing that changes everything for the world’s poorest communities. We hope that the WaterAid H2Orchestra not only shows the importance of water, but encourages people to support our mission - to bring safe, clean water to everyone everywhere by 2030."

The six musicians of the WaterAid H2Orchestra played with glasses all filled to different levels – a precision art as just a millimeter out would create the wrong note. With no other way but trial and error, it took 60 hours to get each glass level right to ensure the correct pitch.

Ben Pope, Musical Director from The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra said, "We were thrilled to work with WaterAid to provide this one-of-a-kind concert for London. It was a new challenge for us making sure that these well known songs translated beautifully when played with water. Water is the world’s most valuable and versatile resource and we hope we have helped highlight this through our music."