In 2001 Julian Gibbons founded a summer orchestral and chamber music project at Bedstone College in Shropshire, England: Bedstone International Summer Youth Orchestra Camp, or “BISYOC” as it became known. His purpose was to bring together young people with different musical goals and abilities and give them a chance to experience performing in a large symphony orchestra.
Participants and instrumental tutors came from 10 different European countries. It quickly became clear that everyone enjoyed the cultural exchange as much as the music-making. So from that time onwards, BISYOC’s unique formula began to evolve; a combination of music-making at ever-improving standards, and cultural-exchange activities organised by the participants themselves.
In 2003 BISYOC changed its location to Moor Park School in Ludlow. At the same time, the activity programme was changed to include a daily creative music workshop and cultural-exchange activities which still form part of the structure of the course.
BISYOC has been held in other countries besides the UK:
- 2005 Salamanca, Spain
- 2006 Oberschützen, Austria
- 2009 Staufen, Germany
- 2012 Malta and Gozo
- 2015 Hurdal and Oslo, Norway
- 2019 Struga, Republic of North Macedonia
2019 brought great changes to the project. Julian Gibbons, the founder and conductor of the orchestra for 18 years, stepped down from being the conductor and musical director. The charity that runs the orchestra moved from Britain to Germany and a new generation of trustees took the lead. This personal and strategic reorientation was accompanied by a name change. „BISYOC – European Intercultural Youth Orchestra“ is the legacy of BISYOC, learning from its history and setting off towards an exciting future.
Through the years, almost 800 young people from the following 25 countries have attended and made BISYOC the cultural and musical highlight of their summer: Germany, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Holland, Norway, Belarus, Austria, Malta, Iceland, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Spain, Czech Republic, Croatia, Kenya, Bulgaria, Hungary, New Zealand, Denmark, Russia, Canada, Venezuela, Greece, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania and the USA.
We are looking forward to add more countries and participants to this list and have courses in even more countries.