Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, but as a body percussion epic played by hundreds of schoolchildren

19 June 2021, 13:47 | Updated: 22 June 2021, 16:37

Body percussion Beethoven
Body percussion Beethoven. Picture: Saint-Michel-Garicoïts de Cambo school

By Kyle Macdonald

Five months of rehearsals lead to a stunning performance of claps, clicks and thumps, worthy of any symphony stage.

The COVID-19 pandemic meant that this choir couldn't sing, but they still found a way to make music.

Students of Saint-Michel-Garicoïts de Cambo school, in the Basque region of southwest France, have given a *striking* performance of Beethoven’s famous Symphony No. 5.

Using an elaborate mixture of claps, leg slaps, stomps, finger clicks and taps, the 185 students transform the orchestral movement into a body percussion epic.

Perfectly in sync and dynamic, it sounds great, but the footage captured by drone also looks incredible. The masked students move, dip and wave together in a way worthy of a ballet stage.

Take a look below. We think it's just wonderful.

Read more: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, played by Boomwhackers on giant plastic buckets

The score was adapted by the college's music teacher Nelly Guilhemsans. The ensemble rehearsed in groups of 50 every day for five months during the 2020 school year.

The percussive performances was filmed in the beautiful gardens of Arnaga, in front of the house that once belonged to the French neo-romantic poet Edmond Rostand.

It's already captured the imagination of many. The YouTube video is nearing one million views. “Education and excellence in pandemic time,” enthused one viewer. Quite right too.