Category: news (page 2 of 4)

Early Years at TAJMC learn about strings

What a morning for the Early years groups this morning – getting to know the String family of instruments – the cellos and the basses were getting a lot of attention!

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Brilliant young Trombone Quartet to perform in concert with SCYO

bone1We’re really excited to announce that the brilliant trombone quartet Bone Appetit will be performing in a concert with the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra. Currently studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, the quartet perform to high acclaim both on the stage and in education workshops. Recent performances include ClassicFM Live, Radio 3’s In Tune at the Hay Festival, and they are resident musicians for Welsh Rugby Union at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.

They play everything from Bach to Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams to Mozart.

The Quartet will be performing in the first half of the concert, which is at 7pm on Sunday June 22nd at the Armstrong Hall, Thornbury. Earlier in the day they will have held an open rehearsal for the SCYO players to watch, and ask questions. The second half of the performance will be the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra performing Dvorak’s Sixth Symphony which they will have been rehearsing that afternoon.

There are no advance tickets for the concert (donations on the door), with doors opening at 6.40pm. There will be interval drinks.

Further pictures and the poster below, or you can hear the group via the player too!


Timetable for SCYO ‘Symphony in a Day’ announced

On Sunday June 22nd, some of the finest young musicians across South Gloucestershire and Bristol will come together at the Armstrong Hall in Thornbury to learn a symphony in a day. This year, the symphony is Dvorak’s Sixth Symphony. Dvorak’s Sixth Symphony was one of the first large-scale works to bring the composer international recognition. Dedicated to the conductor of the Vienna Phil at the time, Hans Richter, it sees Dvorak blend his nationalistic idiom of Czech folk music with a more Germanic Classical-Romantic form.

The musicians will meet at 1pm, and the day promises to have a real mix of activities for everyone:

1pm-3pm – Rehearsal. Under the skilled baton of Chris Sanders (a graduate of Bath Spa Uni and in demand as both a trumpeter and Musical Director), the orchestra will begin preparations on the symphony.

3pm-4pm – Alexander Technique Masterclass with Lisa Clarke. Lisa is a qualified and experienced teacher of the Alexander Technique. As well as her busy practice in Clifton, she specialises in work with schools, in particular those working in sports and the arts. The Alexander Technique includes principals on how to use the body more efficiently,  decreasing strain and helping to prevent injury, as well as allowing the individual to reach their true potential. Lisa will also be on hand to answer an questions the player have.

4pm-5.45 – Rehearsal. Preparations will continue on the Symphony. There will also be a rehearsal of Britten’s Soirees Musicales, ready for the orchestra’s special performance at Music for Youth in Birmingham on July 12th.

5.45-6.15 – Open Rehearsal with Bone Appetit. This young and exciting trombone quartet form the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama will be holding an open rehearsal and discussion session with the orchestra players. It is a great opportunity for them to watch a chamber group rehearse, as well as asking them questions about life at music college and the application process.

7pm – ConcertThe first half of the concert will be with Bone Appetit, with SCYO performing the Britten and the Dvorak after the interval (refreshments available). There are no advance tickets, and donations on the door.

I hope you can join us for what promises to be a fantastic evening of musical entertainment.

If you have a young player (gr4+) on an orchestral instrument, there are still a couple of places available – but you must contact immediately!


SCYO Invited to take part in MFY National Festival in Birmingham

Today the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra were invited to perform at the National Festival in Birmingham. Run by Music for Youth, the National Festival is a week-long celebration featuring several thousand of the country’s top young musicians, taking over various venues across the city. There are workshops, performances, stalls and street performances – with music in Symphony Hall, the Town Hall, Birmingham Peoples’ Library and the Birmingham Conservatoire, the mood is more akin to Glastonbury!

SCYO have been invited to take part in a celebration of the composer Benjamin Britten. Earlier this year the group performed his ‘Soirees Musicale’ to great acclaim, as part of the Britten and Beyond Project. As one of only 23 groups across the globe chosen to take part in the project, they will be performing at the 520-seat Adrian Boult Hall. As well as their own performance, they will be joining forces with other groups to perform a newly-arranged work. It promises to be a great day, with the orchestra performing at national level. The day will also contain workshops and opportunities to watch other groups. Plus the performance will be webcast around the globe!

There are more details about the day at, or you can watch highlights from last year’s festival below.

Watch TAMC Perform at Cheltenham

We’ve uploaded a number of new videos to the TAMT youtube channel

Like this one: The TAMC Senior Orchestra performing a Greenday medley at Cheltenham, as part of the 2014 Music for Youth Regional Festival.

A Brilliant Celebration of Britten with SCYO

Friday March 14th was concert night for the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra. With a packed audience at St Helen’s in Alveston, the orchestra were buzzing with excitement. The concert opened with Mozart’s ‘Prague’ Symphony which, whilst Mozart’s 38th Symphony, is widely accepted to be the first true symphony in the form we know it today. Written when Mozart was high on the success of his opera, it was written for a special trip to Prague. The first moevement, the longest in any symphony of the 18th century, begins with a powerful Adagio which the orchestra handled very well, before erupting into a fiery Allegro. The last movement is another tour de force, with the strings and wind playing independently, with the music moving through a variety of keys. It is a testament to the ability of these players that they kept their concentration, and their cool, throughout the whole performance.

We were then delighted to welcome our orchestra leader Esmae to the piano, where she performed the second movement of the Brahms Piano Concerto No.2 in Bb. Esmaes performance was not just technical accurate, is showed a great depth of musicality as the music passes between the orchestra and soloist time and time again. Esmae received a fitting enthusiastic reception from the orchestra, and was seen talking to audience members about the piano and her playing at the end of the concert.

SCYO then closed the concert with a performance of Britten’s ‘Soirees Musicales’. This was a part of the centenary celebrations of the English composer taking place around the globe. The orchestra was selected to take part in the Britten and Beyond project ( which sees youth groups from around the world coming together to learn and play the music of Britten, and share their experiences of his music. You can visit the orchestra page on the website, and the two pictures below were taken in the concert just before they played the work. The performance itself was technically adept. There were brilliant solos from our clarinet, oboe, trumpet and flute principals, as well as a great sound and brilliance from our strings and percussion. A real treat to hear a youth orchestra play so well. Well done!

Junior Music Centre progression

The Trustees and tutors of TAMT have been thrilled with how the children attending the Junior Music Centre (TAJMC) have been developing over the past terms. We have taken on a second tutor to enable us to cater for the growing numbers enrolling and this also will allow us to provide additional parallel sessions for those children who are progressing quickly. At some point, the children will be encouraged to move groups to allow them to continue their learning at a suitable pace. These transitions will take place at a suitably identified time in consultation between the tutor and parent/carer. Our aim is that their musical journey through TAJMC will hopefully lead to the children starting music lessons in an instrument of their choice and eventually joining TAMC.

TAMC in local Gazette

Click here to view the article>>>

TAMC Opens its doors to new members!

Saturday January 18th was the TAMC Open morning. It was great to see so many young players coming along to see the great things happening at Thornbury Area Music Centre on Saturday morning. The Junior Wind is now a sea of young flautists and clarinetists!

It was great to have local MP Steve Webb join us again – complete with his oboe. He later tweeted, ‘Great to see Thornbury Area Music Trust thriving when I visited at the weekend – not sure whether the rusty oboist who joined for the morning added much though!”

If you missed the open day, it’s not to late to join TAMC. Just come along with your instrument to Marlwood School at 9.30am on a Saturday. There’s some great repertoire this term, including Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin” and the best of GreenDay!

We’re off to a Music for Youth Festival!

Taking part in Music for Youth Events is part of the core of all TAMT activities. This includes out Britten Project with the SCYO

We’re taking part in the Music for Youth Regional Festival in Cheltenham. All players should have had information on this by now. The South Cotswold Youth Orchestra will be playing on Saturday March 15th. All TAMC players will be performing on Sunday March 16th.

The Cheltenham Festival is this year taking place at Cheltenham Town Hall, and is a great opportunity for players to watch groups and peers from neighbouring areas, and is a highlight of the year!

There is more information on the Music for Youth Website

SCYO Present a symphonic marvel

Congratulations go to SCYO who, on Friday night, performed a fantastic concert to a near-full audience at St Helen’s Church in Alveston. It’s a fantastic venue, both in terms of its flexibility and also its acoustic, which SCYO used to the full.

The concert opened with the haunting ‘Unanswered Question’ by Charles Ives. I’m sure the audience were surprised to find SCYO’s talented trumpeter Jack performing from the bell tower behind the audience! The work has long sustained chords in the strings, whilst the wind play increasingly complex answers to the trumpeter’s questions. Eventually all three groups are playing in different time signatures and bars – it was great to hear a youth group tackling something so innovative – Ives was years ahead of his time.

The orchestra then played Beethoven’s ‘Name Day’ Overture, the inspiration to Beethoven’s use of ‘Ode to Joy’ in his ninth symphony, before performing Haydn’s Symphony No.82 in full. Both audience and tutors alike commented on the orchestra’s flexibility in terms of tempos, and their careful phrasing, particularly in the slow movement.

It’s a fantastic start to the year. It also gave us an opportunity to publicly launch the 2014 SCYO Young Composer’s competition, as well as say more about the exciting Britten Project we are taking part in during the coming months! Watch this space!

SCYO To take part in Britten Centenary Project

In the second announcement this week featuring the SCYO, we are pleased to announce that SCYO will be taking part in an international project to celebrate the centenary of British composer Benjamin Britten. Organised by Music for Youth, The Britten Foundation and the British Council, the project sees youth music groups from across the globe share resources and experiences of learning and performing works by Benjamin Britten. TAMT are looking forward to our ‘twinning’ partner, a young ensemble at the St Cecilia Academy in Rome. Videos, pictures and sound files of SCYO will join those from other groups to form an interactive map of the globe, as the international celebration of Britten takes place over the coming months. Watch this space!

SCYO Young Composers 2014

We are proud to announce the 2014 TAMT Young Composers Competition. We are calling for young composers, aged 18 and under, to write a piece for the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra (SCYO). The piece must be between 2 and 10 minutes in length, and written for a chamber orchestra of standard classical proportions (further details enclosed). The winner will have his or her work performed by SCYO in the Spring alongside a Britten celebration which will see the SCYO link up with an orchestra from the St Cecilia Academy in Rome.

The deadline for entries is January 10th 2014. The works will be judged by a panel of experienced musicians and composers. Three finalists will be announced, and a masterclass day held in February 2014 (which all entrants can watch) where the SCYO will try-out the 3 pieces and both players and composers will be given advice and guidance from visiting composers and players.

As well as inspiring a new generation of fine young musicians, SCYO is hoping to give an exciting opportunity to young composers in the area too. The SCYO musicians will get an exciting opportunity to ask a composer why they have written certain passages and how they want it play, and the young composers will get a rare opportunity to have their piece performed by a full orchestra of some of the area’s finest young musicians.

The masterclass day and competition is being supported by the Thornbury Town Council, Thornbury Rotary, and Thornbury Round Table, and we hope the various events will be exciting for all involved.

Look out for the new TAMT publicity

The new TAMT posters, postcards and other marketing materials have been distributed in the last few weeks. They should be appearing in schools, shops, libraries and other public places near you. You can view them using the links below. If you can think of a place where we haven’t yet placed them, then please let us know.

TAMT – One year on

It was September 15th 2012 when the first official TAMT activity took place. It would be fair to say both the staff, parents and players themselves were surprised when on the first morning over 80 players arrived at Marlwood School – well above the numbers of the previous Summer’s term.

There was a lot of preparation that took place to get the musical activities that far, but since then the developments have just continued. TAMT is now a registered charity, with support coming in from across the community, including John Lewis, the Coop, Renishaw, The Quartet Foundation, Thornbury Town Council, Thornbury Round Table to name just a few.

With the Trust about to enter its second year, it seemed a good chance to see what has happened:

TAMC – The Thornbury Area Music Centre has seen its numbers almost double, with membership now in 3 figures. Every Saturday morning young musicians from 7-`18 come to Marlwood School and perform in the orchestras, wind bands and string groups. A number of children are now working their way towards Grade 5 music theory and musicianship. There are also a number of thriving chamber music groups – so many, in fact, they are taking it in turns to perform in concerts. There’s The Octaves, a full string Octet, and the youngest group, a string trio, alongside wind and mixed chamber ensembles. TAMC has held three public concerts, and has performed various ‘big numbers’ including Pirates of the Caribbean, Orpheus in the Underworld and a composition by cellist Fred Moore. It has also performed in the community, including Thornbury Town Centre and invitations to Old Down Country Park, All of the children at TAMC also took part in the Music for Youth Regional Festival for the first time.

SCYO – The AMS Programme evolved into the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra. After a successful Autumn and Spring Concert, where players performed as an orchestra as well as forming a String Orchestra and Wind Band, it has focused on its Youth Orchestra activities. All three groups performed at the Music for Youth Regional Festival, where they were highly praised, and have performed works by Malcolm Arnold, Grieg and Bach amongst others. In July, to officially launch ‘SCYO’ there was a Movie Music Day at Castle School, where the stage was overflowing with musical talent of a high standard. The course move to a 3-week intensive format for Autumn 2013, with rehearsals on Wednesdays and Fridays – Dates are available on the website.

TAJMC – The newest addition to TAMT’s activities. This will offer three classes to the area’s future young musicians, aged 4-7. There is a Foundation class, a Music Makers class and Recorder class all tutored by new member of staff Yasmin Frampton.

And that’s not all… We’ve become so busy that we’re welcoming new strings tutor Kate Robey, who will be taking over the Senior Strings at TAMC so that Dury Loveridge can concentrate on the SCYO. We’ve also needed to employ an administrative assistant, Antonia Clausen, to deal with the membership forms and various other admin duties.

And that’s just in a year… Where will be next year? And what great music will we play over the coming 12 months…?

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