Category: news (page 3 of 4)

Article on the successes of TAMT

Thornbury Gazette has just published online a really good article about TAMT’s 1st year and the launch of the Junior Music Centre from September – sponsored by John Lewis music matters, Co-operative Community Fund and Old Down country park

The full article can be viewed here>>>

Cooperative Group gives its support to TAJMC

junior music activities in south glos - early years music

It was with great pleasure that Yasmin Frampton, TAMT’s new tutor for all of the Junior Music Centre activities, collected a cheque from the Coop Communtiy Fund for £500. TAMT are very excited about the new opportunities TAJMC will offer the young future musicians of Thornbury and its surrounding areas. Yasmin is pictured above, collecting a cheque from the Thornbury branch. This is in addition to a £2000 grant which was awarded to the trust by the John Lewis Partnership to help establish the new activities.

South Cotswold Youth Orchestra – Movie Music Day

It may have been one of the hottest days of the year so far, and yes Andy Murray was playing in the final of Wimbledon, but the SCYO players kept their cool and spent the day working hard at the Movie Music ‘scratch orchestra’ day. Rehearsing from 1pm-6.30pm, there was a great variety of music to get through before the 7:30pm performance in Castle School, Thornbury.

The concert opened with Chris Sanders conducting the 20th Century Fox music before a quick segue into Alan Silvestri’s intense score for ‘Back to the Future’ with some brilliant drumming from our kit player Sam. There were some older tunes in there too, with Eric Coates’ score for ‘The Dambusters’ and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (both conducted by Chris). Dury Loveridge conducted the second Silvestri score, ‘The Forrest Gump Suite’ with some very delicate playing from our talented woodwind section. There was also some energetic and sonorous playing from the strings (who barely fitted on the stage) in the score from ‘Skyfall’. With anecdotes in between pieces there were further scores from ‘Gladiator’, ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and ‘Harry Potter’ (where the first and second violins swapped places). For many, though, the highlight was ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ conducted by Sarah Eales with a cello solo from Fred

As Dury, Sarah and Chris said to the players afterwards:
“Well done SCYO! At times it may have been hotter on stage than at Wimbledon Centre Court, but you all rose to the occasion tackling a large array of music with great professionalism. We were all really impressed with not only your precision, but also the big sound you all made when the music called for it. You should all be very impressed with yourselves! Now go and have a great summer, and we’ll see you all in the Autumn for a Symphony! ”  

The SCYO will next be meeting in the Autumn term over a 3-week period, culminating in a concert featuring soloists from the orchestra and a full symphony. Further details can be found on the SCYO pages.

SCYO - South Gloucestershire's Youth Orchestra The South Cotswold Youth Orchestra

TAMC Summer Showcase Concert

Wow! Another great concert from all of the TAMC Groups.

Last night, the groups really raised the roof of Castle School. With a near-capacity audience, we were joined by very special guests the Deputy Mayor of Thornbury and Steve Webb MP.

There was a real mix of music. The Junior groups entertained in the first half of the concert, with a collection of tunes new and old. The Junior Wind, conducted by Trudy Monday opened the concert withthe ‘Colonel Bogey March’ with some spirited wind and brass playing. The Junior Strings, conducted by Janet Lewis, performed the ‘Dance of the Reed Pipes’, before combining with the wind to give a rousing rendition of the Mission Impossible Theme – no easy task as it’s in 5/4 time!

With so many chamber groups now rehearsing at TAMC (6 at the last count), two were featured in the Summer Showcase. Our youngest string group performed Pachelbel’s Canon in D, before our oldest chamber group ‘The Octaves’ performed ‘Somebody that I used to Know’ arranged by TAMC violist Copper. The first half closed with the choir, ably accompanied by recorder soloist and ‘The Octaves’, performing Jenkins’ ‘Adiemus’.

After the interval, the Seniors took to the stage. The strings began with an energetic version of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. Highlights of the second half included the Bach Double Violin Concerto with soloists Ruth and Emma, the Senior Wind performing ‘Shrek Dance Party’ and the strings getting all of the audience clapping their hands and stamping their feet to Ray Charles’ hit ‘Halelujah, I love her so’ with blues piano accompaniment. The concert closed with a performance of Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune’ and Grieg’s ‘Peer Gynt Suite No.1′ by the Senior Orchestra conducted by Chris Sanders and Dury Loveridge.

The Deputy Mayor and Work and Pensions Minister Steve Webb MP offered their support and words of encouragement to the players, and remarked what a great success TAMT has become in only a year. There were also certificates for the long-serving players leaving us for university this year, and words for Dury Loveridge who leaves his position coaching the TAMC Seniors to work more closely with the senior ensemble The South Cotswold Youth Orchestra. The new Senior Strings Tutor Kate Robey was welcomed, who looks forward to working with the strings next year.

New Junior Music Centre for Young Musicians

TAMT announced at the concert last night the launch of the Junior Music Centre for the under 8’s school children. Funding has been received from John Lewis Music Matters, The Co-operative Community Fund and Old Down Country Park.

This is an exciting new extension to TAMT that will enable children to develop their musical skills from the Junior Music Centre through our main Saturday morning music centre and onto the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra.

If you would like more information about the new Junior Music centre for the under 8’s please email TAMT at

TAMC to tour to Paris

Parents and young musicians should by now have received details of the Summer Tour 2014. This is for members of the Senior Groups (Strings, Wind, AMS) who are in Y6 or above.

The tour will be a 5-day, 4-night tour in the last week of July 2014. Staying just outside of Paris there will be concerts both in and outside of the French capital with plenty of time for sight-seeing and a potential trip to Disneyland.

TAMC tours are always an eclectic mix of outdoor and indoor fun (with the ocassional concert thrown-in for good measure). They are a great opportunity to visit new places, and spend time with your friends in a musical environment.

Parents and players interested in going need to return their forms and first deposits by the end of July this year. If you’ve not yet received this, contact the Trust as soon as possible.

One more rehearsal until the TAMT Showcase

Just one more Saturday morning to go now until the TAMC Summer Showcase Concert on June 29th. Final preparations are underway for what promises to be a great concert. There promises to be something for everyone; there’s a choir piece accompanied by our resident chamber string group ‘The Octaves’, some Debussy and Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite from the Senior Orchestra, along with some Bach, and even some Ray Charles for good measure.

The concert will feature the full-strength of the Thornbury Area Music Centre as it celebrates the end of its inaugural year as a charitable music trust. And what a year it’s been, with membership now into three figures.

Performing at the concert will be the Senior and Junior Orchestra, Senior and Junior Strings (including the Bach Double violin concerto with soloists Emma and Ruth), Senior and Junior Wind, String Octet ‘The Octaves’, a mixed chamber group, a Junior String Trio, and not to mention, the choir accompanied by strings and recorder.

We hope you can join us in celebrating such a successful year, but foremost the hard work and progress of the players involved.

The concert is on Saturday June 29th at 7pm at Castle School. There are no advance tickets, and donations will be taken at the door.

South Cotswold Youth Orchestra – Scratch Day

Ahead of next term’s exciting schedule for the orchestra, there will be a special ‘scratch orchestra’ day on Sunday July 7th. The day will feature an afternoon rehearsal and evening concert, for anyone who has reached, or is approaching grade 5 on an orchestral instrument, to come and join The South Cotswold Youth Orchestra for the day.

Titled ‘Hits from the Movies’, the musicians will be rehearsing various blockbuster melodies, including Pirates of the Caribbean and The Magnificent Seven. All coached by the TAMT staff and professional musicians.

The fun starts at 1pm at Castle School, with an evening concert there at 7:30pm.

There are no auditions, but we ask that players complete the application form available on the AMS section of the website so that we can ensure there is enough music for everyone. The cost of the day will be £15 per player.

We hope you can join us for what promises to be a brilliant day!

TAMT are recruiting an Administrative Assistant

In view of the success of its first year and its intention to extend its service to under 8’s in 2013/14, the Trust is now looking to engage an Administrative Officer to support the Trustees and the music tutors in the delivery of services for both the Thornbury Area Music Centre (TAMC), which serves all levels, and the Advance Music Studies Group (AMS) for Grade 5 and above.

The role will report directly to the Chair of the Trust and will require a minimum commitment of 80 hours per term (typically 4-16 hours per week depending on workload during the three 10 week terms and in the week preceding each term). The successful applicant will be expected to work primarily from home although might need to be available at music sessions and concerts on an occasional basis. Other working hours can be spread through the week to suit the individual as long as the basic demands of the role are met. Hourly rates will be negotiable depending on experience.

The full job descriptions and details can be found via the link below.

Any applicant interested in this role should submit a CV together with appropriate contact details to the Chair of the Trust, Paul Ashford via e-mail at no later than Friday 3rd May 2013.

Download the Job Description as a pdf>>>>

Download the Job Decription as a Word docx>>>>

A fantastic concert by all at Thornbury Area Music Centre

Just two weeks after the trip to the Music for Youth Festival, and the TAMC groups we in action again – this time showcasing their talents at an Easter concert at Thornbury Baptist Church.

The first half of the concert featured the Junior Ensembles. The Junior Orchestra, now featuring more young instrumentalists than ever before, opened the concert with Handel’s Saraband & Variations with some fantastic rhythmic drive. The Junior Strings performed the Rogers & Hammerstein Classic My Favourite Things, contrasting nicely with the Junior Wind’s rendition ofHakuna Matatafrom ‘The Lion King’, before the two groups joined forces once more for a full-bodied performance of Weill’s Mack the Knife.

There was then a short musical interlude from our talented chamber ensembles, who perform during the morning when the choir, music theory and musicianship classes take place. The Violin and Flute ensemble introduced and played Joplin’s The Entertainer and Faure’s Pavane,before ‘The Octaves’ (TAMC’s own String Octet) continued their Adele theme this year withRolling in The Deep.

The latter half of the concert featured the Senior Ensembles. The Senior Strings performed I Dreamed a Dream from ‘Les Mis’ lead without conductor by Emma, and then a great arrangement of Adele’s Skyfall from the latest Bond movie – complete with drum kit and special violin and cello solo interjections from Emma and Fred. The Wind Band performed Fernie’s The Greatest Show on Earth with enthusiasm and gusto before the concert closed with a section of Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld by the Senior Orchestra.

A great morning – and it was brilliant to see the Baptist church once again full to capacity. Thank you to all who took part, watched and supported the Trust this term.

south gloucestershire music centre - Thornbury Music Centre

south glos music activities - Thornbury Area Music Trust

We went to a Music for Youth Festival!

It was an early 8am start for the coach in Thornbury as two coaches took the TAMC and the AMS musicians to Cheltenham. They were just a few of the 50,000 young musicians who take part in the festival across the country, which is a showcase for talented groups and innovative performances.

In the morning session the TAMC Senior Strings performed Adele’s Skyfall and I Dreamed a Dream from ‘Les Mis’ in a brilliant performance including a guest pianist and kit player winning praise for the ‘strong string sound’. The TAMC Junior Orchestra, including ‘student mentors’ from the seniors were praised highly for their ensemble and enthusiasm. Finally the TAMC Senior Wind Band performed two pieces from their repertoire, to great enthusiasm from the audience and MFY Mentors. Staff from neighbouring music services and schools wanted to pass on their congratulations on such a strong showing from a centre which only started 6 months ago, and for the various solos which featured.

At lunch the TAMC Musicians went home, and the AMS performers got ready for their classes. The South Cotswold Youth Orchestra was praised highly for its performance of Fred Moore’s own composition ‘Last Man Standing’ which featured ferocious drumming from Josh. They also performed Radetsky March and had the audience clapping along. The String Orchestra was prased for its ‘balanced string sound’ and ‘impressive opening’ to Grieg’s Holberg Suite and The St Paul’s Suite, before the Wind Orchestra played part of Bach’s The Art of Fugue and Doug Lorenz’s (!) Uptown Midtown leaving only percussionist Josh and conductor Chris Sanders on the stage to take the applause and the praise form the mentors for their ‘great ensemble skills and watching of the conductor’.

As if the performances weren’t enough, the players had a fantastic opportunity to watch their peers from neighbouring areas play. There were brass and saxophone quintets and small ensembles, choirs, and a brilliant massed-cello ensemble. I’m sure all of the players went home inspired to practice hard!

south glos youth orchestra - the south cotswold youth orchestra at Music for Youth

Below are the 6 certificates TAMT returned home with, one for each group. Click on the picture for the full size version.

South Glos Youth Orchestra - South Cotswold Youth Orchestra        South Glos Music Centres - Thornbury Music Centre

String Orchestra - music in south gloucestershire - South Cotswold Youth String Orchestra        South Cotswold Youth Wind Ensemble - southglosmusic

South Glos Youth Wind Ensemble         Southglos - Thornbury Music Centre Senior Strings

A great performance by the AMS ensembles

On Saturday March 2nd, the AMS groups spent an afternoon rehearsing hard for an evening concert. Titled ‘An Evening of English Music’, the concert was at 7pm in St Mary’s Church Almondsbury.

A fantastic and inspiring venue, all three groups really rose to the ocassion. The concert opening with a rustic and energetic rendition of Warlock’s own orchestral arrangement of theCapriol Suite, before the groups rearranged the stage for the 2 smaller ensembles to feature. The strings gave a captivating performance of the Grieg’s Holberg Suite before summing up all of their energies for Holst’s St Paul’s Suite. The Cotswold Youth Wind Ensemble then took to the stage for two contrasting pieces, starting with Elgar’s Nimrod, and then performing Dury Loveridge’s composition written especially for them (under the pseudonym Doug Lorenz) ‘Uptown Midtown’ which involved various directions to the players on when to leave the stage during the piece. Then it was back to the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra who performed Malcolm Arnold’s Little Suite No.1 (a fitting piece for an inuagural concert, as it was originally written for the first every performance of the National Youth Orchestra), followed by Elgar’s nostalgic Pomp and Circumstance March and some audience participation in Strauss’Radetsky March.

A fantastic evening, and well done to those talented musicians who took part.

TAMT becomes a registered charity

TAMT are pleased to announce that we have received charity status. As you can see our registered charity number now appears at the bottom of our website. This is an important milestone for the trust, and members can now Gift Aid their fees and donations.

We’re off to a Music for Youth Festival!

This year, 6 TAMT groups have been accepted to take part in the Music for Youth Regional Festival in Cheltenham, on Sunday March 3rd. From TAMC, the Junior and Senior Orchestras, along with the Senior Band will be performing in the Music Centres categories in the morning session. In the afternoon, the three AMS ensembles, The South Cotswold Youth Orchestra, String Orchestra and Wind Bands will be performing in the ‘open’ category (for groups up to age 21).

What is the Series?
The Regional Festvial Series is the gateway to the MFY Season. Throughout February and March around 50,000 young musicians take part. Regional Festivals provide a unique opportunity for groups to perform to new audiences, listen to other groups from their area and get valuable feedback from the team of MFY Music Mentors.

From the Regional level, various groups are selected for their ingenuity and innovation to go on to play at the National Festival (Birmingham’s Symphony Hall), and ultimately at the National Schools Prom in the Albert Hall.

In previous years TAMT tutors have had experience of entering groups at various Regional Festivals, including Trowbridge, Cwmbran and Cheltenhan, and of directing groups at the National Festival in Symphony Hall. It really is the highlight of the musical year and a fantastic opportunity for any young musician, and their tutors!

Below is a short video posted by Music for Youth with more information about the series.

South Cotswold Youth Orchestra off to a great start

After the postponement due to the snow, it was business as usual for the South Cotswold Youth Ensembles (AMS Programme) on Saturday Feb 2nd. It was a busy afternoon of rehearsing, looking at new and old pieces ready for the March concert. The Youth Orchestra began taking a fresh look at the Malcolm Arnold Little Suite No.1, and Warlock’s Capriol Suite, arranged for orchestra from the string version by the composer himself. After the break there was an opportunity for some sectional work, both on the orchestra pieces and the smaller ensemble pieces. The Wind Band took a look at Elgar’s Enigma, whilst the Youth String Orchestra started preparing Holst’s St Paul’s Suite, before returning to the orchestral set-up to play through Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance No.4. It was particularly great to have former TAMC violist Kim come back and join the viola section for the afternoon.

It’s a busy term for the AMS groups. The concert will be at 7pm in St Mary’s Church Almondsbury, titled ‘A Concert of English Music’, featuring works by Holst, Elgar, Arnold amongst others. Then, on Sunday March 3rd all three groups will be performing at the Music For Youth Regional Festival in Cheltenham.

More details and be found on the concerts page.

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