Category: SCYO (page 1 of 2)

South Cotswold Youth Orchestra – Jazz Day 2015

On Sunday June 28th, some of the finest musicians in South Gloucestershire joined forces for a special ‘Symphonic Jazz’ Day.

Starting at 1pm, these young musicians had just 4 hours to learn the repertoire they would be performing in a concert at 6pm, and they really did rise to the challenge – complete with soloists from the orchestra. As if this wasn’t enough, at 3pm they were joined by jazz trumpeter and tutor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Gethin Liddington. Gethin has played with many of the great bands and soloists of the modern jazz world, and gave many words of advice about improvisation to the orchestra, as well as briefly working with a select group of soloists on a daring quasi-improvisatory work… But more on that later!

The concert began with some brilliant student soloists. Principal oboe Sophie opened the concert with ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’, delivered with style and confidence. This was followed by a solo jazz and blues piece by Ellen – with some very jazzy slides and rhythms. The last of our soloists was Principal clarinetist Katie, performing ‘Gypsy Dance’ on the alto sax which built from a gentle start to a frenzied finish with impressive handling of fast passages which wowed the audience.

jazzcombo

The first half of the concert was closed by a specially-formed jazz quartet, featuring the orchestra’s tutor Dury Loveridge on bass, joined by Gethin, Mark (Head of Music at the Royal High School in Bath) and Adam (Head of Jazz Studies at Bath Spa Uni). They performed 4 pieces, ‘All the things you are’, ‘I can’t get started’, ‘There will never be another you’ and ‘Footprints’. With a variety of styles and virtuosic shows in the solos, it was the perfect mood for a summer’s evening.

The SCYO performed the second half of the concert. There was a great mixture of styles for the orchestra to get into. The concert opened with Shostokovich’s arrangement of ‘Tahiti Trot’ (or ‘Tea for Two’). The story goes that Shostakovich arranged the music in under an hour as a challenge from a friend – showing why he is one of the greatest musical orchestrators to have lived. We were then transported to the world of Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess’ in the composer’s original version. This included some strong soloists, and concluded with the ever-popular ‘Summertime’.

orchestra`1Remember that off-the-wall piece? Yarde’s ‘Wah-Fi’ was next. If features seven lines for the various sections of the orchestra to choose from, with section leader’s signalling which line they should play next – it’s not easy to signal ‘7’ with your fingers whilst playing a cello! With three soloists from the orchestra standing to play their own free-form solos it really showed what the players were made of – some definite jazz soloists in the making!

The concert closed with Count Basie’s staple ‘Jumpin’ at the Woodside’ with fantastic dynamic control from the orchestra in an arrangement that featured every instrument to the fore at some point.

Well done to everyone involved, and that you to our visiting jazz specialists.

Have a brilliant summer, and we look forward to seeing you all at the next SCYO course starting in October, where the jazz theme will continue with Bernstein’s ‘Mambo’!

Dury Loveridge.

 

SCYO – Two fantastic Carnival Concerts!

On Friday March 6th, at St John’s church in Chipping Sodbury SCYO presented two fantastic concert performances of Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals.

10982911_849555861749899_982134352231169910_oThe first concert, a ‘bring your bear’ concert was aimed at younger children. By 5:30 the church was full of bears and children alike with over 130 tickets reserved. As the orchestra tuned, children, bears, elephants (At least one of each of the animals from Saint-Saens work was spotted somewhere in the church) settled in for the concert.

Both concerts opened with Victor Herbert’s March of the Toys from the musical ‘Babes in Toyland’. Whilst not as well known as recent hits like ‘Into the Woods’, the musical mixes fairytales and nursery rhymes as characters and stories collide, and has received a Disney film version too. The March begins with a triumphant fanfare, which returns to herald each new section of music. The cellos set a marching tempo with their pizzicato (albeit in a worrying minor key) and then the violins and later the woodwind take us off on a triumphant march. The articulation was perfect, and there were some excellent ‘cheesey’ slides in the strings (the conductor had asked for ‘that 1920’s string sound where it sounds like they’re only playing with one finger’). It had pace, and the tempo changes were handled brilliantly by the orchestra.

11046767_857834534255365_3543801331697667735_oIt was then on to the main attraction – Saint-Saens’ magnificent Carnival of the Animals. The composer wrote the work for friends whilst on retreat in Austria, and forbid his Parisian publishers permission to print the work until after his death, fearing he would not be taking seriously. Since then it has become one of his most performed works. It had a special note for some of the orchestra – Saint-Saens was once organist of the Eglise de Madeliene in Paris, where the Music Centre performed on tour in 2014.

There was magnificent playing throughout. The work opened with the roar of the lions, with great bowing from the strings. Our clarinettist James and leader Esmae took on some piano duties in Kangaroos and the tongue-in-cheek Pianists movements respectively. Katie and James did a marvelous job as offstage cuckoos, and special mentions go to cellist Jack and bass clarinettist Alice for their solos in The Elephant and The Swan.

The orchestra truly prove themselves to be amongst the finest musicians in South Gloucestershire, with great changes in pace and dynamics. Particular highlights for the audience were the Fossils (including excellent xylophone playing from percussionist James) and the tranquil Aquarium.

11043196_857834474255371_5510425326652677010_oBut the concert didn’t end there… 2014-15 has seen TAYM take on the role of a Ten Pieces Champion. The BBC Ten Pieces is an initiative across UK primary schools to get more young children involved in classical music. By the end of the year TAYM will have performed most of the Ten Pieces as well as taking part in workshops.

Tonight’s piece was John Adams’ A Short Ride in a Fast Machine. Inspired by the composer’s experiences being taken for a drive by his brother in a Lamborghini, it is a roller-coaster of a work for both the orchestra and the audience. As conductor Dury said, ‘it really is a case of starting the engine and then the conductor is just along for the ride’. It was played with great enthusiasm, and had become a hit with the orchestra. There was a great deal of detail with clear articulation and good dynamic range.

11034466_857834584255360_3276892491279897401_oTo put on not one but two concerts just hours apart really is a testament to the hard-work and enthusiasm of the players involved. The orchestra presented itself well, and gained yet more of a following from some inspired young musicians. It really was an event for all to be involved in to be proud of and marks the continuation of a great year for the group which has involved both the Music for Youth National Festival and last term’s Peter and the Wolf concerts.

As one audience member summed it up,  “Brilliant! Great soloists and a fab programme. Very well done”

You can hear some highlights of the concert on the player below.

 

Peter and the Wolf Competition for children 12 and under

peterposterwebOn November the 14th, TAMT will be presenting two fantastic performances of Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’. This is a magical and captivating musical tale for children and adults alike, featuring all of your favourite characters: Peter, Grandfather, the hunters, a duck, a cat, a bird… and of course the wolf! The music will be performed by the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra, and narration will by actor John Telfer – known to millions as the Rev. Alan Franks on Radio 4’s The Archers.

peterandthewolfAs part of the concert, we’re giving children aged 12 and under (on Nov 14th) the chance to win two fantastic prizes – a copy of the animated version of Peter and Wolf signed by Mr Telfer, and copy of the fantastic artwork created for the event by internationally recognised illustrator Rosie Brooks.

 

There are two ways you can enter:

1) Draw us a Picture!

Draw us a picture of your favourite scene from the story.  Or even one of the instruments from the orchestra. The more colourful and fun the better!

2) Write two sentences about Peter and the Wolf!

Tell us what your favourite part of the story is. Tell us who your favourite character is and why. How it makes you feel. Anything about it really. Again, the more interesting and unusual the better.

The rules are simple – You must be aged 12 or under on November the 14th 2014, and all of the work must be your own.

How to enter:

Writing competition: Email your child’s sentences, and their name/age to info@scyo.co.uk

Picture competition: Either scan, or take a picture of their artwork – you can then email this to info@scyo.co.uk

If you have any difficulties, please email us and we can let you know alternative ways of entering!

All entries must be received by Monday November the 10th!

petercompetitionweb

Britten and Beyond @MFY2014 – The full video

The full video of the Britten Centenary celebration at Music for Youth’s National Festival is now online. The SCYO performance is at 11m 48s onwards, but it’s well worth watching the whole thing to see what the project is all about!

SCYO perform at National Festival to celebrate ‘Britten and Beyond’ Project

Youth Orchestra in South Glos - SCYO - performing at National Festival

Posing outside Symphony Hall – SCYO at Music for Youth National Festival

Sunday July 12th saw the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra take part in a special performance on the last day of the Music for Youth National Festival in Birmingham. The National Festival is a week-long celebration of music making featuring pop, urban, classical, wind bands, music centres, symphony orchestras and more. The festival sees performance in Symphony Hall, Birmingham Town Hall and the Adrian Boult Hall, and as part of its celebration of 10 years in Birmingham, there were various fringe performances taking place in the library and marquees around the city centre.

britten_100_logoThe SCYO were invited to perform at a special performance celebrating the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten. During 2013/14, SCYO have taken part in the Britten and Beyond Project, which has seen 20 selected groups from across the globe establishing links with one another and exploring his music (you can find out about SCYO’s partners at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome here). The culmination of this project, involving Music for Youth, the British Council and the Britten Foundation, took place in the Adrian Boult Concert Hall, within the Birmingham Conservatoire.

When we arrived, we were introduced to Pete Letanka, who would be leading a workshop involving all of the players for the afternoon. Pete is a jazz pianist & composer, and a very experienced workshop leader having led education projects with the Royal Opera House and London Philharmonic Orchestra. We would be learning two songs, one a specially commissioned work to celebrate the project and another based on ‘Cuckoo’ from Brittens Friday Afternoons. A chamber group of musicians from SCYO went to learn their music.

SCYO Chamber RehearsalMeanwhile, in the Recital Hall Pete led a high-energy and fast-paced workshop which involved us working with pupils from Grantham Prep School to learn the songs, complete with actions, focussing on aspects of pitch and rhythm.

SCYO Music for YouthAfter a brief rehearsal in the Adrian Boult Hall, at 4pm the celebration began. The event was being filmed from various angles to be broadcast on the internet, and the screen above the ABH stage certainly kept the audience on their toes!

Clips and messages from the groups around the world were broadcast on the screen, including Bulgaria and Armenia. A teacher from the Maynard School in Exeter was interviewed about her school’s involvement, and then it was time for the SCYO to present the first ‘live’ performance. The videos really gave the players a chance to see what a big, international project they had been involved with.

Performing at the Music for Youth National Festival

SCYO performing Britten in the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham

The Orchestra performed three movements from Britten’s ‘Soirees Musicales’ – The rousing March, the dancing Tirolese, and the foot-stomping Tarantella. All of the players really rose to the ocassion, performing with professionalism and expertise. There were brilliant solos from flute, clarinet and oboe, and the strings really worked together to make a cohesive sound. The audience certainly showed their appreciation at the end!

After the performance, more clips were featured involving groups further afield, before we came to the grand finale. Pete taught the audience their part (yes, the audience provided some extra backing rhythms!). Before we performed ‘Cuckoo’ and Pete’s own composition. Everyone involved was impressed at the way the SCYO players threw themselves into this piece – both those playing instruments and those singing. It showed real enthusiasm and true professionalism – learning and performing a new piece within an hour takes courage and concentration.

Britten and Beyond Performance

Britten and Beyond Performance – The Grand Finale

The entire performance, including the clips and messages, will be online to watch again shortly and we will post a link when it’s up. With the whole thing filmed from various angles it should be brilliant to watch again and we can’t wait. And no, no one was immune to the occasional close up on the big screen!

Britten and Beyond - the big screen

 

A big ‘thank you’ must go to Judith for organising everything, and Music for Youth for their excellent organisation. We hope to continue our links with some of the groups involved too. It really was a fantastic experience for everyone, tutors and pupils alike, and it’s been a privilege to be involved in such a project.

 

News from the SCYO twinned orchestra

As part of the Britten and Beyond Project, the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra have been establishing partnership links with Cecilia Luvenilis Orchestra in Rome. Although the orchestra is relatively new, it is part of the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia, which was established in its present guise more than 130 years ago. As far back as the 16th century, musicians hoping to play in the Papal Kingdom had to pass a special exam there before they could do so. It includes amongst it former pupils the Honourary Academy Award holding composer Ennio Morricone, most famous for his score to ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.

The Cecilia Luvenilis Orchestra has around 30 pre-degree level musicians gaining performance experience and coaching from the Conservatoire’s professors and staff. Below is the initial letter we received from them:

Dear Dury and the South Cotswold Youth Orchestra,

I would like to introduce you to the newly formed Cecilia Iuvenilis Orchestra.  Alfredo Santoloci, the director of the Santa Cecilia Conservatory, has founded the orchestra aiming to bring together pre-degree students to gain experience in high-level ensemble playing.

The orchestra began rehearsing early this year and performed its first concert a few weeks ago on the 8th June.

There are 30 young musicians aged between 10 and 20 years including some degree-level students. All instrumental sections are present in the orchestra and we are looking forward to more students joining next academic year.

For the opening concert, we performed orchestrations of piano works by Clementi, Mozart, Schumann, adapted by Marco Massimiliani, a degree-level composition student, along with adaptations by both Maestro Santoloci and Marco Massimiliani of music by Vivaldi.

The orchestra is currently on the summer break and will perform its next concert in October.

We look forward to hearing more about your concerts and will be sending photos shortly!

Best Wishes,

Marco Massimiliani

The group have been joined with the SCYO via the British Council, and we hope to establish stronger links with the group during the next Academic Year. We were thrilled earlier this week to receive an email including a video link from their first concert in their new guise.

Dear Dury and the South Cotswolds Youth Orchestra,

We’d like to share with you a clip of our first performance as the Cecilia Iuvenilis Orchestra. The concert took place on 8th June in the Sala Accademica of the  Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia, was conducted by Maestro Alfredo Santoloci and teachers, parents and friends made up the audience of about 150. We are looking forward to starting rehearsals in September after the summer break and are particularly excited to be performing in October for the Pope!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZrivFkjCwU

Best Wishes,

Marco Massimiliani and the Cecilia Iuvenilis Orchestra

You can watch the video below, and we look forward to hearing more from them, and sharing news of our ‘Symphony in a Day 2014′ and Music for Youth Trip with them!

 

BBC launch ‘Ten Pieces’ Music initiative – TAMT signed to be a ‘Champion’

You’ve probably seen in the media that the BBC have launched a new initiative to get primary school children listening to classical music. With ambassadors for the project including violinist Nicola Benedetti, trumpeter Alison Balsom, and singer/songwriter Cerys Matthews, it is a massive undertaking involving music organisations across the UK.

Each of the Ten Pieces, which you can find listed on the project’s homepage, has been recorded by a BBC orchestra, and a special film has been created which will be shown in cinemas and schools during the year.

There is a fantastic mix of music including Stravinsky, Mozart and even a specially commissioned piece by young composer Anna Meredith.

TAMT are pleased to announce that we are fully sign-up ‘champions’ of the project. This means we’ll be kept up to date with national events, and our young players will be taking part in a national music initiative!

In November, SCYO will be performing a special concert aimed at young children of ‘Peter and the Wolf’, and it seemed a perfect opportunity to perform one of the ‘Ten Pieces’. There is currently an online vote for players and supporters to choose between Mussorgsky’s ‘A night on a bare mountain’ and Grieg’s ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’.

It’s an exciting project, and during the year we hope that every young musician within TAMT will have come into contact with the whole initiative in some way – watch this space!

SCYO – ‘Symphony in a Day’ 2014

Wow! What a day. I can’t believe we packed so much into just one afternoon…!

It was great to have so many players, new and old, join us in the Armstrong Hall at 1pm. We quickly took to the stage, and by 3pm we had conquered the 1st and 4th movements of the Dvorak (sort of!). There was some fine playing from the strings, particularly the violins, as well as careful work from the oboe & cor anglais.

At 3 o’clock we welcomed Alexander Technique Teacher Lisa Clarke. Lisa gave a 1hr presentation and interactive lessons to the orchestra, explaining how Alexander’s principals can be used to improve performance, overcome performance anxiety / stage-fright, and how it can help reduce strain. The presentation began with a simple (and then not so simple!) ball game, which illustrated perfectly the way we naturally hold our breath when things get tricky or complicated – something which easily interferes with a musician’s performance. Lisa then talked to us about habits which we may not realise we have – for example, can you fold your arms the opposite way to ‘normal’? How do you move your body when you pick up your instrument? The remainder of the class focussed on the position of the head joint – it’s surprising, but not uncommon that most people do not realise wear the joint is, but once you become aware of it (and the weight of your head), you can move more easily.

There was a chance for the whole orchestra to benefit from Lisa’s expertise. By focussing on breathing, the cello section (already making a mighty sound) were able to play louder, and more freely, aware of the space around them.

south cotswold youth orchestra

There was then a chance for some quick 1-1 interactions. Flautist Antonia was shown how focussing on her head position and balance allowed her sound to project more, and she could focus more on the notes. Conductor Chris also had a lesson on how much strain can be caused by naturally making himself smaller when conducting.

alexander1alexander2

After some more rehearsing, which included a practice of the Britten ready for the Music for Youth performance – which really came to life with four trumpets! – there was a chance for the players to eat tea with some entertainment in the form of Bone Appetit rehearsing on the stage!

At 7pm it was showtime. The first half of the concert was a performance by the stunning ‘Bone Appetit’. This trombone quartet comprises trombonists and bass trombonists who are in their third year at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. They performed for Gwent Music Service’s ‘Tiddly Troms’ earlier in the day, and have recently performed on BBC Radio3. They were polished, classy and a hit with the audience. Amongst the pieces they played were some Welsh hymn tunes with a twist, The Pink Panther, William Tell and… well, not wanting to spoil it for future audiences, let’s just say ‘You Raise Me Up’ has a special surprise!

trombone quartet performing music in south gloucestershire

music in south gloucestershire - thornbury music trust

 

After interval drinks, it was time for SCYO to take to the stage. They began with a performance of Britten’s ‘Soirees Musicales’. SCYO are privileged to the only orchestra of this level representing the South Gloucestershire area at the Music for Youth National Festival this year. The work was confident and assured (helped by our new-found additions in the trombone section!) with great clarinet, flute, oboe and violin solos in particular.

South Gloucestershire based Youth Orchestra

The Orchestra then showed-off their hard work earlier in the day with Dvorak’s mighty Sixth Symphony – the orchestral work which made Dvorak famous! The acoustics of the hall were excellent, and it was great to hear each section highlighted in their own way. The performance was certainly fun and lively!

South Cotswold Youth Orchestra - South Gloucestershire finest musicians

What a brilliant day – it was great to be able to bring the orchestra together in this way, and we’re all looking forward to Peter and the Wolf in November with our guest narrator.

Oh yes… There’s Music for Youth next on July 12th though!

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!

bones2scyosymphonyinadayposterweb

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 info@scyo.co.uk immediately!

scyosymphonyinadayposterweb

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 www.mfy.org.uk, or you can watch highlights from last year’s festival below.

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 (http://www.brittenandbeyond.org) 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!

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 www.mfy.org.uk

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!

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