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…?