Author Archives: Jeff Sawdon

Youth Orchestra Triumph At The Sage.

A hot Monday evening, 17th July 2017 saw the Tees Valley Youth Orchestra play to a packed hall One at the Sage Gateshead.  The first half, Romeo & Juliet Suite No2 by Prokofiev, provided a worthy curtain raiser to the main event, the Shostakovitch 10th Symphony.   This work, premiered just after Stalin’s death, has been described as “the musical embodiment of oppression”.  The young musicians were augmented by some returning alumni for the occasion, making a 120 strong orchestra that spanned the entire stage of this excellent venue. The audience loved it and showed as much with a fully committed standing ovation.  Maestro Nick Nowicki lightened the mood for the encores (from Shostakovitch Jazz Suite & Borodin, Polotsvian Dances), delivered with gusto and no small measure of humour that left the audience smiling all the way through another ovation.

Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra – Recruiting Now!

Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra are looking for enthusiastic musicians who would like to be a part of on of TVMS’ flagship ensembles. Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra are especially looking for brass and saxophone pupils, due to a recent shortfall.

Also, due to various members of TVYWO leaving the premier ensemble to join other TVMS bands and orchestras as well as some who’ve left for University, places are now available. Whats more, no audition is necessary!

The orchestra regularly perform music from some of the biggest cinema and theatre scores in the world. There’s something for everyone!

Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra rehearse every Thursday evening, from 6-7:30 pm, at the TVMS Office.

Fees are currently just £6.99 per month, or only £3.50 if you are entitled to remission of fees. Fees to pupils who are currently receiving lessons from TVMS can join this ensemble for FREE.

To enquire about joining Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra please email

Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra

Snappy Christmas Underway.

This year’s Snappy Christmas kicked off in style with around 500 children from Stockton on Tees schools performing to over 900 parents and family members.  The following day “Snappy” rolled into the Borough Hall in Hartlepool for another enormously successful event and the next two weeks see a further three; two consecutive days at Eston Sports Centre on December 12th & 13th and a return to Thornaby Pavilion on December 7th due to massive demand, the latter to feature live on BBC Tees!

Shine Festival

Shine Festival: A Music Festival for the Tees Valley Plans are currently underway for a new music festival set to take place across the Tees Valley in March 2017! Shine! Festival will be a mixture of traditional and contemporary with both competitive and non-competitive classes, and we’re adding prize money too! This festival is not so much a new idea, but a fresh look on a tradition that continues to thrive in other areas across the country and even internationally. We plan to add new elements into this festival (e.g. masterclasses and monetary prizes) to ensure that it appeals to a wider cross section of musicians. We have widened the entry criteria to allow for more flexibility e.g. there are no set pieces and we have designed the classes according to Grade level rather than age. We would also like to encourage community groups and choirs to participate in this festival, and we have created a day designed specifically for this, with its own concert to celebrate the diversity and range of music making taking place in the Tees Valley.  Here is the provisional programme – save the dates!

Date Venue Classes Adjudicator
Saturday 18th March 2017 Kings Academy, Middlesbrough (TBC) Vocal solos and duets Kevin Thraves: Head of Staff in the Opera and Vocal Studies Dept at the Royal Northern College of Music
Sunday 19th March 2017 Yarm School Piano classes – solos and duets Richard McMahon: Former Head of Keyboard at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and current panellist for BBC Young Musician
Friday 24th March 2017 Tuned In, Redcar School Groups Tom Redmond: Horn player (Halle Orchestra), animateur and BBC presenter and broadcaster
Saturday 25th March 2017 Yarm School Instrumental classes – solos and duets Chris Daly – Adjudicator for Federation of Festivals
Saturday 25th March 2017, 6pm Yarm School PRIZE WINNERS CONCERT FOR ABOVE CLASSES Guest presenter TBC
Sunday 26th March 2017 Tuned In, Redcar Choirs and Community classes Bill Watson: Musical Director for Durham Youth Jazz Orchestra and Sunderland University Big Band, Music Mentor for Music for Youth.

FREE Flute Taster Session in Redcar.

Come along to Redcar & Cleveland Music Centre on Monday 25th April 2016 and try a FREE Flute Taster Session with TVMS teacher Natalie Taylor.  The session will run from 4.15 to 4.45 pm.  Watch out for more taster sessions on a variety of instruments across Tees Valley or if there is an instrument you particularly would like to try, give us a call on 01642 603600.

Beginner Flute flyer April 2016

Come & Sing Day

Keen new singers had the chance to join with the Tees Valley Youth Choir this week for a no-pressure fun day.  Choir Conductor Nikki Lycett – Findlay and husband Ben organised the day and as a result the choir gained several new members.  If you are a singer and would be interested in joining get in touch with us HERE.

Chronicle Review of TVYO Concert

Rob Barnes of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle published an in-depth review of the TVYO performance at The Sage on Monday (follow our Youtube link at the bottom of the Home Page for a video clip of the finale).  Describing the work as “a monumental undertaking for any professional orchestra, let alone one comprising around 120 young musicians” he praised Nick Nowicki for allowing the players enough freedom to express themselves and awarded “Full marks to all for not taking the low road but instead performing one of the great classical works in a manner that will stay with them and their audience for a very long time”. 

Read the full review here…

Proud Night For Youth Orchestra

Conductor Nicholas Nowicki led Tees Valley Youth Orchestra through a great concert performance of the Shostakovitch 7th Symphony ‘Leningrad’ last night at The Sage, Gateshead.

This brings the summer concert season to an end and we’d like to thank everyone concerned for all their hard work this academic year, not only with TVYO, but also with all TVMS Ensembles across the four areas of Redcar & Cleveland, Stockton on Tees, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool.