Category Archives: New Opportunities

Chair for the Tees Valley Music Education Hub – Apply Now!

The Tees Valley Music Education Hub (TVMEH) is looking for a new Chair for its Music Education Hub Advisory Board.

The TVMEH works with the four local authorities of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar & Cleveland. Tees Valley Music Service is the lead partner in the Music Education Hub and it works collaboratively with key local, regional and national partners to ensure that all children in our region have access to a rich variety of musical opportunities.

Teesside is an area which a rich and diverse musical culture, and the music-making of the young people from our area has always had a high profile, both nationally and internationally.

We are looking for an inspirational and motivated Chair of the Tees Valley Music Education Hub Advisory Board who will support the Hub with its mission; help us celebrate what we already do and support us to develop new opportunities for our area.

The Chair of the Tees Valley Music Hub Advisory Board is a non-salaried position (travel expenses will be reimbursed) and would suit someone who has a strong background in business and/or education, and has time to support the Hub to develop its role and remit.

Tees Valley Music Education Hub Logo

The TVMEH was launched in 2017 to deliver music education in line with the National Plan for Music.

Main Responsibilities of the Chair

The key responsibility of the Chair will be to facilitate 3 meetings of the Music Education Hub Advisory Board a year (one per term). Meetings typically last for 1.5 hours.

You will work closely with the Board Members in partnership to plan the annual cycle of meetings, set the agendas and work within the agreed Terms of Reference of the Board. You will also:

  • Support the Board to develop membership.
  • Support the Hub Board, Partners and TVMS as lead partner to deliver the Music Hub Core and Extension roles as set out in the National Plan for Music Education.
  • Monitor that the decisions taken at Board meetings are implemented.
  • Work with the Board and TVMS as lead partner to oversee the allocation of Hub grant funding, support with the development of new income streams and support the Board in fostering relations with potential funders/donors.
  • Represent the Tees Valley Music Education Hub at appropriate events and meetings.
  • Act as a critical friend, advising and challenging the Hub lead organisation and Partners where necessary.

Essential Qualities of the Chair

The Chair of the Tees Valley Music Education Hub will have:

  • A commitment to Tees Valley Music Education Hub and music education
  • Leadership ability
  • Strategic vision
  • Integrity
  • Good indepndant judgement
  • Willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to their duties
  • Tact and diplomacy
  •  Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Learn more about the Tees Valley Music Education Hub

Read the full responsibilities and qualities of the Chair

For an informal chat about the post please call Susan Robertson, Service Manager of TVMS on 01642 603600 or email

If you would like to apply for this post please send your CV and a covering letter outlining how you meet the Qualities of the Chair (as outlined above) and the knowledge, skills and experience you could bring to the role. Please send your application to Susan Robertson at

You can post your application if you prefer to Susan Robertson, Service Manager, Tees Valley Music Service, Bishopton Road West, Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside, TS19 0QH.

Making Waves – Brighter Sound Workshop

Brighter Sound, in partnership with the Sage Gateshead, are looking for female music makers aged between 13 and 18 from the North East. They would like to offer young musicians the chance to explore the possibilities of sound, experiment with cutting edge music technology and work with amazing digital sound artists.

This event is FREE to attend. Travel bursaries are available upon request.

This is a great opportunity if you’re looking to make music in new and innovative ways. Lead by an all-female team of amazing digital and sound artists from across the North of England you will:

  • Spend four days (Monday 20th – Thursday 23rd August) experimenting and creating new music using found sound to create a unique ‘sound experience’.
  • Collaborate with other young musicians from the North East.
  • Showcase your work to a live audience at Sage Gateshead on Friday 24th August – as part of The Hexagon Experiment*.   

Register your place now!

Sign up by Wednesday 15th August to guarantee your place!

*The Hexagon Experiment is a six-part series of Friday night experiments’ featuring live music, conversations and original commissions from pioneering women at the forefront of music, art and science. Part of the Great Exhibition of the North 2018.

Tickets available now!

Brighter Sound logo

About the artists?

Afrodeutsche is a British born Ghanaian/Russian/German composer, producer and DJ based in Manchester. Her productions cross a wide range of styles including classical solo piano, teachno, house and electro. She holds a monthly radio show on the reputable NTS, featuring her own productions, ranging from dark electro to breaks and jacking house.

Caro C is an electronic music artist, sound engineer and facilitator based in Manchester. Once described as a “one woman electronic avalanche”, Caro has been enkoying making musical mischief for over 20 years now after starting out in Newcastle. She has performed at key venues including Bridgewater Hall, Museum of Science and Industry, Band on the Wall, Royal Institute of Science, as well as festivals such as Bluedot and Festival Number 6. Caro is also the instigator and project manager of electronic music heritage charity Delia Derbyshire Day.

Mandy Wigby is a musician, composer, music producer and educator. She has released albums and singles, and toured internationally with signed brands The Sisters of Transistors and Lionrock. She has also created music and sound design for various multi-media projects and is currently part of the collective ‘The Architects of Rosslyn”. More recent projects have seen her develop a “Sensory Soundpit” with Di Mainstone, Howard Jacobs and a team of coders for the European City of Science 2016 and Bradford Science and Media Museum’s Super Senses 2017.

Vicky Clarke is a sound artist and electronic musician based in Manchester. Working with sound sculpture, field recordings and DIY electronics she creates performances, installations and self-built instruments. Her current research project explores sound sculpture to interface the physical internationally most recently at Rome Media Art festival and has been artist in residence at the National Science and Media Museum. She is co-founder of Noise Orchestra, a project developing synthesizers that translate light into sound.

Tees Valley Training for Music Practitioners

As part of the Great Place Tees Valley project, ARC (in Stockton) is offering opportunities for up to 24 creative practitioners who are interested in developing their facilitation skills to work with socially excluded communities. Successful participants will take part in a 10 week training course and a six session placement with one of ARC’s partners in the Tees Valley.

Who can apply?

The course is suitable for:

  • Artists or practitioners who wants to gain or enhance skills in working with the groups listed
  • Recent arts graduates
  • Arts or heritage workers

They are particularly interested in music practitioners for this round.

You must share their commitment to social inclusion, equality and diversity and be able to demonstrate that this is part of your practice in your application. You must also live and work in the Tees Valley and be available to take part in all 10 weekly sessions and undertake a six session placement.

ARC supports a range of creative projects, workshops and events throughout the Tees Valley.

How to Apply?

Places are limited. If you are interested in attending one of these courses please complete the attached application form and email it to by 10am on Monday 23rd July.

The Project Brief:

The course will be led by a host of experienced practitioners from across the UK and is designed to provide local practitioners with the skills and tools to effectively share their own creative practice with others. This will include sessions on working with young people, including NEETS and PRU pupils, older people, disabled people, people experiencing homelessness, poor mental and physical health and refugees and asylum seekers – all of whom ARC has experience of working with.

There are two courses:

  • Course 1 will take place at ARC every Monday from Monday 1st October – Monday 3rd December 2018, 11am – 5pm
  • Course 2 (Music) will take place in Middlesbrough every Tuesday from Tuesday 2nd October – Tuesday 4th December 2018, 11am – 5pm.

Course 1 is open to practitioners from any art form; Course 2 is aimed at practitioners who’s practice is all or primarily focused around music.

Each session will cover:

  • An overview of the target group, and any specific requirements
  • Rewards of working with this group
  • Examples of previous work
  • Advice on how practitioners should prepare and deliver activity
  • Any challanges and how you have overcome them
  • An example of a successful project and how it was achieved
  • Advice on appropriate light-touch evaluation methods

You will leave each session with a clear idea of how to plan and deliver a creative session with the target group, knowledge of how to deal with common challenges, with a good level of awareness of any specific requirements of the group.

Each participant will be entitled to a bursary of £100 per week to enable you to attend the sessions and to support travel to and from the ARC.

Apply for this amazing opportunity now!

The Gala Concert 2018 – Review

The Gala Concert has been an annual event and a staple in the Tees Valley Music Service calendar for over 10 years. The popular concert attracts visitors from all over the region as some of the best ensembles in the North East come together to perform a show stopping concert.

Tees Valley Youth Orchestra, Tees Valley Youth Choir and Yangchin have been joined by other premier ensmebles in the past such as Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra and Tees Valley Youth Brass Band. But this year Stockton Concert Band and Redcar & Cleveland Sinfonia took to the stage for the first time, alongside TVYO, TVYC and Yangchin. The programne for this year’s concert featured a varied repertoire which showcased the range of musical styles the bands, choirs and orchestra can perform. Highlights of the 2 hour performance included TVYC’s lively rendition of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight‘ by Solomon Linda which was highly appropriate given the Youth Choir’s recent tour to Disneyland Paris where they performed on the Videopolis Stage.

They were followed by Stockton Concert Band, some of whose members have never performed in front of a large audience before. They gave a professional performance of ‘Pavne in Blue’, and ‘Fascinating Drums’ by Ted Huggins was captivating to watch. Other standout moments from the concert included Yangchin, injecting a different musical style with ‘The Water is Wide’, and Redcar & Cleveland Sinfonia eloquently performing ‘Ruminations’ by Sean O’Loughlin.

Following the interval, the Tees Valley Youth Orchestra took to the stage with conductor Nicholas Nowicki and played ‘ The William Tell Overture’ by Rossini, their first performance of the evening. It’s an especially busy time for members of the Youth Orchestra as they prepare for their Granada tour taking place this July and their 50th anniversary year in 2019 where a range of events have been planned including the tour to New York City. With the prestige of performing at world-renowned concert venues the expected standard level gets higher so TVYO continues to rehearse regularly and tackle more complex pieces in order to achieve this standard. The Gala Concert showcased this standard and amplified to those in attendance as to why Tees Valley Youth Orchestra have been offered a place in Carnegie Hall’s performance schedule.

Tees Valley Youth Choir then performed a set of 6 pieces from various composers including John Conahan and Bruckner. They were immediately followed by Locomotion & Barbershop Choir. Both choirs provide a stepping stone for young or inexperienced vocalists to learn the vocal techniques needed to perform in the Youth Choir.

TVYO then concluded the 2 hour concert by performing Bolero by Ravel and the famous ‘Pomp and Circumstance March No.1‘ by Elgar. After the show-stopping finale, the audience erupted in applause, giving a standing ovation in what was truly a unique and unforgettable occasion.


National Youth Orchestra 2019 – Audition Now!

The world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers is recruiting committed musicians from across the country to audition to be part of the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) in 2019 and take their music making to the highest level.

Teenagers performing in NYO

‘NYO is just awesome. All of it. The people, the concerts, the passion and the joy and excitement of the courses’ – Laurence, Trombone, NYO

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain comprises of 164 musicians aged 13-19 years old, from a variety of backgrounds and from every corner of the UK. They welcome applications from teenage musicians who play to Grade 8 distinction or equivalent standards, have a passion for orchestral music, a taste for adventure and great team spirit.

NYO are also recruiting teenage composers for a year of immersion in orchestral and creative opportunities, and teenage pianists to develop their orchestral keyboard playing.

Auditions are FREE, located across the country and bursaries are available to cover the full cost of being in NYO, including travel to auditions. The audition experience is positive, friendly and constructive and all auditionees  will receive a workshop and written feedback. Audition candidates will also have the opportunity to become a young music leader and share their skills with other committed musicians through NYO Inspire – offering breakthrough orchestral experiences to teenagers of all backgrounds.

Logo of National Youth Orchestra

The National Youth Orchestra are looking for new members.

Being part of NYO is a fantastic opportunity for young musicians to take their music making to the highest level. They will work with world-class tutors and conductors, play in the UK’s greatest concert halls and forge lifelong friendships with like-minded musicians.

Visit the National Youth Orchestra website to learn more about auditions, bursaries and advice from NYO musicians and tutors.

NYO is especially looking for talented young musicians in the North East of England to take part in the orchestra so if you are considering auditioning for the Youth Orchestra visit the website now!


TVYC Tour to Disneyland Paris

Given the hugely successful 2017 tours to London and Llangollen, Tees Valley Youth Choir will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a trip to Disneyland Paris. Paris is one of the world’s most well-known cities and is highly regarded for its romantic setting and abundance of attractions. With so much to offer, Paris is also one of the most visited cities in the world and is sure to leave members of TVYC with memorable experiences. 

The trip has been organised in collaboration with Halsbury Travel who have planned a very busy itinerary for TVYC’s Tour to Disneyland in April. With over 50 attractions, opportunities to meet favourite Disney characters and the opportunity to see many colourful parades and breath-taking shows, the choir will have a wealth of magical memories to take back with them.

While at the Walt Disney Studios Parks, TVYC will perform a 20 minute concert on the Videopolis Stage as part of the Disney Performing Arts Programme. The programme provides performance opportunities with the aim of giving performers a glimpse into Disney’s world of entertainment.

During the Paris trip, Tees Valley Youth Choir will also be given a guided tour of the Palais Garnier Opera House. The Palais Garnier is a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacre Coeur Basilica. It was used as the setting for Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera. The 2017/2018 series will include performances from Ian Bostridge, Jonas Kauffman and Anna Netrebko.

There will also be a small amount of free time given to students to explore Paris and take in the culture and landscape.

The choir will depart by coach from the TVMS Office on Tuesday 3rd April and return on Friday 6th April. A full itinerary will be handed to each student prior to boarding the coach.

Stay tuned for a full recap of the tour!

TVYC in Llangollen

Bring Your Day Alive – First Thing Music Launch

First Thing Music – Official Statement

“It was in the January of 2015 that I first met Susan Robertson from Tess Valley Music Service. We were at a Musinc event in Stockton, and we had been listening to a presentation by Douglas Lonie, Research and Evaluation Manager at Youth Music.

It was becoming obvious that there was a lack of hard evidence demonstrating the impact of music, though there were many encouraging anecdotal reports and observations. I was determined to find a way to ‘firm up’ the situation, and conduct some research in a randomised control format – the nearest thing to a clinical trial that music might be! Susan and I got chatting, and at one point, we looked each other in the eye, saw a shared purpose and shook hands! We were going to find a way to make this happen in Teesside. And thus, First Thing Music was born.

Since then, a lot has happened. I took advice from a senior researcher at Durham University – Dr Beng Huat See, who had co-written the Arts in Education Review 2012, for the Education Endowment Foundation and began preparation for a proposal to fund such a project. As a keen advocate of Kodaly-based music practice, I developed a series of 15 minute sessions aimed at Reception-aged children and Susan put me in contact with 5 schools in the area, inviting them to a meeting at TVMS to explain the approach. Over the summer term in 2016, supported by TVMS I went into these schools for 4 days per week, on the following basis:

  • Class teachers should be involved in the music sessions with their class
  • Head teachers should contribute their observations by participating in at least one session themselves

Over 4 weeks, we kept records of all sessions, including the teacher experience and the observations of the Head Teachers, and Dr Beng Huat See came to look at what we were doing. She felt there was some potential for a randomised control trial, within this format, as long as we felt confident that we could demonstrate real impact through these musical activities.

There were times when the determination was put to the test – several applications for funding were rejected and there was a general lack of resources. The Arts Council funding for Music Hubs across the country did not include anything for children under the age of 5 yrs, though this was where we felt most strongly that the work should be focused.

So, the only option was to continue working unfunded. Fortunately, two Teesside schools (St Francis Primary school and St Mark’s Elmtree Community Primary) were happy to collaborate with me, and assign two interested teachers to work on the project. Over two full terms in 2017, I visited the schools for 4 days per week, engaging the music groups in 15 minute music sessions. At the end, we compared the progress made by the two groups. ALthough the difference across the curriculum was small, it was significant especially in the areas of behaviour, writing and numeracy.

On the strength of these activities we again submitted a proposal of funding, this time to a joint investigation into ‘Cultural Learning’ being set up by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Royal Society of Arts.

This time the application was successful. A grant of £150,000 has been awarded to Tees Valley Music Service, as part of one of the largest RCTs ever conducted in UK schools and the only one focused in the North EAst.

First Thing Music will bring music sessions into 50-60 schools in Teesside and the North East and lay the foundations for music to be part of every child’s education.

Much has been achieved since that first hand-shake, but the exciting thing is that we are only at the beginning….”

Lindsay Ibbotson 

First Thing Music

First Thing Music – Bring The Day Alive!

We can confirm that funding is now in place to begin the Kodaly based research project First Thing Music.  This exciting piece of work is a partnership between Lyndsay Ibbotson, Tees Valley Music Service, The Education Endowment Fund, Royal Society of Arts and the British Kodaly Association.

First Thing Music will bring daily music sessions into 50-60 schools in Teesside and the North East, and lay the foundations for music to be part of every child’s education.

Any schools who may be interested in First Thing Music can look on the FTM page on this site or contact for more information.

Kodaly Project

Opera North Youth Chorus – Young Musicians WANTED

Opera North Youth Chorus (ONYC) are looking for 15 talented young musicians to join the choir as they prepare to take a new production on tour this Summer.

Dr Ferret’s Bad Medicine Roadshow is a one act opera written by Stephen Deazley which is premiering as part of the Buxton Fringe Festival in July. Originally commissioned by Scottish Opera, it’s inspired by Hilaire Belloc’s classic Cautionary Takes and includes the curious story of Matilda whose compulsive lies lead to a terrible fire, Henry King who ate too much string and George, a pint-sized trouble maker. ONYC will also perform the opera at Middleton Hall in Hull and The Place, London, as part of the 2017 Tête à Tête Festival.

The musicians need to be between 14 and 19 years old and be at Grade 8 or above on their chosen instrument. The group are particularly keen to find string, horn and percussion players. They’ll be guided throughout by highly experienced tutors and members of the Orchestra, with rehearsals starting at the end of June.

If you know or anyone you know might be interested please submit a short video showcasing your instrumental playing to together with their contact details. To find out more, please email Marie in the Education team:

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