Category Archives: News

Audition for National Youth Choirs of Great Britain

National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) are holding auditions for the National Youth Boys’, Girls’ and Training Choirs of Great Britain this autumn.

If you have a passion and a talent for singing with others that you want to take to the highest level, then NYCGB would love to hear from you. There are 21 audition dates and 18 locations across the UK.

Auditions are open to all talented young singers as follows:

  • National Youth Boys’ Choir – for boys entering School Years 5 to 10 on 1st September 2019
  • National Youth Girls’ Choir – for girls entering School Years 6 to 10 on 1st September 2019
  • National Youth Training Choir – for boys & girls entering School Years 9 to 13 on 1st September 2019

Find out more and book a place to audition here.

NYCGB’s website provides lots of information about what’s required, and how to prepare.

Auditions are priced at £37. Financial assistance is available; find out if you qualify today.

Representatives of NYCGB will travel the country, hosting auditions for talented young people from all works of life.

Audition Dates & Locations 

  • Birmingham – Wednesday 13th November
  • Bristol – Monday 11th November
  • Cardiff – Saturday 2nd November
  • Carlisle – Saturday 16th November
  • Chelmsford – Sunday 10th November
  • Exeter – Saturday 2nd November
  • Edinburgh – Saturday 16th November
  • Gateshead – Thursday 14th November
  • Hull – Friday 15th November
  • Ipswich – Sunday 17th November
  • Leeds – Saturday 9th November
  • Liverpool – Saturday 16th November
  • London (Barnes) – Sunday 2nd & Sunday 3rd September
  • London (Marylebone) – Sunday 10th & Sunday 17th November
  • Nottingham – Sunday 3rd November
  • Peterborough – Saturday 9th November
  • Shrewsbury – Sunday 17th November
  • Southampton – Sunday 17th November
  • Tonbridge – Saturday 9th November

TVYO 50th Anniversary Tour | Full Recap

Following months of planning, preparation and anticipation, Tees Valley Youth Orchestra finally celebrated their 50th Anniversary with a performance at the prestigious Carnegie Hall.

The Journey Begins

Tees Valley Youth Orchestra departed from Ian Ramsey Academy shortly after 6am on Monday 8th July. 120 students of varying ages, accompanied by 13 members of staff and an infant, disembarked at Manchester Airport. All were ready and eager to begin their most ambitious tour to date. Shortly after arriving at the airport, the party were organised into travel groups before they boarded the plane. These travel groups would continue throughout the tour as TVYO explored New York City.

After a fairly restful 7 hour flight the orchestra landed at JFK Airport and it wasn’t long before the group were headed towards the heart of New York City.

The city was bustling with life. As the Youth Orchestra made their way through the bustling streets of New York, block by block, the diverse and vibrant culture of Americanism was apparent. Skyscrapers loomed overhead as the coaches navigated their way to the Gallivant Hotel.

Located in the heart of Manhattan, just off from Times Square, the Gallivant Hotel would be a perfect base for the activities ahead. Once checked into the hotel the tour group were granted permission to explore the local area and grab much needed food and drink. By 10pm TVYO had returned to The Gallivant, ready for the following day’s activity.

Seeing the sights

The first full day of the tour was packed full of activity. In the morning, the group was split into two: one group explored the Natural History Museum while the other journeyed to Central Park. Reuniting after lunch, the group was split again with many visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the smaller sub-group exploring Central Park and 5th Avenue, both of which are within a 5 minute walking distance. 

After spending 3 hours at either the museum or at Central Park it was time for TVYO to return to the hotel to get ready for their evening meal at Planet Hollywood. Thanks to the generous fundraising that the Friends of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra held over 2 years, the tour organisers were able to provide the party with four evening meals out of the five nights that they were in New York.

Immediately following the meal at the memorabilia and nostalgic themed restaurant, the TVYO members who had paid to see the hit Broadway show ‘Aladdin’ walked to The New Amsterdam Theatre – just off from Times Square – and those who had not instead travelled to Brooklyn Bridge.

The group who visited Brooklyn Bridge took the Subway and were treated with two views of the iconic structure: one from a distance where the bridge can be seen over the Hudson River and another view from the bridge itself. This walking expedition coincided with the sun setting on New York and the views of the New York City skyline were truly breath-taking. After returning to the hotel via the Subway, both groups returned to their rooms for some well needed rest.

Exploring the city that never sleeps 

On Wednesday, the group walked to the DiMenna Centre for Classical Music. This performance space served as the rehearsal venue for TVYO to adequately prepare for the following day’s momentous concert, allowing the string players (who had received hired instruments at the start of the week) the chance to perform a run through of their 50th Anniversary performance.

The DiMenna Centre is an unparalleled resource serving the entire musical community – from soloists to symphony orchestras, through state-of-the-art facilities. They were aided by a tuning and orchestral arrangement professional. 

The rehearsal wrapped up at 1pm and the group headed back to the hotel for a short time. Later that afternoon, they walked to the Rockefeller Centre and visited the Top of the Rock. Climbing 70 stories this enormous skyscraper offered tremendous views of lower Manhattan where iconic buildings such as the Empire State Building and the One World Trade Centre were clearly visible.  

View from 'Top of the Rock'

View from ‘Top of the Rock’

Once back on solid ground the students were given free time to explore the surrounding area to the Rockefeller Plaza. This included big brand stores such as the Nintendo Store. Once students returned to the organised meeting point they all travelled back to the hotel to pick up belongings ready for the evening events. For dinner, TVYO visited Ellen’s Stardust Diner; a restaurant that is famous for its singing waitstaff and home to Broadway’s future talents. After the meal the Orchestra walked to Times Square before making their way to the hotel to make final preparations for tomorrow’s big concert.

On Thursday morning, the students were granted free time where they could go shopping and explore the local area. By 12:30pm, after grabbing snacks, the tour group walked, with instruments in tow, to Carnegie Hall. Once on stage and set up, they rehearsed for 3 hours 30 minutes – more than enough time to play through each piece. At 7:30pm the doors opened and hundreds of parents, family, friends, supporters and New Yorkers filled the auditorium. The concert swiftly commenced at 8pm. 

TVYO perform at Carnegie Hall

The program featured Mussorgsky’s ‘Night on Bald Mountain’, arranged by Rimsky-Korsakov. This was followed with another piece by Mussorgsky with ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, orchestrated by Ravel. After the intermission they then performed Mahler’s ‘Symphony No. 1 in D major’. For an encore Tees Valley Youth Orchestra performed ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’ by John Sousa. The American-themed song was a very appropriate way to draw the concert to a close. 

Conductor of TVYO, Nicholas Nowicki, commented ahead of the special concert: “I know I speak on behalf of the entire orchestra and their families when I say we are extremely privileged and grateful to be able to present our performance to you tonight on this, the most hallowed of stages. I’d like to say a special thank you to everyone who made tonight possible; our fabulous supportive families, TVMS, FTVYO and of course the players themselves, whose constant dedication, passion for music and teamwork is a source of continuous inspiration for me. I’d also like to say a big thank you to my family for their support. We hope that you enjoy tonight’s performance.”

Nicholas Nowicki leading Tees Valley Youth Orchestra

Speaking after the performance, Susan Robertson (TVMS Manager) congratulated the members of TVYO for their “historic” performance and hinted that there would be more great things to come for the Orchestra.

After 2 hours and 30 minutes the concert concluded to a rousing round of applause and a standing ovation. It was heartening to see 2 years of hard work from the performers, teachers and staff finally pay off. Soon after the concert TVYO exited Carnegie Hall and made their way to The Gallivant Hotel. As promised, following the huge success of the performance, staff allowed students the opportunity to meet and spend time with family and friends in Times Square. At midnight the group reunited back at the hotel for sleep – the excitement of the evening still very much alive.

More photos from the concert available on TVYO’s official Facebook page.

The last day

On Friday, TVYO began their last full day in New York by setting off on a walking expedition of the city. They visited High Line, Chelsea Markets, Washington Square Park, Union Square and Broadway shops. At 2:30pm TVYO arrived back at the hotel briefly to pick up items they would need for the rest of the day. They headed back onto Times Square and walked a short distance to the Hard Rock Cafe for a late lunch. Hard Rock Cafe is a restaurant chain made famous for its rock and roll memorabilia collection.

Afterwards, the group who had paid to watch the New York Yankees vs Toronto Bluejays baseball game made their way to the stadium. The other group chose to visit the 9/11 memorial in the financial district of lower Manhattan, then walked to the Staten Island Ferry docks.

The Staten Island Ferry provided students with a clear view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline as the sun began to set. Both groups returned to the hotel by midnight, leaving them with a small amount of time to pack and ensure they had everything they needed for the journey home. 

On Saturday it was travel day as TVYO made their way to the airport, eventually boarding the plane by 7pm and landing at 7am (UK time). They arrived back at Ian Ramsey Academy by 12pm. After a week of non-stop activity and memories to last a lifetime, the tour was over.  

Looking to the future

Following the tremendous success of the New York Tour and the Carnegie Hall concert, speculation about a follow-up tour next year has naturally been discussed. However, due to the financial and logistical undertaking that the New York Tour was for the Youth Orchestra, their families, TVMS and FTVYO, there will be no tour in 2020. Instead, the Youth Orchestra will concentrate on recruiting new members to share in the ensemble’s exciting future as well as delving into more come complex and exciting pieces of work.

The TVYO tour will return in 2021 and, although no details have been released at this stage, the achievements of TVYO show no sign of stopping. Here’s to another 50 years of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra! 

The Globe to Open in Late 2020

Councillors have approved additional funding to complete the restoration of Stockton’s famous Globe theatre.

£6.5 million has been approved for use on the Grade 2 music and comedy venue to bring the Art Deco building back to life. Once restored, the 3,000 capacity live entertainment venue will be the biggest between Newcastle and Leeds.

Work on the building had temporarily halted in early 2019 as the severity of its damaged structure became more apparent. In the months that followed 100 specialist sub-contractors and independent cost analysts determined that additional funds would be necessary to resume work.

Major renovation work is expected to resume next month.

Following months of debate between councilors, local government and Stockton residents, the money was approved for use. ATG, a global leader in live entertainment, has signed up to operate the Globe for 25 years and once open it is expected to bring up to 200,000 visitors and £18 million a year into the local economy.

Those discussions resulted in major changes to how the agreed designs can be delivered in light of the urgent structural stabilisation work completed earlier this year. These include changes to the foundations, steel work and roof structures along with access and logistics complexities and the protection of the building’s historic features.

Artist’s impression of the new Globe theatre in 2020.

Project Director, Paul Dobson, said “Restoration projects are notoriously complex and we’ve had a number of setbacks but we’ve remained focused on the end goal, which is to deliver a project that will bring hundreds of millions of pounds into the Borough’s economy in the coming years.”

ATG’s Group Operations Director, Stuart Beeby, added “No theatre has been restored in this way, from a historic venue into a home for live music and entertainment for a modern audience.”

“This is ground-breaking and what makes it a challenging and exciting project. We’re very excited to be bringing household names, the top talent of music and comedy to Stockton – renowned acts the people will recognise.”

The additional funding brings the Council’s contribution to the cost of £22.25 million, with the remaining £4.5 million coming from a National Lottery grant secured through the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Enterprise scheme.

Cafes and restaurants near the venue are expected to open in the next year to provide concert goers with a dining and social experience.

The Globe is expected to open in late 2020.

Switch It: Supporting Vulnerable Young People in Hartlepool

For those unfamiliar with the project, Switch It is a musical intervention for vulnerable young people who live in areas of large deprivation such as Hartlepool in the North East of England.

The programme supports young people’s social and emotional development through targeted musical activities delivered by a team of specialist music leaders and youth service practitioners.

At Switch It’s recent Participation Group they invited Sam Ward-Hardy from Jack Drum Arts to deliver a Brazilian drumming workshop for their young musicians. Mr Ward-Hardy is a young leader who recieved a Winston Churchill Fellowship Grant and who recently travelled  to Brazil to spend five months studying traditional and contemporary percussion.

Sam’s visit was an eye opener for the young musicians for several reasons; firstly Sam’s experiences in Brazil, his enthusiasm and skills as a workshop leader gave the students a great example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. The workshop was also a chance for the pupils to experience something completely different, learning Maracatu rhythms and playing traditional Brazilian instruments which was new to them and was a great way to learn about different cultures and traditions.

Switch It

Sam Ward-Hardy leading a Bazillion music workshop as part of a Switch It project.

This experience took the young musicians out of their comfort zone and exposed them to unusual instruments and complex multi-part rhythms. To the delight of Sam Ward-Hardy, they rose to the challenge and succeeded in learning and performing two rhythms: ljexe and Ogum.

Some comments from the young musicians included; “Fantastic, the music was great”, “amazing night” and “My arm is dead!”

One aim of the Participation Group was to show young people some potential career/development opportunities and that there are different routes for different people. Sam commented on this: “I have taken a very non-traditional and non-academic route in terms of working within the community music scene, so you don’t need to necessarily be good at theory or to have climbed up the Grades. It’s perfectly fine just to have lots of passion and drive.”

The workshop gave Sam an opportunity to work with a new and different project, he says this increased his own understanding of working with young people. “They were a very quiet group so it required a lot of energy to make sure the workshop moved forward with momentum.”

Switch It

Switch It say the project is invaluable to young people in the region who often feel neglected or are suffering from mental health, social or economic issues. These workshops serve as a reminder to themselves and those like them in the wider community that there are life-changing opportunities out there. Switch It’s goal is to highlight the benefits of young leadership programmes and inspire teenagers to go onto achieve their very best.

Judging by the responses from participants of the music workshop, they appear to have fulfilled their objective.

 

Read more »

Nine In Ten Children Want To Learn A Musical Instrument, Survey Finds

Research into children’s interest in learning a musical instrument finds that young children are keener than ever, but interest among other children is dwindling.

A new piece of research by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra reveals nine in ten children want to learn a musical instrument.

The survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the RPO, asked children aged 6 to 16 around the UK about their interest in learning a musical instrument.

Band instruments like the guitar (45%), piano (36%) and drums (35%) proved the most popular. Meanwhile, 75% of children opted for an orchestral instrument, such as the violin (10%), flute (8%) and saxophone (8%). At the other end of the scale, children were least interested in learning the French horn and double bass.

Of those surveyed, girls (95%) were slightly keener to learn an instrument than boys (90%). The instruments most popular with girls were the flute (13%), recorder (13%), violin (14%) and viola (14%).

Boys, on the other hand, were far more likely to want to learn the guitar (50%), drums (45%) and bass guitar (28%).

More boys want to learn guitar than any other instrument, study finds.

The information follows a study revealing gender imbalance in orchestral instrumental sections, which found there were no women trombone or tuba players.

in the world’s top 20 orchestras. It also found the majority of double bass (95%) and timpani players (96%) were men.

The RPO’s survey also indicates that the older a child gets, the less interested they become in learning a musical instrument. James Williams, managing director of the RPO, suggests more needs to be done to nurture children’s interests in music, saying: “The relative speed with which children’s interest in learning a musical instrument falls from 96% to 84% in just four years underlines the work that needs to be done to support young musicians and at a crucial age.”

Between the ages of ten and 14, the proportion of children who said they were no longer interested in learning a musical instrument quadrupled from 4% to 16%. This age group were also more likely to say their school did not encourage them to develop an interest in music (rising from 28% among 6-10 year olds, to 41% of over 14 year olds).

Schools are under pressure to improve the current level of music provision offered to pupils.

This follows a study by the University of Sussex which revealed that the number of schools offering music at A Level has dropped by more than 15% over the last two years.

“Wherever possible, music needs to stay on the school curriculum but, more fundamental than that, teenagers need reassurance that music matters,” says James Williams.

“Given the UK has some of the world’s most respected orchestras, we need to invest in tomorrow’s talent.”

Youth Music: School Music Lessons Should Cover Hip-Hop & Grime

Youth Music calls for a focus on ‘Stromzy rather than Mozart’ to engage hard-to-reach and often disenfranchised pupils.

The national charity has called for schools to adopt more current styles of music, citing newly conducted research that found more inclusive music-making improves concentration and attendance levels amongst pupils at risk of exclusion. A four years tidy by Youth Music concluded that too many schools fail to include contemporary musical genres in their music lessons.

To combat this the charity, working in collaboration with Birmingham City University, set up partnerships between contemporary community music organisations and secondary schools in England to examine the impact of introducing a modern music curriculum. Almost 1,000 pupils aged between 11 – 15 were exposed to the new lessons. Researchers found that young people who were at risk of exclusion at the outset of the programme maintained high levels of attendance – more than 95% – throughout the programme.

Some who had already been excluded said the programme helped them to return to mainstream school. Researchers also found there was a beneficial impact on other subjects, with participants performing better than expected in maths and English.

Government urged to swap Mozart for Stormzy in UK schools to engage pupils from all backgrounds.

Matt Griffiths, Youth Music chief executive, said: “Evidence shows that music-making is a strong contributor to young people’s personal and social development. But despite school being the one place where everyone should be able to access music, we’ve consistently heard how it doesn’t reflect their existing musical lives and passions. And their access is being restricted because school music departments are disappearing by the day.”

He said the new study, called Exchanging Notes, showed music in schools has the power to help young people cope with mental health difficulties, isolation and social inequality. “But only if it is re-imagined to become more relevant and inclusive of all young people'” Youth Music urged the government to protect music in schools by ensuring all pupils receive a minimum of one hour a week of musical education. It wants the focus to be less on attainment and more about creative music-making.

It called on the Department of Education to introduce a 21st century curriculum, drawing on young people’s existing musical tastes and reflecting their interests and listening habits. It also backed earlier calls for schools to be denied a “good” or “outstanding” Ofsted judgement unless they show a strong commitment to arts and culture.

A DfE spokesperson responded to the study: “We want all pupils to have the opportunity to study music at school – that’s why it is compulsory in the national curriculum from the age of five up to 14. We are currently working with music groups and practitioners to refresh the national plan for music education and develop a high-quality model music curriculum.”

Tees Valley Youth Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Gala Concert – Recap

Tees Valley Youth Orchestra performed one of their largest and most ambitious concerts in its history on Sunday evening. After months of speculation and build up, the 50th Anniversary Gala Concert was here, with the event being held at the Sage Gateshead; one of the most prestigious arts and culture venues in the North East of England.

The concert started promptly at 7:30pm in the main auditorium. The audience contained a mixture of parents, wider family and friends, invited delegates and supporters of the Youth Orchestra.

A special commemorative 50th Anniversary programme was available to purchase from the Friends of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra, with all profits going towards the New York Tour. This programme included the names of every performer, a brief history of how TVYO formed and a message from Susan Robertson (TVMS General Manager) and Mark Douglas (Chairman of Friends of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra).

The doors to the auditorium opened and seats were quickly filled up as Tees Valley Alumni took to the stage to kick off the evening. Tees Valley Alumni are comprised of more than 100 former members of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra and it was a real treat to watch and hear them play as part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations. Many of these members now are professional musicians with established musical careers who had traveled great distances to perform in the concert.

David Kendall lead Tees Valley Alumni on performances composed by Mussorgsky and Wagner.

They were joined on stage by David Kendall who was one of the earliest conductors to lead Tees Valley Youth Orchestra, then known as Cleveland Youth Orchestra, to start with Night on Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky as the first piece of the concert.

As a follow up they played Prelude – ‘Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg’  by Wagner. The atmosphere was electric as the technique and class of the performers was clearly on display.

Susan Robertson, TVMS General Manager, then welcomed Chris Ouvry-Jones to the stage. Like David Kendall, Mr Ouvry-Jones was another former conductor to Tees Valley Youth Orchestra and it was now his turn to conduct the Alumni Orchestra. The pieces he conducted were Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4.

The Alumni Orchestra, as well as their respective conductors, were given ovations by the audience following their performances. Then the concert was temporarily held for a 15 minute interval to give Tees Valley Youth Orchestra, who would be the main focus of the second half, time to set up on stage.

After everyone took their seat the concert resumed as Susan Robertson introduced TVYO and their current conductor, Nicholas Nowicki. TVYO’s major piece, Symphony No. 1 in D major by Mahler, lasted for 45 minutes. Each player displayed precision and dedication which was certainly no small feat. Over 130 members of the orchestra performed at the Sage Gateshead

Encores were given which saw David Kendall and Chris Ouvry-Jonesreturn to the stage and join Nicholas Nowicki to conduct once more. This time they performed Les Toreadors by Bizet, Slavonic Dance No. 8 by Dvorak and The Stars and Stripes Forever by Sousa to finish out the concert.

Tees Valley Youth Orchestra took a bow for their performance as the audience gave them a standing ovation.

The audience reaction was overwhelmingly supportive as one audience member said as they were leaving the concert hall: “That was the best performance TVYO have ever gave and certainly one of the best concerts I’ve been to.”

A parent to one orchestra member had this to say: “The amount of time and commitment that these young people have given to their music is inspirational and I’m proud of what they’ve achieved.”

Now, TVYO look ahead to New York as on Thursday 11th July 2019 (8:30pm local time) the Youth Orchestra will be performing a full-length concert at the world-famous Carnegie Hall. And if this Gala Concert is anything to go by, we are in for something very special indeed.

 

Fundraising Target Reached For New York Tour

With less than 2 months to go until Tees Valley Youth Orchestra depart for America on what will be their biggest tour to date, the fundraising target to ensure the tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience has been reached.

In early 2018, following the confirmation of TVYO’s tour to New York, the Friends of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra (FTVYO) set a goal of raising £30,000 in order to subsidies the total cost for parents and grant every member of the Orchestra with the opportunity to be a part of the 50th Anniversary Concert.

This was an ambitious aim and a benchmark that could have easily been seen as unrealistic to hit. But due to the tremendous support from members, their parents and supporters of the Youth Orchestra, donations quickly started to come through.

Throughout 2018 and right up to May 2019, special fundraising concerts were held, raffles were organised and memorabilia such as celebratory calendars and bespoke event programmes were designed, professionally printed and sold.

TVMS also launched the Sponsor a Seat and Broadway to Broadway campaigns to contribute to the fundraising effort. These campaigns offered individuals and local businesses the chance to become official sponsors of TVYO. As part of their package, sponsors were offered complimentary tickets to all TVYO events in their 50th Anniversary Year, promotion across all of TVMS’ digital channels and a photo opportunity with the complete orchestra.

The fundraising campaigns were very successful and in February 2019 the total amount raised surpassed £25,000!

But despite this momentous achievement there was no attempt to slow the campaigns down as Tees Valley Youth Orchestra were determined to hit their original target so the fundraising continued.

And on the evening of Sunday 6th May at the Sage Gateshead it was announced, in front of an audience of parents, families, sponsors and supporters that £30,000 had been raised for Tees Valley Youth Orchestra’s tour to New York to perform at Carnegie Hall.

TVMS Service Manager Susan Robertson invited Chairman of Friends of TVYO, Mark Douglas and the Treasurer of FTVYO, Ann Savell, on stage to display the cheque.

Mrs Robertson also commended the fundraising efforts and the support from local businesses and individuals who’s involvement was instrumental in securing the funds for the tour to go ahead.

Susan concluded her speech by praising the Youth Orchestra members for their “talent and dedication”. “Thank you to every member of the Orchestra for your commitment. The performance at Carnegie Hall will be truly magnificent and it is great that we have these young ambassadors to our region.”

The cheque was presented to conclude the 50th Anniversary Galla Concert at the Sage Gateshead on Sunday 5th May.

Apply Now To Join TVYO In 2019/2020

The Orchestra 

TVYO is a high standard, thriving full-size youth orchestra which gives several concerts each year in the Teesside area and beyond, including foreign tours. It regularly tackles exciting repertoire, and recent concerts have included critically acclaimed performances of Shostakovich’s Symphonies No. 5, 7 and 10 at Sage Gateshead. The orchestra has been finalists in the National Youth Festival of Music for Youth for the last five years, performing is Symphony Hall, Birmingham. In 2017, they were awarded a National Award. In July 2014 they performed at the Florence International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Italy and toured Hungary in 2016, culminating in a sold-out-concert at the famous Vigado Concert Hall on the banks of the Danube. In 2018, they toured to Granada and Seville. They will also be performing at Carnegie Hall, NYC in July 2019 for their 50th anniversary. 

Auditions

Auditions are quite light hearted and designed to make you feel at ease to play. They are not onerous or scary! The audition lasts approximatley 10 minutes and players will be asked to play a piece of their own choice, to play some scales which will be selected by the panel from the Grade 5 syllabus or the grade currently being worked towards, and to sight-read. Auditions take place on Friday evening.

Minimum requirements

Strings and Percussion players should be Grade 5 or above. Brass and Woodwind players should be Grade 6 or above. These are guidelines only. Players are welcome to apply if their playing shows potential, and their application is supported by a teacher.

Current charges

Currently, for those already registered with TVMS there is no additional charge for membership of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra.

For those not already registered, the ensemble membership charge is £15 per month currently.

Application

If you wish to audition, complete the application form online. Alternatively you can print off a copy and send it to:

TVYO Auditions, Tees Valley Music Service, Frederick Nattrass Centre, Swale Road, Stockton on Tees, TS20 1BY.

We will be in touch with you shortlyt after receiving your application.

How Can Babies And Toddlers Benefit From Music?

Parents want to give their children the best life that they can. There are all sorts of things that you can do to help ensure that your baby thrives. Spending a lot of quality time together can be a big help. Making sure that they eat well goes a long way as well. A lot of parents already know these things. But, what you might not know is that exposing your baby or toddler to music has huge benefits as well.

Boosts literacy and maths skills

Many people are aware that exposure to music is linked to mathematical ability. In fact, this connection has been termed The Mozart Effect. While this connection is named after Mozart, the benefits of music are not restricted to his compositions. Indeed, exposure to all kinds of classical music have been show to boost mathematical ability.

Less well known is the connection between music and literacy. Part of the benefit here is derived from the fact that listening to all sorts of music is likely to boost a young child’s vocabulary. After all, songs include all sorts of different lyrics. What’s more, these lyrics tend to be memorable. Just think about all those times you have had a song stuck in your head. Listening to, and remembering a wide range of words provide a nice vocabulary boost that pays huge dividends even years down the road.

Enhances motor skills

Music can also enhance motor skills in a variety of ways. If your child plays with a toddler piano, xylophone or triangle, they will be working on their fine motor skills as well. While the sounds coming from the instrument might not exactly resemble music, there is a benefit nonetheless. Toddlers can work on their motor skills by dancing along whenever you’re playing something catchy. This can be good exercise and a whole lot of fun!

Mood elevator

Music is a natural mood elevator. Listening to upbeat songs will bring a smile to your little one’s face, just like it does for you. So, whenever your baby or toddler looks a little down or just bored, throw on some tunes. Of course, you aren’t always looking to elevate their mood; sometimes you might prefer to play a soft lullaby to help your little one drift off to sleep.

Making music a part of your life

There are all sorts of different ways to make music a part of your life. You might put on something classical while you’re eating dinner. Or, you might play nursery rhymes when you’re driving with your kids, instead of playing Heart Radio.

Final thoughts

To conclude, there are lots of things that provide benefits. The great thing about music though is that, in addition to providing academic and social benefits, it also happens to be really enjoyable. For that reason, it is highly recommended to make music a part of your child’s life.

Read more from Ryan Howard on his own site here…