Category Archives: TVMS Concerts

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.

New Year, New Music – Coming Up In 2019

This year is gearing up to be a very special year for Tees Valley Music Service. With more events and activities planned for this year than in previous years, music in Tees Valley has never been more alive and vibrant. Have a read of some of the events, concerts and opportunities we have planned for 2019 below:

Guitar & Brass Taster Session

Have you ever wanted to learn the guitar or the trumpet but were put off by the hefty tuition fees? On Monday 14th January come along to a free guitar and brass taster session at Redcar & Cleveland College. From 4:30pm until 5pm, learn the basics of guitar and brass playing with our experienced and professional teachers. If this session sparks (or reignites) your interest in learning to play guitar or a brass instrument then there will be an opportunity to enroll in weekly lessons commencing the 21st January 2019.

Call TVMS on 01642 603600 to let us that you will be attending and if you require us to provide an instrument.

TVYC Baroque Concert

For the third consecutive year TVYC will join St Peters Choir and Guest Orchestra in a new year Baroque celebration. The programme will feature Handel’s The King Shall Rejoice, and music by Fisch and Zipoli. Tickets are £10, all adults, and are available from TVNLycettfindlay@tvms.org.uk. The concert is at St Peter’s Church in Stockton at 7:30pm.

Orchestral Workshop Day

Have you ever wanted to play in an orchestra? Join current members of Tees Valley Youth Orchestra as we give you a taste of rehearsing and performing in a top youth orchestra. On Saturday 2nd March, 10am – 5pm at Ian Ramsey Academy, you will be coached in instrumental sectionals by our professional tutors as well as play all together under TVYO’s conductor, working on a variety of pieces. You don’t need any previous experience of playing in an orchestra, just enthusiasm!

This opportunity is open to players of any orchestral instrument from Grade 3 upwards to join in this exciting and rare opportunity. Family and friends are invited to come along for a short performance at 4:15pm on the day. For your child to be part of this workshop please complete the form and send it to the TVMS Office.  For more information about the orchestra or enquiries about the day, please contact TVNNowicki@tvms.org.uk.

Snappy Spring, Snappy Opera & Snappy Christmas

Snappy Music is back in full force this year with a trio of Big Sing workshops for primary school children to get involved in. For some children these mass-singing events are one of the first and only opportunities they have to take part in music, certainly at this scale. That is why it is essential that these events continue to get evolve so the benefits of Snappy Music grow and reach even more primary pupils.

Snappy Spring takes place in March with a selection of Snappy Songs for schools and their pupils to learn and perform. In April, Snappy Opera will tackle the difficult but hugely influential genre of opera (following in the footsteps of Snappy Carmen in 2018) where pupils will look at pieces of music not commonly heard. Snappy Christmas will also return this year in November and December for another round of festive fun, certain to include a few seasonal surprises.

Schools who would like to participate in any of these events please contact the TVMS Office on 01642 603600.

 

Great North Jazz Big Band Festival with TVYJC

Premier ensemble Tees Valley Youth Jazz Collective will take part in the Great North Jazz Big Band Festival on Sunday 3rd March between 3pm – 6pm at Park View Academy on Chester le Street in Sunderland. For many members of TVYJC this will be the first major festival they will be a part of as the event will not only allow them to meet like minded peers and make new connections but also play music in a competitive environment.

Tees Valley Youth Jazz Collective formed in 2018 and held their first ever concert as a band at Middlesbrough Town Hall in October where they performed alongside the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

TVYO’s 50th Anniversary Concert

TVYO celebrate 50 years with a special concert at the Sage Gateshead, featuring the current orchestra members. They will also be joined with orchestras featuring many former members. This is a performance not to be missed! The concert will take place on Sunday 5th May.

North East Festival of Youth Choirs

Tees Valley Youth Choir will perform at the annual NEFYC. Taking place at Durham Cathedral this ‘not to be missed’ event will bring choirs from around the country together for a spectacular day of choral music.

TVYO Tour to New York City

It’s the largest and most anticipated event of the year as over 100 members of TVYO travel to New York City for a once-in-a-lifetime performance at the world famous Carnegie Hall.  They will be staying in Times Square, in the heart of Manhattan, so there’ll be lots of opportunities for sight-seeing. The entire tour will span 5 nights with the concert taking place on Thursday 11th July at 8pm. Tickets are not yet available but keep a look out on the Carnegie Hall website for details as to when they will be released to purchase. Also keep up to date with TVMS’ Facebook & Twitter pages for the latest information as soon as it’s released.

TVYWO Shines at Stockton Sparkles

Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra  were invited to the annual event in Stockton Town Centre. Stockton Sparkles is a staple in the Stockton Borough Council event calendar as hundreds of residents converge on the High Street for the Christmas lights switch on. The town centre is bustling with activity on this night as the new and improved High Street is illuminated in Christmas decor. For this reason, this year the event spanned an entire weekend which saw a Christmas market and a range of festive celebrations including TVMS’ TVYWO who performed at the ‘Infinite’ stone in the centre of the High Street.

The concert lasted an hour as the group performed a medley of Christmas carols to the delight of onlookers.

Photos and video of TVYWO below:

Snappy Christmas is Coming

It’s that time of year again…. SNAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!

For five consecutive years the whole-class workshops have conjured some memorable moments for the children who take part. The jubilation and fellowship that’s shared between each and every child during these events is something that can only be captured at Christmas time. And this is partly the reason behind Snappy Christmas’ widespread appeal; the euphoric atmosphere that’s created is breathtaking for the parents who attend.

Snappy Christmas 2017 featured songs from countries around the world.

This year the scope and scale has not been minimised and we’re hoping for our biggest and most successful Snappy Christmas to date. Returning to the event is the Snappy Music band, formed collectively from TVMS staff, who will perform a medley of Christmas classics as well as introducing the pupils to several Snappy Songs; written, performed and arranged by Tees Valley Music Service.

2018’s event will also feature the largest number of schools we’ve ever had. Over 70 schools will take part in Snappy Christmas 2018 which accounts for more than 5000 children overall across all 5 days.

With the first of the five events scheduled for next week venue preparations have already been made, tickets have been purchased and the Snappy Band have had their final rehearsal. For up to date coverage of our Snappy concerts visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

View the official dates and venues below from the posters along with the schools that will be taking part this year…

 


 

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.

 

Snappy Christmas 2017 – Recap

The Snappy Christmas events took place over 5 dates this year and involved 69 schools from Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland. More than 3000 pupils participated in the massed singing concerts where a medley of Christmas songs were performed to hundreds of parents.

This year, the Snappy Christmas concerts incorporated a theme into the festive celebrations. The theme was ‘Christmas across the Globe’ which included music from different countries. In keeping with this theme, pupils performed the first verse of Silent Night in German followed by the chorus and remaining verse in English as a call back to the Christmas Armistice when British and German soldiers played football on the battlefields of World War One.

Another new element added to the events was the involvement of unique instruments from different cultures, many of which are used in TVMS’ Yangchin group. Other highlights from Snappy Christmas 2017 were the Snappy Songs such as Bad Dog and Can you Imagine? These songs have been written, produced and distributed by Tees Valley Music Service with CDs now on sale at the TVMS Office for £5. All profits will go to the TVYO Tour to New York fund.

To end the event, children performed Feliz Navidad, the Spanish translation for Merry Christmas. in addition to singing in Spanish, pupils memorised accompanying choreography. Snappy Christmas is always well-received by parents and teachers alike, along with the pupils who participate in the event but this year garnered particularly high praise. Below are some comments we received on the TVMS Facebook page regarding Snappy Christmas:

  • “Thank you for such a lovely afternoon. I know how much time it takes to put it all together. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed herself.”
  • “It was absolutely amazing!”
  • “What a fantastic event! The children were amazing and so well behaved, a credit to their schools and parents. The staff were fantastic too. Absolute magic!”
  • “I thoroughly enjoyed this performance. Well done to all the children, teachers and TVMS. My daughter enjoyed participating and hopes to do it again next year.”
  • “What a great concert. Possibly the loveliest Christmas event I’ve ever been too.”

Well done to every pupil who participated in Snappy Christmas 2017. A massive thank you to the schools and teachers as well as to the TVMS Staff who, without the support and dedication, Snappy Christmas would not be possible. And last, but by no means least, thank you to the pupils who performed and the audiences who attended the events. Your enthusiasm and support for music opportunities helps to reinforce a need for music activity in the Tees Valley.


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.

Gala Concert 2017 – Recap

The Gala Concert took place at Stockton Baptist Tabernacle on Saturday 6th May. The concert saw all of TVMS’ premier ensembles take part in an awe-inspiring evening of orchestral, jazz and choral music. The event concluded at 9:20pm to a rousing round of applause followed by a standing ovation as the Youth Orchestra performed Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 by Elgar.

The Gala Concert comprised an articulate repertoire, often alternating between popular and well known music to unfamiliar pieces which clearly portrayed the technicality and skill required from all the young musicians.

The photos taken from the event can be viewed here.

Chris Lewis speaking at the Gala Concert.

One of the videos captured from the event can be viewed below:

Gala Concert 2017

(Please note: Stay up to date with TVMS Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages as more video content from the event will be uploaded shortly.)

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Gala Concert 2017 – Rehearsal Schedule

The annual and widely praised Gala Concert is returning in May. Below is the rehearsal schedule for the musicians performing in the event from Tees Valley Youth ‘Premier’ Ensembles: Big Band, Brass Band, Youth Choir, Youth Orchestra. Wind Orchestra and Yangchin.

Rehearsal

Please be ready to rehearse promptly at the following times: 

  • 2:00 – Choir
  • 2:30 – Orchestra
  • 3:00 – Youth Orchestra, Big Band, Brass Band, Choir, Wind Orchestra
  • 3:30 – Big Band
  • 4:00  Wind Orchestra
  • 4:30 – Brass Band

CONCERT BEGINS AT 7PM

Like last year, the Gala Concert will take place at Stockton Baptist Tabernacle on Saturday 6th May 2017. Door open at 6:30 PM.

More information will follow in the coming weeks.

Gala