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 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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the videos captured from the event can be viewed below:
(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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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.
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.
The annual Gala Concert, which took place in April, is now available for purchase in DVD form from TVMS.
The DVD includes the full performance and was filmed on multiple cameras at different angles.
The DVD features performances from:
Tees Valley Youth Orchestra
Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra
Tees Valley Youth Brass Band
Tees Valley Youth Big Band
Tees Valley Youth Choir
Tees Valley Youth Chamber Choir
Order forms are available from ensemble leaders and can also be found in the main reception of the TVMS Office. There’s limited availability so order now!