Category Archives: TVMS/School Partnership Events

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 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

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.

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!

Snappy Spring 2018 – Recap

A new mass-singing event took place in March, resembling the large scale Snappy Christmas workshops that took place last year. With the success of the December events, TVMS wanted to extend the Snappy Music brand even further by offering a fresh and exciting workshop and concert to schools and pupils during the Spring term. This took the form of Snappy Spring, a unique, engaging and memorable experience for primary school children. But unlike Snappy Christmas, these series of workshops were targeted solely towards KS1 children.

Group of children performing the actions to Spring Chicken

The response to the event was monumental as over 50 schools and more than 2000 Key Stage 1 pupils enrolled in Snappy Spring! The event spanned 3 dates, was hosted in 3 venues and each featured a show-stopping concert at the end of each session. With assistance from TVMS Staff and with the return of the Snappy Band, the pupils expertly performed to parents and relatives after an initial rehearsal.

The songs were majorly TVMS’ own works with standouts such as Spring Chicken and Stanley and Cedric however 2 schools performed solos. To accompany the singing, the children also learnt actions to the songs so there was a lot to memorise which was no small feat but the pupils rose to the challenge and performed with confidence. The 30 minute showcase ended in an ovation from the audience. Susan Robertson, TVMS Manager, then thanked the pupils and teachers for taking part. She commented particularly that it was “lovely that schools saw the value in music and the positive impact events like Snappy Spring can have on young children”. Mrs Robertson than showed appreciation to the TVMS band, the staff at the venue and to the parents who not only supported their children by attending the performance but also supported TVMS itself.        
Susan led the events

A £1 entry fee was asked and gratefully received from each attendee which will go towards providing more musical opportunities for children living in Teesside.



To summarise, the Snappy Spring events were a tremendous success and affirm our belief that music can enrich children’s lives both socially and academically. Look out for more Snappy Music events coming up later this year including Snappy Carmen, launching this June.Children performing actions to One Voice

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

Volunteers Wanted At Music Festival

The festival is running across five days in three venues in the Tees Valley. It consists of performances from solo musicians, duos, ensembles, school music groups, community music groups, bands and choirs.

The dates of the festival are:

Saturday 18th March                                                                                                                                     Sunday 19th March                                                                                                                                         Friday 24th March                                                                                                                                           Saturday 25th March                                                                                                                                     Sunday 26th March

This is an opportunity to gain experience in event management and help to support this new project in the local area. You are welcome to help in as much capacity as you would like as you don’t have to commit to all five days! We’re in the process of recruiting as many people as possible to ensure the event runs smoothly so any assistance on the day would be much appreciated, especially from those who have had experience in previous festivals.

If you’re interested in helping at the festival please could you complete the form which can be found on ‘‘. This will outline your availability for the festival period and also the kind of jobs you are willing/able to do. Please could you return the form to Mrs Rebecca Johnson, 24 Melrose Drive, Stockton on Tees, TS18 3LE or send it via email to by Friday 17th February.


Shine! Website Now Live

The official website for Shine! Festival is now live. The festival aims to be a modern version of the traditional competitive music festival.

The festival:

  • Aims to be more inclusive by providing non-competitive masterclasses, specifically designed classes for school and community music groups.
  • Has no age barriers
  • Has 2 Prize-giving Concerts including cash prizes for selected categories.
  • Provides a friendly platform for performance practise with positive and encouraging feedback.

The Tees Valley has seen a strong tradition of competitive music festivals over the past 60 years, notably Stockton Music and Drama Festival and Middlesbrough Music Festival. Both of which have been disbanded in the past 5 years. With financial support from a variety of individuals and organisations it has now been possible to re-invent this new festival which will serve musicians across the whole Tees Valley.

Funded by Arts Council England and in Partnership with Tees Valley Music Service, Shine! Festival is an exciting and new opportunity for musicians of any age and ability as well as providing Tees Valley with another exclusive festival!

For more information please go to Shine! Festival Now!


Cleveland Concert Band

Cleveland Concert Band was formed in January 2007 by a very small group of dedicated musicians who came from Middlesbrough, Eston, Northallerton, Guisborough, New Marske, Redcar and other places within Cleveland and the North East of England. They have grown steadily in numbers since their first rehearsal of only ten players. They are a very happy and content team of part-time musicians who enjoy the great company of like-minded people of all age groups and abilities.

Many of the playing members bring with them vasts amounts of experiences from playing with other bands or orchestras and even have ex-military musicians within the group. This Windband is made up of a diverse range of people and age groups. The youngest player was just 9 years old when they started and their eldest is over 80. Every member of the band is willing to help others to improve in their ability to play good entertaining music. The Cleveland Concert Band are a happy collection of friendly musicians to be associated with and enjoy what they do.

They practice every Thursday night from 7:30 pm until 9:15 pm at St Alphonsus Church Hall, Westbourne Grove, North Ormesby, Middlesbrough TS3 6EW.

If you have your own wind instrument (Brass or Woodwind) and can read music to a moderate standard then we would like to hear from you.

For more information please visit the Cleveland Concert Band’s Website. You can also email  or ring 07861 503757 if you would like to enquire further.

Musinc – The Ignition Fund

Teesside music organisation Musinc is once again offering grants to help young people get involved in music.

The Ignition Fund is open to groups and schools in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland, offering grants of up to £750 for projects that involve young people getting involved in music making activities. Musinc works with musicians, arts groups and organisations that support young people a musically inclusive Teesside, one where all young people, irrespective of background or personal circumstances, can take part in life changing music making.

Gwyneth Lamb, Development Officer at Musinc, had this to say about the importance of the Ignition Fund: “We that young people can bring about positive change in their lives by getting involved in music. We want to reach those young people most in need, who might be facing challenges in their lives.”

Music has long been known to alleviate depression and reduce chronic pain considerably. It can also serve as a positive distraction for many young people who are leading very tough lives.

The Ignition Fund supports activity for young people age 10+ who are living in the Teesside area.

For more information about the fund please go to or contact

pn44XX Ignition fund Pic 2  pn44XX Ignition fund Pic 1