Category Archives: Uncategorised

‘Made! Songs of Freedom’: A New Music Project Addressing Issues of Equality Through Music

In the wake of the recent discussions surrounding equality and the Black Lives Matter movement, Musinc have set up a new project: Made! Songs of Freedom.

The initiative is suited towards young people and seeks to address issues of inequality and encourage social change through music making. In these sessions young people will lead the way by looking at issues of racism and racial prejudice through protest songs and song writing, in response to the #BlackLivesMatter campaign.

Taking place on July 21st and 28th and August 4th and 11th, the sessions will be delivered via Zoom at 6pm and will last up to an hour.

All places are FREE and suitable for ages 13-18 years (and up to 25 years for young people with a SEN Support Plan or those who are registered with a disability).

Places are limited so please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to take up this opportunity.

What you need to do: 

  • Make sure you have access to an online Zoom account for the session
  • Return the attached forms (Musinc Participation Checklist and Consent Form) to
  • You will need to login on the day of each session. Login details for the whole project will be sent to you on confirmation of your place on the project.

Download and complete the Application & Consent Form and send to MUSINC

Rock School Training Moved

The CPD session for HUB Partners looking at the new Rockschool Syllabus and App has been moved to Thursday March 8th from 4 – 5 pm at The Acklam Green Centre, Stainsby Road (just off the A19), TS5 4JS.  Applicants have been informed by email but just in case….

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.

Opera North Youth Chorus – Young Musicians WANTED

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

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

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

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

The Levendale Singers

The Levendale Singers were formed in April 1980 at Levendale School on the Levendale Estate, Yarm which is situated just above the River Leven, hence the name ‘The Levendale Singers’. It began under the leadership of a local Bank Manager with twelve members and by January 1996 had a performance of 45. From this time onwards the choir has gone from strength to strength in balance of parts, performance and popularity.

The choir was a member of the National Federation of Music Societies (NFMS) and a registered Charity. The Society was run by a committee consisting of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Conductor and several other members of the choir. The committee, other than the Conductor and NFMS Representative, was elected annually from the body of the choir, all of whom are eligible to stand after having been a member for a minimum of one year.

The choir sang a wide variety of music including songs from musicals, religious pieces, folk songs, classical pieces etc. Concerts included sections from Les Miserables, Disney Films, Phantom of the Opera and settings of well-known religious and secular pieces. They sang an average of 8 concerts a year, including an Annual Fund Raising Concert and an Annual Christmas Concert, in a variety of venues over an area stretching from Teesdale to Ripon. In 1998 the choir was invited to take part in the Tyne Tees Television production ‘With Voices Raised’.

As well as their normal repertoire the choir occasionally sang concert versions of Gilbert and Sullivan and tackled works such as Hayden’s Creation, messiah and Stainer’s Crucifixion and Britten’s Ceremony of Carols. They also included Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast as part of an anniversary concert and on another occasion invited the audience to a night at the proms.

Unfortunately, the latter years have seen choir numbers decrease significantly which eventually led the remaining members to decide to close ‘The Levendale Singers’ ensemble in 2017. As a remarkably kind gesture, the group donated their entire music library to TVMS.


  • 1980 – 1983: Alan Pittfield
  • 1983 – 1993: Heather Rumney
  • 1993 – 1995: Peter Smith
  • 1996 – 2011: Vicki Boolaky
  • 2012 – 2013: Richard McDonald & Karen Kilburn
  • 2013 – 2014: Andrew Young
  • 2014 – 2015: Nick Wills
  • 2015 – 2016: Jane Ford
  • 2016 – 2017: Elizabeth Edwards
The Levendale Singers

                                     1983 – 1992

The Levendale Singers

                            1996 – 2011

The Levendale Singers


The Levendale Singers

                                2015 – 2016

The Levendale Singers

                                    2016 – 2017

Gala Concert DVD Available Now

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!


Acapella Choir Group Seeking More Voices

Acapella Choir based group Northern Spirit Singers are looking for more singers and vocalists to join their association. The group offers a fun and rewarding experience for all who take part.

The all adult choir have been recognised as the best senior choir in the country, winning the national category final in the Royal Festival Hall in October 2014, taking the title “Adult Choir of the Year 2014”.

As well as their regular program of concerts in Durham, the choir have performed as guests of other local groups including Cleveland Philharmonic Choir, Guisborough Choral Society and Durham Community Youth Choir. The choir also enjoys foreign tours each year, most recently visiting Belgium and performing concerts in Brussels, Barcelona and Germany.

In 2015, the choir released their first Digital Album, “Cantus Mundi”, recorded in Durham and featuring a range of sacred and securlar pieces from around the globe.

Northern Spirit Singers rehearse every Thursday during school term time from 7:00 to 9:00pm in Elvet Methodist Church, Durham City. 

If you enjoy:

  • Singing wide variety of choral repertoire, both sacred and secular
  • Performing concerts of a very high standard
  • Making music in a relaxed, friendly and enjoyable manner

Then they would love to meet you!

For more information or if you would like to enquire about joining the acapella group please email

You can also visit their website here.

The Ebor Quartet – Matthew Johnson

“The Ebor Quartet was formed in late October 2014. Since then we had been working on large pieces of music for our finale concert on the 2nd May 2015. We love exploring musical pieces composed by Beethoven and Mozart, playing purely for the love of these amazing works. We meet twice a week and push ourselves to play to the highest achievable level a quartet group can possible reach.

Tees Valley Music Service supported all four of us and gave us a solid music education that has benefited us greatly over the past 5 years and I have no doubt will continue to benefit us in years to come. They do such amazing work with young musicians and continue to support their students, past and present. There are many talented people who have helped me to develop my musical ability over the years but two people, I believe, should be praised  specifically. Penny Ferguson (cello teacher) and Jeff Sawdon (area coordinator when I was there)  are two brilliant examples of the dedication the staff give to the young musicians they teach and support. The commitment and enthusiasm The Ebor Quartet has when together is down to the commitment and enthusiasm TVMS staff show towards each and everyone of their pupils.” – Matthew Johnson

Since this quote was documented, Matthew has gone on to achieve a Degree in Cello playing and is hoping to gain a Master of Arts Degree in Chamber Music while studying at York University later in the year.

String quartet 1


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

Gala Concert – Saturday 16th April

The annual Gala Concert took place on Saturday 16th April at The Stockton Baptist Tabernacle. Those in attendance were treated to an array of instrumental and vocal performances by all TVMS Premier Ensembles. Tees Valley Youth Brass Band, Tees Valley Youth Wind Orchestra, Tees Valley Youth Choir, Tees Valley Youth Chamber Choir, Tees Valley Youth Big Band, Yangchin and Tees Valley Youth Orchestra were all present.

The two hour and 20 minute performance saw a variety of talented and highly skilled students play a range of musical pieces using a vast range of instruments. The Gala Concert has always been relatively well received by audience members but this years event in particular was a huge success as spectators praised the musical ability of the students.

TVMS would like to thank all staff, students and conductors as well as anyone else who took part or was involved in the production. Their combined efforts are the reason the Gala Concert was such a success.

Below are some of the highlights from Saturday’s Gala Concert. As the weeks continue, you can expect more video and photo coverage of the event as and when we get them.

IMG_3031 IMG_3040 IMG_3035 IMG_3044 IMG_3059 IMG_3056 IMG_3066 IMG_3080

IMG_3074 IMG_3084IMG_3086 IMG_3095


The pictures below are of the two soloists:

Wind Orchestra with soloist Aidan Bowler      Brass Band with Soloist Richard Brooks


If you or your child would like more information about joining one of our ensembles with the ambition to play in one of our premier ensembles, please don’t hesitate to contact TVMS on 01642 603600 for more information.