A Look Back at Tees Valley Youth Orchestra

Tees Valley Youth Orchestra has now entered its 50th year and is celebrating in style, with a return to Sage Gateshead for a special Anniversary Concert in May and a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York in July.

The history of TVYO

The Orchestra, in its present form, dates back to 1969 when the Teesside Youth Orchestra was formed to bring together the most advanced young players in the area. After local government reorganisation the Orchestra became the Cleveland Youth Orchestra, and achieved their first Outstanding Performance Award in London at the National Festival of Music for Youth.

In the late 80s the Orchestra founder and conductor, Edwin Raymond, retired and was succeeded for over twenty years by David Kendall, Head of the Music Service, during which time the Orchestra became known as Tees Valley Youth Orchestra. On David Kendal’s retirement in 2006 the baton was handed to Chris Johns who left at the end of 2010 to take up an appointment as Director of Music at Leicester Cathedral.

Since 2011 the Orchestra, now known as Tees Valley Youth Orchestra has been conducted by Nicholas Nowicki.

Nick Nowicki conducting TVYO

Nicholas Nowicki at Christmas Gala Concert 2018

There have been numerous highlights during the Orchestra’s history, with tours throughout Europe (and this year to America for the first time), and performances in outstanding venues such as the Vigado in Budapest, the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Florence, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, the Sage Gateshead and the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Many former members have themselves gone on to achieve great things in the music world, and we hope to catch up with as many of them as possible at the Orchestra’s Anniversary Concert at Sage Gateshead in May.

We are extremely proud of the Orchestra’s achievements in the last fifty years, and we look forward to many more successes in the next fifty!