Summer/Autumn News

It has been an amazing summer for young musicians in Somerset.  Here are some inspirational stories about learning, success and celebration.  Go to the SFS website or provider websites to find out about all the exciting music activities on offer for children and young people in Somerset this term.

South West Music School News

Wow what a week, what a performance!

South West Music School is extremely proud of the 2016 South West Youth Orchestra as their inaugural performance at the brand new Cedars Hall in Wells was a resounding success.
Students past and present from South West Music School, Wells Cathedral School and external applicants were welcomed to the orchestra, with ages ranging from 11-21.

Their guest Conductor – Mark Eager said: “I'm delighted that I was able to conduct the first ever concert in the new Cedars Hall at Wells Cathedral School. South West Youth Orchestra played with musicianship, personality and discipline and I was truly humbled by their immense efforts throughout the week. The team of tutors from WCS were, as ever, amazing and the support staff just perfect. Thanks too to the South West Music School organisers who tirelessly work to bring the joy of music into the lives of so many young people. Yesterday was testament to the fact that hard work brings rewards beyond what one might imagine. Finally, thank you to Mark Stringer et al for pushing the builders to allow us access. A fantastic new concert hall with a super natural acoustic.”
Mark also worked with some of our students on the Podium conducting course, leading to the students trying their hand at conducting South West Youth Orchestra.

Cedars Hall saw an audience at full capacity, with representation from friends and families, the Deputy Mayor of Wells, Councillor John North, teachers and staff from Wells School. They were also joined by the wonderful Friends of Music from Wells. The repertoire covered – Sibelius Finlandia, Dvorak Symphony No 8, Morfydd Owens Threnody for strings and Michael Csanyi – Williams Seagull Nebula. Michael himself joined them for the performance.

SWMS are in the process of loading up the film footage from the concert, this footage will be available on our website as a link.

South West Music School will start the new academic year with a welcome day for new and old students at Wellington Senior School on Sunday 11th September 2016. The students will be working with two members of the award winning Folk band – Faustus.


Somerset Singing Festivals

The week of the 11th July saw four Singing Festivals taking place across the county. Approximately 800 pupils took part in the events held in Williton, Wellington, Frome and Minehead. Each school/group performed their own choice of songs and then all the pupils sang together in massed items, offering the pupils a different singing experience.

Similar events are planned for 2017 and aim to be an annual festival.

To continue the singing within Somerset, the County Youth Choir, County Show Choir and County Junior Choir had their summer course at the start of the school holidays at The Macmillan Theatre in Bridgwater. The weeks workshops culminated in a concert on Saturday 30th July, where all the groups performed at a very high standard. The choirs are open to any pupils within the county and further details can be found at www.somersetmusic.somerset.org.uk  

Singing opportunities and CPD are available to all schools, for further details please contact somersetmusic@somerset.gov.uk


On The Record 6

Over the summer the Actiontrack Recording studio was full of local young musicians creating fresh tracks for the next On The Record album - number 6. This time the participants were tasked to write a song about an important world event that has happened since the 1900's. The topics chosen span this period of history. It is fantastic to hear what historical events this generation's young musicians think is worth singing about! 

There will be an On The Record 7 next term, so be sure to keep an eye on our website and facebook page for details of that and the launch of OTR6!

Alternatively contact action.track@btconnect.com


Young Musicians perform at BBC Ten Pieces Prom

For some people this has been the summer of Pokemon Go, but for two students at Hestercombe Centre for Young Musicians, this has been the summer of the BBC Ten Pieces Proms at the Royal Albert Hall – a fantastic experience, a huge honour and many wonderful memories which will be treasured.

Michael Qureshi and Yasmine Qureshi were performing their own piece “Fluto no uto”, created with fellow HCYM student Evie King at Hestercombe CYM, in collaboration with Actiontrack Performance Co, in a spell-binding and luscious arrangement by Gareth Glynn for the BBC Philharmonic to play with them at the Proms.

You can watch the concert on iPlayer at this link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/…/p042182k/bbc-proms-2016-ten-pieces-ii You can also find it on iPlayer Radio following the live broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Thanks to Guy Levy for the image above.

For further information please contact the Hestercombe CYM office: 01823 410110 or 07754 217993 or hcym@cym.org.uk. 

Opportunities with Jackdaws this term

Singing Skills CPD 5th October, 3:30 -5:30pm at St Benedict’s School, Glastonbury

For all KS1 & KS2 teachers. Work with one of our expert singing leaders Kate Lynch in a session on how to get more out of Sing Up with a festive flavour in the run up to Christmas. There will be another two sessions at different locations, dates TBC. Cost: £10

Jack’s Music Club Fridays during term time, 4:30 – 6pm

Weekly music club where you can take your Bronze Arts Award and meet and make music with fellow musicians. Suitable for 10 – 17 year olds. Cost: £2 per session (additional costs for Arts Award).

More information here.

Somerset County Youth Orchestra tour to Holland 2016

The Somerset county youth orchestra held their summer course from the 16th to the 24th of July starting in Taunton and then travelling to Holland.  The course took place over the weekend of the 16th and 17th of July with a school concert taking place on the 18th of July at the Castle School Taunton. The concert at the castle school was very well received with an audience of 600 students from years 7 through to 9.  For the vast majority of students this was the first time that they had ever heard a full size symphony orchestra live.  The programme included extracts from Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony along with a mix of music from the movies.

After the concert at Castle School the orchestra did the overnight journey to Arnhem in Holland where they stayed at the National Centre for Music, Dance and Drama In Ede.  The orchestra gave 5 concerts whilst in Holland which were all very well attended thanks to a great deal of work by our hosts Annette and Simon DeJung who are ex Somerset Music staff.  The highlight of the tour was the concert that we gave at Arnhem Town hall which is a magnificent building very close to the famous Arnhem Bridge which was made famous during the 2nd world war.  The students were taken to the Airborne Museum Hartenstein where they were given a very informative talk on the history of the area and it’s importance during the war.  

The programme performed at the concerts in Holland featured two members of the orchestra as soloists, Alice Bell played Kol Nidrei by Max Bruch . Here is a link to one of her performances . Mollie Stallard played on the bassoon Weber’s Concert Rondo.' See Mollie's performance here.   The rest of the programme was Tchaikovsky Symphony number 4, Coates Dam Busters March, Wetherell On Screen, Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Dance.

Plans are already underway to return in two years’ time as everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed the experience and benefitted both musically, educationally and socially from the tour.

InspirED Introductory Event

20th Oct - 3-6pm - Brewhouse

By joining InspirED you can access a fantastic range of creative activities and support for your school, including CPD for your staff - all at excellent discounted rates.

School representatives are invited to find out more about what your InspirED subscription includes this year, meet the partners and get priority bookings for your pupils and staff.  A chance to find out more about the InspirED offer, meet the InspirED partners, book activity and gain advice, ideas and resources for Dance, Drama, Art and Design, Craft and Digital Media.  Also find out about Artsmark and financial incentives, using Arts Award for progression and CPD and networking opportunities.

Other news from around the County

Another busy year lies ahead for AllStars Music, Somerset’s inclusive music project, run by Count Me In, which will be expanding and developing in the next year.

Jane Harwood, one of the project facilitators says: ' We feel passionate about offering young people access to live, improvised music. Our integrated sessions bring together people with disabilities and students and professionals who have studied music. We all learn from the experience of playing together. Count Me In have been working with Wells Cathedral School for several years, offering learning placements for students and staff. This partnership is moving to a new level as we prepare to move our activities into the brand new, beautiful Cedars Hall at Wells Cathedral School.  We can’t wait!'

Watch out for news of the free training for professionals, and outreach sessions for local schools and groups that the AllStars team will be offering soon.

Later in the year music leaders Alex Lupo, Russ Stanley and Jane Harwood will be bringing AllStars music to the Jean Rees Centre in Bridgwater, using music to build communication and community within the curriculum.

You can follow the project blog here.

If you would like to refer someone (young person or professional, with or without disabilities) to our sessions, or attend training, please contact us at info@heartbeats.org.uk

AllStars is funded by the National Foundation for Youth Music.