A start to the year worth celebrating
Photo by the Daily Echo

Photo by the Daily Echo

It's been an incredible start to this year for Southampton Music Hub — with many achievements worth celebrating.

This half term alone:

  • 1,500 new pupils took their first musical steps in First Access
  • 460 young musicians have joined or returned one of our 20 ensembles
  • 15 looked after children are having music therapy
  • 3,400 have taken part in one of our inspiring music experiences with hub partners
  • And over 600 people joined our city ensembles and singers in Guildhall Square to celebrate Southampton’s musical diversity

Matt Brombley, Interim Hub Manager at Southampton Music Hub says:
"We're overwhelmed by what an incredible start to the year we've seen. A huge thank you to everyone who supports the work that we do in schools and the community. This is only possible thanks to the incredible dedication of our teachers, schools, families and partners; all working together to bring life-changing music to every child in Southampton."

Join Supersónic Philharmonic for a day of festive music making
Supersonic Summer School 2017

Supersonic Summer School 2017

On Saturday 16 December, Són Orchestra and Southampton Music Hub will host a day of festive music making at Cantell School. The day is open to young orchestral musicians (grade 2–6 standard) and parents/grandparents who also play an instrument — even if it has been gathering dust for a few years! 

Southampton Operatic Society presents: Cinderella — The Musical

This January Southampton Operatic Society present Cinderella — a musical from the masters of the golden age of musical theatre, Rodgers & Hammerstein.

The company that brought you Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (‘Every bit as authentic as the West End’, Hampshire Chronicle) and Oliver! (A time-honoured success’, Scene One Plus) returns to NST Campus with the musical version of a much-loved tale.

Rodgers & Hammerstein originally wrote Cinderella as a musical for television, with Julie Andrews in the title role. The sumptuous score soon saw the show bursting out of the box, onto the stage and into the hearts of musical theatre fans worldwide.

With stand-out songs including The Prince is Giving a Ball, Cinderella’s In My Own Little Corner, the Fairy Godmother’s Impossible; It’s Possible and the hilarious Stepsisters’ Lament, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is a magical experience for all ages.

Music by Richard Rodgers. Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. An amateur production by arrangement with R&H Theatricals Europe.

Hundreds join together in Guildhall Square to celebrate Southampton's musical diversity
Photo by Daily Echo

Photo by Daily Echo

On Saturday, Southampton Music Hub's Groove Merchant and Ukulele groups were joined by Delicious Sounds Choir, Sing Out Choir, Highfield Singing Club, Soton Voce and hundreds of community singers, musicians and audience members to take part in a celebration of Southampton's musical and cultural diversity. The event, which took part in Guildhall Square as part of the Music in the City Festival, saw hundreds joining in with 'Singing in the City': a specially commissioned song which was performed by youth and community choirs from across the city.

Nia Collins, who led the choirs on the day, says:
"This was an incredible event which brought together musicians, singers and audiences from across Southampton to celebrate the rich musical diversity that makes our city such an incredible place to live in together."

You can view photographs of the event on the Daily Echo website, and a report on Music in the city will be featured on South Today this week.

Looking ahead to Music in the City this weekend

Southampton Music Hub will be hosting music in Guildhall Square this Saturday afternoon as part of the Music in the City festival. Joined by musicians from the community, the programme for the afternoon will be:

  • 1–1.30pm: Ukulele Groups
  • 1.30–2pm: Groove Merchant
  • 2.30–3pm: Singing in the City with Sing Out, Delicious Sounds, Soton Voces and community singers
  • 3–3.30pm: Groove Merchant

Any young singers who took part in workshops for Singing in the City are warmly invited to join the performance at 2.30pm, and should meet in Guildhall square, with a parent or guardian to accompany them, from 2.15pm.

Launch into Space Week with a brand new song to sing

Released today, the next free song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank is the perfect way to launch into Space Week, which starts on Wednesday 4 October 2017. 

As part of Southampton Music Hub's ongoing support for singing in schools, the song is accompanied by a short, but jam packed singing podcast for teachers, with each episode bursting full of great ideas to get the whole school singing together, having fun and feeling happier and healthier through music. There is even a bonus podcast episode this week, with percussion ideas to play along with the song.

New city choir launches at Sholing Technology College
Launch Flyer (1).jpg

This October, Southampton Music Hub launches a brand new city choir, open to year 7+ students from across the city who enjoy singing and want to sing together with others in a wide range of musical styles. With rehearsals starting on Monday 2 October 2017, from 3.15–4.15pm, at Sholing Technology College, students interested in taking part can come along, and have a go — no previous experience is needed.

Hannah Meredith, Choir Leader, says:
"'If you love singing and are looking for a fun, uplifting, joyful group to be part of, you are more than welcome. We'll be getting started at 3.15pm at Sholing Technology College on Monday 2 October, and we can't wait to see you."

Nordoff Robbins shares life-changing music therapy with Southampton’s looked after children

This weeks sees the start of a new initiative providing music therapy for Southampton’s looked after children, delivered by the life-changing music charity Nordoff Robbins The pilot project is the result of a new partnership between Nordoff Robbins, Southampton Music Hub, the Virtual School Network and Sholing Technology College. Music therapist Anna Tyrrell will work with pupils who are, or have been, looked after by Southampton City Council, using music to break down barriers in their lives, and help them to find their voice.

Matt Brombley, Interim Manager at Southampton Music Hub says:
“It’s an incredible privilege to work with Nordoff Robbins to help children and young people in the city use music to help overcome the challenging circumstances they face in their lives. Thanks to the commitment of Ann Dyton at the Virtual School, and the support of Sholing Technology College and their feeder schools, we’re able to share this incredible opportunity with pupils from across the east of the city. With over 3,000 pupils making music with Southampton Music Hub every week, we know the huge difference music can make in the lives of children, young people and their families. For the city’s looked after children, music therapy with Nordoff Robbins will help them to experience the life-changing power of making music too.”

Fraser Simpson who oversees Nordoff Robbins South West services says:
 “The spirit of innovation is at the heart of Nordoff Robbins, and we embrace strong partnerships to help us achieve our mission – bringing the life-changing power music therapy to as many people as possible, including individuals, families and communities, using our renowned approach. We are thrilled to be teaming up with Southampton Music Hub and the Virtual School in an originative and exciting partnership, to enable young people in need of support to engage in the creative power of music-making, inspiring them to innovate and succeed."

New city rock band Groove Foundation opens up auditions

Southampton Music Hub are opening up auditions for a new, foundation level, city rock band. Groove Foundation will be Southampton's 19th youth ensemble, joining Groove Merchant as part of a growing network of support for the city's young rock and pop musicians. 

Auditions take place at Cantell School on Wednesday 18 October 2017, from 4.30–6pm. The band need three singers, two guitarists, a bass guitarist, a keyboard player and a drummer. Potential members need to be in school year seven and above, and whilst no previous band experience is needed, music reading is required.

Zoe Hunting, Ensemble Manager for Southampton Music Hub says:
"We're delighted to see the music hub's support for talented, young, rock and pop musicians now include a foundation rock band. By offering new and developing players the opportunity to practice and perform together, we hope to see the quality and standing of rock music grow in the city."

Getting ready for an inspiring Solent Cultural Conference 2017
Solent music leaders enjoying a percussion session at a previous Solent Cultural Conference 

Solent music leaders enjoying a percussion session at a previous Solent Cultural Conference 

Invitations went out this week for the annual Solent Cultural Conference — a central part of Southampton Music Hub's ongoing support for teachers and music leaders, as they work together with the music hub to bring life-changing music to every child in schools and across the city. This year’s conference will see an inspiring range of sessions — from hands on music making workshops through to creative and practical classroom ideas — all delivered by highly esteemed local and national music leaders.

Hosted by Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight Music Hubs, the conference will take place on Thursday 2 November 2017 at Portsmouth Guildhall

Matt Brombley, Interim Manager at Southampton Music Hub says:
"We recognise and value the incredible work that music teachers do in our schools and communities every day. Each year the Solent Cultural Conference challenges us to try new ideas, find new ways of working, and be inspired by incredible music leaders from across the world. Investing in music staff — seeing them develop as musicians, teachers and leaders — is an essential part of bringing life-changing music to every child in our city. It is our hope that, once again, this year we will inspire and equip our music leaders with new ideas and skills that they will go back and share, to enhance music making for the city's children and young people."

Get hands on with percussion at a free 'have-a-go' workshop

On Saturday 20 September 2017, from 2–4pm, Southampton Music Hub will host a percussion 'have-a-go' workshop at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College, giving current young percussion players, and those interested in percussion, a chance to get hands-on with a wide range of percussion instruments and styles. The afternoon workshop will explore the world of rhythm and percussion through orchestral instruments and body percussion, as well creating and making music together. Families are warmly invited to join the group at 3.45pm to hear a short performance of the afternoon's work. 

Kevin Withell, Director of Southampton Youth Percussion says:
"As leader of Southampton Music Hub's percussion ensembles, I'm delighted to offer this hands-on workshop free to children in the city interested in percussion. The world of percussion is huge and exciting, with so many opportunities to make music with others. Places are limited, but young musicians interested in taking part can get in touch with the music hub office to book a place today."

First Access brings an inspiring start to 1,500 pupils this year
First Access musician performing at Sounds from the Stadium in 2016

First Access musician performing at Sounds from the Stadium in 2016

This week sees the start of First Access projects all across the city. Delivered through three exciting class-based programmes — Prepare2Play, In2Music and SoundBites — Southampton Music Hub's First Access projects are giving the city's children an inspiring start to a lifelong journey with music. This year alone, nearly 1,500 pupils, in 50 classes across more than 20 schools throughout the city, will take part in whole class music lessons on a wide range of instruments.

Matt Brombley, Interim Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub says:
"First Access is an amazing opportunity for children in Southampton to get their hands on a real musical instrument, and be inspired to start their own lifelong journey with music. Southampton Music Hub has a brilliant team of teachers who deliver exciting and inspiring lessons each week, leading to our First Access programmes being nationally recognised for their excellence. We all love music. But we also know the huge difference that learning music can make in the lives of our children: helping to develop intelligence, emotional literacy and social skills. For the 1,500 children starting their musical journey this year, we wish them every success for the incredible adventure that lays ahead of them."

Singing in the City for Music in the City
Brassroots performing at Music in the City 2016

Brassroots performing at Music in the City 2016

On Saturday 7 October 2017, Southampton Music Hub will host an afternoon of music in Guildhall Square as part of this year's Music in the City festival. Performances from Southampton Music Hub ensembles and friends will be accompanied by a performance of 'Singing in the City' from the We're All Here From Around The World song book: a celebration of southampton's diverse musical cultures.

Matt Brombley, Interim Manager for Southampton Music Hub says:
"Music in the City is an incredible annual event which celebrates the contribution people of all ages and backgrounds make to the musical life of our city. It's great that Southampton Music Hub and friends can be part of the festival again this year, with our children and young people getting the chance to give back to the their community through music."


Celebrate Roald Dahl Day with the first song and podcast from the Everybody Sing Song Bank

In celebration of Roald Dahl Day, Southampton Music Hub has released the first song from the Everybody Sing Song Bank: ‘Roald Dahl Day Song’.

As one of the new free song added to the Everybody Sing Song Bank each month, ‘Roald Dahl Day Song’ is accompanied by a short, but jam packed packed singing podcast for teachers, with each episode bursting full of great ideas to get the whole school singing together, having fun and feeling happier and healthier through music. 

City Ensembles start rehearsals for a busy year ahead

Southampton Music Hub's city youth ensembles start rehearsals again this week, in preparation for an exciting year ahead. With over 400 returning members joined by more than 60 new members this year, the programme of rehearsals and concerts in the community will inspire Southampton's talented young musicians to work together, performing a challenging musical programme for their city.

Zoe Hunting, Ensembles Manager for Southampton Music Hub says:
"We're delighted to welcome new and returning members to our 20 city ensembles. Performing music together helps our children and young people to develop essential musical skills, build long lasting friendships, and give back to their community. We're particularly excited that this year that we have three new ensembles starting, giving young musicians new ways to find a way into performing music with others."

iPad Concerto project off to an exciting start at Shirley Warren Primary School

On Friday 8 September, year 6 pupils at Shirley Warren took part in their first iPad concerto workshop, where they were joined by members of the Són orchestra, spoken word artist and musician Ricky Tart, and Southampton Music Hub's Music Technology Leader, Matt Brombley. The afternoon started with all sixty pupils making music together, creating music with their instruments and voices. Then in group workshops, pupils made new musical ideas using their voices, iPads, and instruments. Over the next three weeks, Shirley Warren's Head of Music, Helen Mead, will help pupils develop and refine their ideas, which have been inspired by their class topic of World War Two, ready to bring everything together into a brand new piece of music in October. 

Matt Brombley, Music Technology Leader for Southampton Music Hub says:
"This is an exciting and ambitious new project, which is giving Shirley Warren pupils the chance to create music alongside incredible musicians, including Robin Browning, musical director of Són, and Ricky Tart. Thanks to the expertise of Helen Mead, we're able to pair inspirational workshops with work in the classroom, which we hope will boost pupils' ambitions and support deeper learning."

Inspiring music assemblies to start the new year at Cantell School

Teachers and musicians from Southampton Music Hub led music assemblies at Cantell School this week, starting the new term with inspiring music performances that encouraged pupils to take up learning an instrument. Alongside performances for over 300 pupils in year 7 and 8, pupils are also being offered taster sessions to get hands-on, and give playing a new instrument a try.

New year starts with inspiring training for Southampton Music Hub Staff

The autumn term, and the new school year, are off to an inspiring start for staff at Southampton Music Hub. With two days of training, the first was dedicated to looking at the year ahead, and a second was dedicated to different approaches to creating music, where staff were also joined by music teachers from Portsmouth Music Hub. The morning session was expertly led by Neil Valentine, a nationally recognised music leader, former Southampton Youth Orchestra member and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra member. During the afternoon, Matt Brombley from Southampton and Isle of Wight Music Hubs shared approaches to composing music with technology based on the past year of the Music Tech project.

Nia Collins, Interim Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub says:

"We have incredible team of staff who are both outstanding musicians and educators, and it's been a delight to spend the past two days with them, working alongside nationally recognised music leaders, to inspire our staff with new music experiences that they can now share with the children and young people in Southampton."

A new school year means an exciting year of life-changing music

As the new school year starts, Southampton Music Hub is working in schools and across the community to deliver its ambitious programme of life-changing music for the year ahead. Through first access, instrumental and vocal tuition and city ensembles, every child has the opportunity to perform and progress. Through the Stadium Tour, every child will have access to inspiring and inclusive music experiences, with world class musicians touring around the city's schools. Everybody Sing will help everyone to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of singing . The Family Music Programme — including Family Singing and a new Family Rock Jam, along with the return of the Family Orchestra — will help all families share the life-changing power of making music together.