Good news for the future of Southampton Music Hub

In Southampton Music Hub's annual feedback letter this week, Arts Council England (ACE) has identified many key strengths for both Southampton and IOW Music Hubs. Both hub's have been recognised for a diverse music offer, from a strong network of partners, resulting in an inclusive approach to music for children across the region.

In recognition of ACE's confidence in the hubs’ leadership, both hubs have been assigned the lowest risk rating. This is the first time the IOW has achieved this rating since Southampton became accountable for the hub in 2016, and represents an incredible achievement for Kath, Zoe, Nia and the IOW team which they have led.

Based on this annual letter, and the business plans moving forward, Arts Council England will offer the hubs a two year funding agreement, securing the future of Southampton and IOW Music Hubs in to 2020.

Matt Brombley, Interim Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub says:
"As a team, we always knew that building strong partnerships would be key to delivering life-changing music for children across Southampton and the IOW. It’s great to see our approach to partnership work recognised for helping to achieve the high ambitions we have set together. A huge thank you for all that our schools, teachers and partners do in supporting the work of Southampton and IOW Music Hubs — we cannot wait to see what we can achieve over the coming years, working together to delivering life-changing music for every child in our region."

Young musicians, performing with the Chineke! orchestra at Central Hall in November 2017, as part of a partnership project with Turner Sims, Southampton.

Young musicians, performing with the Chineke! orchestra at Central Hall in November 2017, as part of a partnership project with Turner Sims, Southampton.

300 school pupils join the Chineke! Orchestra for the music experience of a lifetime

On Thursday 23 November, 300 young musicians from Bevois Town, Shirley Warren and St Johns Primary schools joined members of the Chineke Orchestra, performing together in an inspiring music workshop and concert.

Chineke! — Europe's first professional majority Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) orchestra, founded by the double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE — worked alongside Southampton Music Hub and Turner Sims to give school pupils in Southampton an extraordinary musical experience which was supported by Orchestras Live and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation

Pupils from Bevois Town and Shirley Warren, most of whom had been learning their instrument for less than ten weeks, learnt a newly newly commissioned arrangement of Symphony No 2, L’Amant Anonyme by Joseph Boulogne (Le Chevalier de Saint Georges) which they performed alongside the Chineke! musicians to an audience of over 100 proud friends and family. Percussion pupils from St Johns Primary school performed a new piece of music they had composed, inspired by the extraordinary life of Joseph Boulogne.

This inspiring day will now be followed by discounted music lessons which will encourage BME pupils to continue learning music, whilst the resources developed for the project, including a video of the Chineke! performers, will be used in schools across the city to inspire a new generation of players with the music of world-class BME musicians and composers.

Pupils taking part on the day said:
"It's epic!"
"Music lightens your heart!"
"It's great because one day we can become experts"


Matt Brombley
Richard Taunton Sixth Form College invite you to join them at their annual Christmas concert
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Richard Taunton Sixth Form College and Community Choir invite you to join them for their annual Christmas concert from  7.30pm on Monday 11 December at Dobson Theatre, King Edward VI School. The concert will include performances of Cantique de Jean Racine, Missa Sancti Nicolai, Ave Maris Stella and Fantasia on Christmas carols. Tickets  cost £12 or £10 for concessions.

Mayflower Theatre looking for new musical commissions to be part of Mayflower 400 commemorations in 2020

As part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations taking place in 2020, Mayflower Theatre is working with University of Winchester, Musical Theatre Network, Mercury Musical Developments, Southampton Music Hub and the theatre's Associate Artists to commissioning new work in response to the Mayflower 400 story. Following workshops with local young people to identify key themes that still resonate 400 years on, Mayflower Theatre will be developing four new, one act, musicals to be performed in August 2020.

Wishing for joy this Christmas with a new, festive song to sing
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This month's new song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank is a special festive edition writen by Jo Downs. With lyrics which play on the idea of a Christmas list jam packed with presents, this song encourages young singers to think about those less fortunate than themselves at a time of year when it can be so easy to only think about their own wishes. There are three fun, optional harmonies to accompany the main tune, with different levels for all abilities.

Southampton Music Hub longlisted in the MEC Music Education Awards 2017

Southampton Music Hub has been longlisted, alongside five other music hubs, for the MEC Music Education Awards 2017, recognising the hub's imaginative, creative, ambitious and inspirational approach to music education. The shortlist will be announced in December, and the final awards will be given in February 2018.

Matt Brombley, Interim Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
"The whole team are delighted to have been longlisted for this award, as recognition of the excellence we achieve together. It is an honour to help lead an incredible partnership of teachers, schools, families and music organisations from across the region, as we work towards our shared purpose of bringing life-changing music to every child in our city."

SYCS to be joined by city singers for a Christmas concert not to be missed
SYCS Christmas 2017 (Flyer_Poster).jpg

On Saturday 9 December 2017, Southampton Youth Concert Sinfonia (SYCS) will be joined by the Splash of Red ladies choir and singers from Southampton Music Service for a Christmas concert not to be missed. 

Anna Robinson, Director of SYCS, says:
"After a hugely successful tour concert with Splash of Red ladies choir, SYCS are delighted to, once again, be joined by the choir on a return visit this Christmas. The concert is going to feature a wide range of festive favourites including an exciting rendition of O come Emmanuel also featuring Southampton Music Service singing students."

SEND Music Advisor to improve access to life-changing music across the city

Southampton Music Hub and Southampton Inclusion Partnership (SIP) are working together to pilot a new SEND Music Advisor role in the city. The role will help improve access to music for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Kelly Jo Peters, who is the music teacher at Great Oaks School, a Specialist Lead Educator in SEND Music for SIP and a national SEND Music consultant, will be taking on the role, supporting the city’s special schools and inclusion units to help every young musician reach their fullest potential, regardless of the challenges they may face.

Matt Brombley, Interim Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub says:
“We’re delighted to work with Southampton Inclusion Partnership and Kelly Jo Peters as part of our ongoing commitment to improve access to music for children with additional needs: recognising the unique challenges they face and valuing the unique contribution they can make. Kelly Jo’s expertise and experience mean she is uniquely placed to help deliver our ambitious plans for 2018–20 and beyond.”

Kelly Jo Peters, SEND Music Advisor for Southampton Music Hub, says:
"Music is my passion and sharing that passion to help others develop their musicality is my lifelong goal. In this new role as SEND Music Advisor, I will help children with additional needs access increasing music learning opportunities and experiences. This role enables me to work with the city's special schools and inclusion units, as well as arts organisations, in order to support the Southampton Music Hub and SIP in delivering a dynamic and engaging music programme for SEND."

Janina Spencer Assistant Head from the Southampton Inclusion Partnership says: 
"Working in partnership with the Southampton Music Hub will further SIP's purpose in developing inclusive opportunities for pupils across Southampton. Kelly Jo (SIP SLE) is extremely experienced in the field of music with SEN and mainstream so her expertise will be invaluable. It will be exciting to watch music develop for all"

Kelly Jo Peters and the Great Oaks iPad band performing at Portsmouth Guildhall

Kelly Jo Peters and the Great Oaks iPad band performing at Portsmouth Guildhall

A brand new medley of nursery rhymes that anyone can sing
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This month's free song from the Everybody Sing Song Bank is a medley of nursery rhymes — perfect for singing with young children in school.

With so many familiar tunes, the song is also an ideal confidence booster for new teachers and music leaders who may be feeling unsure about leading singing activities. Alongside tips on how to sing the song, the podcast episode this week also introduces a brand new warm up and simple, silly starter that can be used in school and at home to build new singing skills.

World leading Cory Band inspire young brass players

On Saturday 4 November 2017, Southampton Youth Brass Band (SYBB) were joined by members of the world leading Cory Band for a day of expert workshops ahead of a joint concert together at Chandlers Ford Methodist Church in the evening. The day included sectional masterclasses, with each group of instruments working with expert players from Cory to develop their parts in the two pieces the bands would perform together in the concert later. The five Cory Band members also performed pieces of music and answered questions from members of SYBB about their incredible experiences touring the world as renowned musicians. The evening concert, attended by over 300 thrilled audience members, gained the attention of the Daily Echo with a glowing review of the evening.

A parent of an SYBB member says:
"My son had a fantastic day and was thoroughly inspired by the workshop and by the live performance, both watching it and participating in it. We were amazed by the standard that Paul attains with the band and the strong relationship he has with its members, parents and the brass community which enable days and evenings like that to be so successful. I don't think we could have fitted many more people into the church. Our son was positively buzzing afterwards and spent most of the afternoon practising which was lovely!”

Paul Hart, Director of SYBB says:
"The chance to play with the number one Brass Band in the world was something that I would never have thought would be possible. But last weekend, that’s exactly what happened. Dreams and life long memories were certainly made on that day, thanks to the amazing Cory Band. It was a chance to learn from some of the best players in the world on their chosen instruments and a day that will, I’m sure, be one they will never forget.”

Over 2,000 pupils take part in an interactive history of pop music

Last term over 2,000 pupils took part in inspiring folk pop music experiences with Lucid, the Isle of Wights's "number one band". With eight performances in schools across the city, Lucid guided pupils through an interactive history of pop music, with performance letting them to see, hear and find out about how popular music has changed over the past 60 years.

Chineke! to celebrate diversity with Southampton’s young musicians
Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the Chineke! Orchestra. Image by Mark Allen

Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the Chineke! Orchestra. Image by Mark Allen

Chineke! — Europe's first professional majority Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) orchestra, founded by the double bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE — is working with Southampton Music Hub and Turner Sims to give school pupils in Southampton an extraordinary musical experience.

Pupils from Southampton schools will participate in a series of workshops in the lead up to Chineke!’s public performance at Turner Sims, on Thursday 23 November 2017.

To coincide with Black History Month in October, pupils from three Southampton schools will learn a newly commissioned arrangement of Symphony No 2, L’Amant Anonyme by Joseph Boulogne (Le Chevalier de Saint Georges), an extraordinary man who was not only an accomplished 18th century black composer and virtuoso violinist but also a celebrated fencer, athlete, soldier and political activist in Paris and across Europe.

This November, members of Chineke! Orchestra will join pupils in their schools and work together to learn the piece by Boulogne, as well as composing a new piece of music inspired by his life. The project culminates in a large-scale performance for schools on Thursday 23 November, with over 150 young musicians playing alongside Chineke! musicians at Central Hall, Southampton. The performance comes ahead of Chineke!’s concert at Turner Sims the same evening.

The scheme aims to give the students inspiration and confidence during their formative years, with the hope of increasing the numbers of black and minority ethnic students studying music in higher education.

Nia Collins, Interim Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub says:
"We’re delighted to give pupils from Southampton the experience of not only listening to, but performing alongside, some of the best BME musicians in the world. Southampton is an incredibly diverse place, and in recognition of the contribution BME musicians make to our city, we are delighted to subsidise music lessons for young BME musicians taking part in the project, to support them as they continue making music. Video from the day will go out to schools, alongside pieces of music, meaning that every child in the city will be able to play along with, and celebrate, the contribution of BME composers and musicians to classical music."

Kevin Appleby, Concert Hall Manager at Turner Sims says:
"I’m thrilled that as part of Chineke!’s first visit to Turner Sims, we can bring some of the orchestra’s highly regarded learning and participation work to Southampton schools, providing children with inspiring encounters with world-class musicians. The project builds on the work we have done over a number of years, together with Southampton Music Hub and the national music charity Orchestras Live, in profiling orchestral music across the city. We’re grateful to Arts Council England for their support of Chineke!’s work which has enabled this innovative project to happen."

Ishani O’Connor, Learning and Participation Manager, Chineke! Foundation says:
"It is wonderful for Chineke! to be involved in such an ambitious collaboration with the Music Hub and Turner Sims, and to reach so many children in Southampton. Chineke! Learning and Participation has been working hard this year to support music education across the UK and to encourage young BME musicians to keep playing and practising their instruments. We want to give BME musicians opportunities to meet and listen to Chineke! classical musicians from backgrounds similar to their own, to show them that with hard work and determination, they too can belong on the best stages in the world. These mentorships directly fulfil Chineke!’s aim to champion change and celebrate diversity in classical music."

To book tickets for Chineke!’s performance at Turner Sims on Thursday 23 November at 8pm call the Turner Sims Box Office on 023 8059 5151 or visit


Find out more about Chineke!:, @Chineke4Change (on Twitter) and /chinekefoundation (on Facebook)

Find out more about Chineke!’s Learning and Participation work:

SYCS to perform at charity concert

On Saturday 11 November, Southampton Youth Concert Sinfonia (SYCS) will be part of a charity concert, performing alongside New Music Makers, a 50 piece choir from Hedge End, to raise funds for Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity.

Anna Robinson, Conductor for SYCS says:
"This is not only going to be a fantastic evening of music making for a great cause but there will also be an art exhibition in the interval presenting the work of local artist Emily Quick."

Matt Brombley, Interim Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub says:
"This concert is a great example of why we invest so much in our ensembles: giving our young people vital opportunities to contribute to, and make a difference in, their communities and our city."

Tickets cost £10 for adults, £8 for concessions and £5 for children and can be reserved at St Paul's Church Office or by emailing

Year six at Shirley Warren debut the city's first iPad Concerto

On Friday 6 October, year six pupils at Shirley Warren Primary School debuted the city's first ever iPad Concerto. Following a workshop in September with Southampton Music Hub, Són Orchestra and Ricky Tart, pupils spent their music lessons creating new musical ideas with iPads, instruments and their voices. In a final workshop ahead of their performance to 120 pupils and teachers at Shirley Warren Learning Campus, pupils worked with professional musicians to arrange their ideas in a final piece of music.

Asked what they thought about the project, year six told us:
"The best thing about taking part was hearing the different types of music, trying new sounds on the iPad and showing what we did to our school"
"It was hard because you could hear other people and they were playing different parts, but we worked as a team and got to hear how good it sounded all together. Playing with other people is much better than playing alone!"

Year six pupils taking part in a workshop ahead of the iPad Concerto debut performance

Year six pupils taking part in a workshop ahead of the iPad Concerto debut performance

Southampton's young brass musicians to learn and perform alongside world-leading Cory Band

This weekend Southampton Youth Brass Band (SYBB) will learn and perform alongside world-leading Cory Band. A workshop on Saturday 4 November 2017 will see members of SYBB joined by members of the Cory Band, to learn from their expertise as National and European brass band champion players. In the evening, a concert at Chandlers Ford Methodist Church will see SYBB  perform alongside the Cory Band.

Paul Hart, Band Leader for Southampton Youth Brass Band says:
"To have the opportunity to work with the best brass band in the world is really incredible — an experience that the players of Southampton Youth Brass Band and myself will never forget!"

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Musical Theatre workshop coming to Regents Park

On Tuesday 7 November 2017 Southampton Music Hub and Stage Lead will host a musical theatre workshop at Regents Park Community College. Taking place from 4.30-6.30pm and costing just £4 per person, the workshop is a great opportunity for young people who love musical theatre and West End shows to build new singing, dancing and acting skills. 

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.