Southampton Youth Strings enjoy a weekend of music and adventures

Southampton Youth Strings recently spent a week-end away at Fairthorne Manor, enjoying a challenging programme of rehearsals, including expert tuition on folk playing designed to develop their musical range, stamina and resilience.

Running alongside the music there was the chance to take part in some of Fairthorne’s adventurous activities, including a Vertical Assault course, Aerial Runway and Archery. The evenings provided lighter entertainment with games and a quiz.

The weekend finished with an informal concert to parents much enjoyed by all.

Families get messy and noisy at paint drumming workshop
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On Saturday 23 February families from across Southampton came together at The Ashby Sure Start Centre to make a whole lot of mess, and a whole lot of noise together at Southampton Music Hub’s free paint drumming workshop. Playing, and splashing, along with songs from The Greatest Showman, Shawn Mendes and more, families turned their hits in to huge pieces of shared art by tapping splashing, smashing and crashing through pools and puddles of paint.

Some of the families taking part said:
”It was really fun — I can’t wait to do it again”
”It was messy and fun — I loved it”
”The paint brings a whole new dimension. It was fun, relaxed, and a great way to spend time together”

Bring the whole family to Messy and Noisy: an exciting new paint drumming experience this half term
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On Saturday 23 February, Southampton Music Hub is bringing an exciting new paint drumming experience to the Ashby Sure Start Centre. Messy + Noisy is a chance for families of all shapes and sizes to come together, to make a whole lot of mess and noise — sorry — music and art.

From the young to the young at heart, the Southampton Music Hub team will help everyone learn new drumming skills — turning hits in to huge pieces of shared art.

All paint and drumming equipment is provided, but participants are asked to wear clothes they’re happy to get (lots) or paint on.

Explore emotions and resilience with two new songs in the Everybody Sing Song Bank

In a bumper edition of the Everybody Sing Song Bank, Southampton Music Hub brings you two new health and well being themed songs this month.

The two songs — ‘Resilience’ and ‘Tell Me What Emotions Are’ — were written by Jo Downs: ‘Resilience’ encourages young singers to keep on trying at whatever they do; and ‘Tell Me What Emotions Are’ helps singers to use their voice in different ways, to express different emotions.

Both songs are accompanied by a short podcast episode for teachers and music leaders: each one including a new vocal warm up (the Warm Up of the Week) and a singing game or round (Simple Silly Starters) alongside hints and tips on how to get the best from each song.

Ukulele is "the best hobby... in my 70 plus years"
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When David Martin joined the Sholing Ukulele group two years ago, he wasn’t expecting to find a hobby that would open up a brand new world of music-making.

The group, run by Louise Owen, is open to Ukulele players of all ages, and abilities, and introduced David to what he describes as “probably the best hobby I’ve ever had in my 70 plus year”.

Since joining the group, David has expanded his musical interest, playing in two other bands, and helping to bring together other community ukulele players.

David says: “From this beginning, my Grandson and his godfather have also been inspired to pick up a ukulele and have both have caught the ukulele bug. We all go off to gigs together. I have counted that I have played at 42 gigs or jams in the last three months — about half were for charitable organisations. One was for Children in Need in which twelve of us from Uke Box Glory (one of the bands I play with) played live on BBC TV.”

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra delight audience of school children with anniversary celebration show
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On Thursday 24 January pulls from across Southampton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight and Hampshire came together at Portsmouth Guildhall for the annual school’s concert from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO).

The audience were entertained by music about celebration: commemorating the recent 125th anniversary for the BSO. The audience then became the performers and joined the BSO to sing the songs ‘Musical Fireworks’, written by James Redwood, and ‘Ode to Joy’, composed by Beethoven.

Kath Page, Manager for Southampton and Isle of Wight Music Hubs, says:
“This afternoon's concert was a wonderful opportunity for children to see and appreciate a full sized symphony orchestra and understand that music comes to life when you see it live. The interactive concert from BSO gave children the opportunity to really use their imagination and see instruments that they had never seen before.”

Helen Mead, Music Teacher at Shirley Warren School, says:
“The concert was a fantastic opportunity for over 60 pupils from our school to experience live orchestral music. They were engaged and excited throughout. The year 3 pupils are walking round school singing the Ode to Joy afterward.”

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The BSO School’s Concert is one of many inspiring and inclusive live music experiences available to Southampton Schools on the Stadium Tour.

Get hands on with the Bassoon as part of the Beyond Ambition programme
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Southampton Music Services, lead partner for Southampton Music Hub, is offering future young musicians the opportunity to get hands on with the Bassoon in a free taster session on Saturday 2 February, from 1.30-3pm, at Woodlands Community College.

The free workshop is part of the Beyond Ambition programme: with workshops and masterclasses designed to get children and young people playing ‘endangered’ instruments.

This hands on Bassoon workshop is ideal for young musicians at the start of their musical journey — those currently learning an instrument with their whole class in First Access projects In2Music or SoundBites — and is also open to any future young musicians who might be interested in getting started on this exciting, and lesser known, member of the woodwind family of instruments. No experience is required.

Also part of the Beyond Ambition programme are two masterclasses for more experienced players:

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College Choir launch Southampton's Mayflower 400 Celebrations
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On Monday 21 January, the Mayflower 400 project was officially launched in Southampton, and as part of the prestigious and very well attended event in Central Library, Richard Taunton Sixth Form College (RTSFC) Choir was invited to perform by Southampton Music Hub. The choir performed two pieces: Blow the Wind Southerly and I am Sailing. 

The Mayflower 400 commemorations seek to unite the Southampton community and surrounding areas, inspire creativity, drive economic growth, enhance the visitor experience and promote understanding and education of this pivotal moment in history. Driving this is the need to engage with young people and help them to understand Southampton’s relationship with the sea. 

Kath Page, Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“The Mayflower project is about a journey and what better start to our present Mayflower journey than to engage with the wider community through listening to young people singing about the sea. The choir performed beautifully and they should be extremely proud.”

Miriam Kenny, Head of Music and choir leader for RTSFC, says:
“We are delighted to have been asked to perform. I asked the pupils to research songs about the sea and these were two of the songs that they found through their research. One of our singers, Rosie Mellett, wrote and taught the arrangement of We Are Sailing. When asked why she had chosen this particular piece, Rosie said she loved the lyrics, and felt it represented how the Mayflower story is ongoing in Southampton and how culture will keep on going. It was fun to teach and everyone helped out.”

From the Youth Music Blog: a Synthesis project update

In a blog post titled “Developing self-efficacy and collaboration in iPad Bands: a reflection on the first twelve weeks of the Synthesis Project“ on the Youth Music Network, Matt Brombley, Synthesis Project Manager, writes:

In September 2018, Southampton and Isle of Wight Music Hubs launched the Synthesis Project: a Youth Music funded project to help young electronic musicians overcome the challenges they face in life by making music together in iPad clubs, bands and orchestras. In the first twelve weeks of the project, 20 participants have taken part in over 50 hours of electronic music-making.

The band sessions have seen a number of emerging themes — many of which have challenged the whole team to reconsider their preconceptions of what a music-making session can be —  but there are two key pairings of musical and personal development which have had a profound effect on both participants, and session leaders:


1. Self-expression and self-efficacy

2. Composition and collaboration


Celebrating successes from 2018; looking forward to 2019
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The start of the new school year in 2018 has seen some incredible musical moments: both in Southampton and in other international music venues. This year, Southampton’s young musicians really have been putting themselves on the map!

Kath Page, Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“As we share some of our highlights from the start of this year, we also look forward to 2019, working with schools, partners and families to bring life-changing music to every child in our city.

Next year, we are delighted to be sharing the music performed by pupils from across the city at the Albert Hall in 2018 with every child in Southampton, leading to our own massed celebrations at Southampton Guildhall in July 2019.

From everyone at Southampton Music Hub we wish you a very Merry Christmas and an exciting music filled 2019!”


Summer 2018 Review:


News highlights of the year:


From 2018, to 2019 and beyond:

The Everybody Sing Song Bank and Podcast went from strength to strength in 2018, and in 2019 it gets even better!

More new songs and podcast episodes are coming, including songs themed around resilience, and wellbeing, so that children, schools and families go beyond simply enjoying the health and wellbeing benefits of singing together; building a shared understanding of how they help each other to be happier and healthier.

The Stadium Tour brings inspiring musical events touring across the city, and in 2018 it was a bigger and better than ever — hundreds of events in schools across the whole city. The plans for 2019 are even bigger, including two huge celebration events at Southampton Guildhall in July 2019. And, beyond that, there are plans for the Stadium tour to join in as the city celebrates Mayflower 400 in 2019 and beyond.

 
 

Launching in 2018, Southampton’s Family Music Programme had some huge achievements in 2018: a huge massed playing event at the Music Fayre, and a huge celebration event at Southampton’s first Family Proms. There are big plans for 2019 in the works — watch this space for more news coming soon!

Matt Brombley
Bitterne Park School bring Festive Feelings to Southampton High Street
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From 5.30–6pm this evening — Wednesday 19 December — singers from Bitterne Park School filled Southampton High Street with the sounds of Christmas music, sharing festive feelings with shoppers and families visiting the city centre in the final week before Christmas.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“Bitterne Park School did themselves proud this evening: sharing their musical talents with the city in a show of festive goodwill. It has been a pleasure to work with Go Southampton and Southampton Music Trust to make this series of performances happen this year — long may the partnership continue!”

Talented Young Musician from Southampton secures place in National Children's Orchestra
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Talented young musician, Lucy Gowans, has been offered a place in the under 13, National Children’s Orchestra for 2019. 

 Lucy plays the bassoon in three Southampton Music Hub ensembles — Southampton Wind Band (SWB), Southampton Youth Concert Sinfonia (SYCS) and Southampton Youth Orchestra (SYO) — as well as the violin in Southampton Youth Strings (SYS).  Lucy is also a music award holder.

Zoe Hunting, Service Manager for Southampton Music Services, says:
“We are always delighted to hear of young musicians from Southampton achieving at a national level. Lucy is a dedicated young musician who gives so generously of her time and talents to Southampton’s ensembles and she is an inspiration to the city’s younger players. We wish her all the very best in this exciting venture.”

New string ensemble to launch in 2019 with FolkActive
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In January 2019, a brand new folk string group launches: the FolkActive Youth Ensemble. The group is for intermediate (grade 3+) violin, viola, cello and double-bass players, and will be led by Chris Nichols of Threepenny Bit.

Music will be leant by ear and then used to explore the wider world of folk music. There will be a book for participants to take home, as well as handouts with extra music covered too.

Sessions will run on once a month, on Sundays, from 10am-1pm, at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College, starting on Sunday 13 January 2019. The cost is just £15 per term.

Festive feelings arrive at Westquay Retail Park thanks to two young buskers
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On Friday 14 December, two young musicians — woodwind players from Southampton Youth Concert Sinfonia (SYCS) — entertained Christmas shoppers and families in the city centre with a busking performance of festive music outside Decathalon in Westquay Retail Park. A key thoroughfare for shoppers traveling between Westquy and Ikea, the two performers delighted gathered onlookers and those passing by.

This performance was part of a series of musical events in Southampton City Centre, organised by Go Southampton and supported by Southampton Music Trust.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“This was a wonderful performance from two very talented young woodwind players, and a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy music at this festive time of year.”

Festive feelings come to Guildhall Square as Sholing Ukuleles rock around the Christmas Tree
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This evening — Wednesday 12 December — Sholing Ukulele Group brought festive feelings to Guildhall Square, rocking around the Christmas Tree with a rousing set of Christmas and festive songs. The performance, from 5.30-6pm, was part of a December music programme organised by Go Southampton, and supported by the hub and Southampton Music Trust.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:

“Even on a cold December evening, the Ukulele group from Sholing brought a warm excitement that entertained onlookers, skateboarders, shoppers and even attracted passers by to join in singing along.”

St Johns School bring festive feelings to Southampton City Centre
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For half an hour this evening — Monday 10 December — St Johns School choir filled Southampton City centre with the beautiful sounds of singing, bringing festive feelings to a busy crowd of parents, shoppers and onlookers. The street concert is the first of five organised in collaboration with Go Southampton and Southampton Music Trust, and will see four city centre spaces play host to music from schools and other young musicians in the lead up to Christmas.

From 5.30-6pm, 30 young singers performed a delightful mix of festive classics, carols and family favourites.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“It is a pleasure to work with Go Southampton on this project. Music is such a magical part of the Christmas season, and this is a great way for young musicians to share their talents with the city.”

Southampton school's take part in Shrek themed musical theatre days with Mayflower Theatre

Thursday 6 December was the first event in the year long collaboration programme between the Mayflower Theatre and Southampton Music Hub. Pupils and teachers from across Southampton took part in music and drama workshops, getting to know the characters and themes of the show before watching the matinee performance.

Kath Page, Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“The musical theatre days are one of the highlights of our hub calendar. Being able to bring children into the theatre to both perform and be performed to is magical and they really feel involved having learnt a song from the show. The Mayflower support in making the theatre accessible to these young people is invaluable.”

Shrek will be at the Mayflower until 8th December.

Southampton's wind and brass bands perform joint concert
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On Saturday 10 November two of the Southampton Music Hub’s flagship ensembles — Southampton Wind Band (SWB) and Southampton Youth Brass Band (SYBB) — presented a joint concert of a wide variety of music from all genres at Chandlers Ford Methodist Church.

Zoe Hunting, Service Manager for Southampton Music Services, say:
“Congratulations to both groups on their stunning performances and a magical evening of music. This was the first of what we hope will be a regular feature in the hubs concert programme of joint performances where students and their parents or carers can appreciate the music making of fellow young musicians from across the hub’s wide variety of orchestras, bands and other music groups.”

Celebrate the upcoming Christmas season with a festive concert for the whole family
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On Saturday 8 December, Southampton Youth Concert Sinfonia (SYCY) present “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”: a festive, family concert at Turner Sims, Southampton. Starting at 7pm, the program features family favourites, including music from “The Grinch”, “The Chronicles of Narnia” and a narrated version of “The Night Before Christmas”.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“As anyone who was lucky enough to catch their performance of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” last year will know, SYCS is a phenomenal group of young musicians, who, under the direction of Anna Robinson and Kevin Withell, have an incredible ability to capture and delight audiences of all ages. For all generations, this will be a spectacular concert that will bring the magic of Christmas alive.”

NST brings David Walliams' Billionaire Boy story to life as a hilarious new, family-friendly musical
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Last night, on Tuesday 201 November, Billionaire Boy — a brand new, hilarious, family-friendly, musical — opened at Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST).

The show, produced by NST in association with Belgrade Theatre Coventry, is based on David Walliams’ best-selling book of the same name, and has been adapted by Jon Brittain, and features music by Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler: the team responsible for huge hits for Girls Aloud, the Sugababes and Kylie.

The busy crowd for opening night included teachers and staff from across Southampton school — giving them a chance to see the show ahead of bringing their pupils to see the show later this term — and members of Southampton Music Hub’s vocal team, who will be working in partnership with NST to teach the schools how to sing one of the new songs from this exciting new musical production.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“NST are continuing to build a phenomenal reputation for developing exciting new theatre programming. They bring incredible expertise to the Southampton Music Hub partnership, along with a strong determination to share their inspiring and engaging theatre experiences with the whole city. It is a pleasure to work with them on bringing the hilarious — and just a little bit naughty — Billionaire Boy story to schools in the city. And, it’s not every day you get to be involved in a project that includes purple bottoms…”

Catch Billionaire Boy at NST City, running until Sunday 6 January.