Posts in Music in the Community
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


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!”

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'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.

Brass Bands, Billionaire Boys, Flying Santa: the countdown to Christmas in Southampton has begun
Members os Southampton’s Youth Brass Bands performing ahead of the debut flight of Southampton’s Flying Santa

Members os Southampton’s Youth Brass Bands performing ahead of the debut flight of Southampton’s Flying Santa

On Thursday 16 November, across Southampton City Centre, people gathered to start the countdown to Christmas. In an event organised by Go Southampton, the evening’s entertainment included a performance from Southampton Music Hub’s Brass Bands, the debut of a brand new song from Billionaire Boy (a brand new musical coming to Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) next week), the turning on of the Christmas lights, and the debut flight of Southampton’s Flying Santa.

Performance of a new song from the new NST Musical, Billionaire Boy

Performance of a new song from the new NST Musical, Billionaire Boy

Standing Ovation at the Royal Albert Hall when 600 musicians perform at Music for Youth Proms
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At 7.45pm on Monday 5 November 2018, 600 musicians from Southampton, Isle of Wight, Poole and Bournemouth, alongside Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO), made their way on to a darkened Royal Albert Hall stage whilst the Azaad Dhol Group performed. Following an introduction from host Remel London, and a brief introduction from composer James Redwood, at 7.51pm, under direction from conductor Frank Zielhorst, the 600 strong massed ensemble hit their first powerful and purposeful note… followed by two more… followed by a further five. Symphony 125 had officially begun.

When the last note rung out at just past 8pm, the hall rose to their feet in a show of awe and appreciation. The months of hard work had paid off, and these young musicians had hit heights of achievement that left the audience delighted and amazed.

Since September 2018, all involved had been hard at work: young musicians from Southampton Music Hub, Isle of Wight Music Hub and Soundstorm Music Education Agency, coached by their teachers, musical directors and members of the BSO. For all involved, this was the event of a lifetime, and it has only been made possible thanks to a huge community effort: Associated British Ports kindly donated a free rehearsal space; Red Funnel and Solent & Wightline Cruises provided discounted transport; Teachers, musicians, parents and friends all gave countless hours of time and energy to support this momentous event.

Watched by friends, families and local supports, many took to social media to praise their performance:

Dress rehearsal underway for Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall
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After a morning coach journey to London, all 600 performers from Southampton, Isle of Wight, Poole and Bournemouth have arrived at the Royal Albert Hall this afternoon, ready for their momentous performance of Symphony 125 with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Music for Youth Proms this evening.

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For all involved, this is the event of a lifetime, and it has only been made possible thanks to a huge community effort: Associated British Ports have kindly donated a free rehearsal space for all 600 musicians, providing the opportunity to practise together ahead of the big night; Red Funnel and Solent & Wightline Cruises have provided discounted transport, enabling all 200 young musicians (and their friends and family) from the Isle of Wight to make the journey across the Solent; Teachers, musicians, parents and friends have all given countless hours of time and energy to provide rehearsals and lessons ahead of the big night.

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Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton and Isle of Wight Music Hubs, says:
“There is an incredible buzz in the air this afternoon. From the moment we arrived to gasps of amazement on the coaches, through to setting up and rehearsing in our places for this evening: this awe inspiring venue has encouraged each and every young musician to raise the level of their own performance to match their world-class surroundings. We’re so excited to be part of tonight’s stellar lineup, and to share Symphony 125 with the world.”




Six hundred performers take part in an unforgettable rehearsal in preparation for Symphony 125
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Yesterday (Saturday 3 November) 600 performers gathered at Mayflower Cruise Terminal for an unforgettable rehearsal ahead of their momentous massed ensemble performance at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 5 November.

Brought together by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, young musicians from Southampton Music Hub, IOW Music Hub and Soundstorm Music Education Agency rehearsed a brand new piece of music — Symphony 125 — written to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the BSO.

The ensemble represents a huge diversity of sounds: a wide range of instruments — from iPads to violins to trombones and more; a huge range of ages and abilities — from young singers to high-flying young musicians to members of the BSO; and a broad range of backgrounds — players from schools across the region, including those with special educational and physical needs.

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The rehearsal venue for the day — Mayflower Cruise Terminal — has been generously donated by Associated British Ports, enabling all 600 musicians to rehearse together for the day. Red Funnel and Solent & Wightline Cruises have provided discounted transport for the rehearsal and Monday event, enabling all 200 young musicians (and their friends and family) from the Isle of Wight to make the journey across the Solent.

Momentous massed rehearsal gets started at Mayflower Cruise Terminal
Percussionists warming up, ready for rehearsal

Percussionists warming up, ready for rehearsal

At 10am this morning (Saturday 3 November 2018), Mayflower Cruise Terminal plays host to a massive massed rehearsal for 600 musicians from across Southampton, Isle of Wight, Poole and Bournemouth.

Brought together by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, in celebration of their 125th anniversary, they are rehearsing a brand new piece of music — Symphony 125 — which they will perform at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 5th November.

Views over the Solent provide the backdrop to a momentous rehearsal at Mayflower Cruise Terminal.

Views over the Solent provide the backdrop to a momentous rehearsal at Mayflower Cruise Terminal.

ABP Staff have been helping at the rehearsal, generously donating the venue and their time to help 600 musicians rehearse for the performance of a lifetime.

ABP Staff have been helping at the rehearsal, generously donating the venue and their time to help 600 musicians rehearse for the performance of a lifetime.

The Mayflower Cruise Terminal has been kindly donated by Associated British Ports (ABP). On a normal working day, the huge departures lounge would be a gateway to the world for cruise travellers. Today, it is the gateway to a once-in-a-life time performance at a world-renowned venue for the performers from across the region.

Members of the Family Orchestra rehearse their parts ahead of the massed rehearsal.

Members of the Family Orchestra rehearse their parts ahead of the massed rehearsal.

Lottie and Jess, members of the Southampton Family Orchestra, says:
“We’re very excited to be here. It’s so much fun, and we can’t wait for our performance in London. You can really feel the excitement in the room!”

ABP Staff have been helping at the rehearsal, generously donating the venue and their time to help 600 musicians rehearse for the performance of a lifetime.

ABP Staff have been helping at the rehearsal, generously donating the venue and their time to help 600 musicians rehearse for the performance of a lifetime.

Byron, percussionist in Southampton Youth Orchestra, says:
“Thank you so much to ABP for giving us the opportunity to rehearse in such an amazing space — we hope we have entertained the staff who have looked after us so brilliantly today!”

Tuning up take teamwork…

Tuning up take teamwork…

Two guitarists helping get ready to play their part (in tune) ahead of the massed rehearsal

Two guitarists helping get ready to play their part (in tune) ahead of the massed rehearsal

There are all kinds of instruments being played. This is a photo of an eye-gazer musician practicing his part in a massed ensemble of instruments and voices.

There are all kinds of instruments being played. This is a photo of an eye-gazer musician practicing his part in a massed ensemble of instruments and voices.

Photo Gallery: Getting ready for a momentous rehearsal at Mayflower Cruise Terminal

Symphony 125 is a joint project from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Southampton Music Hub, IOW Music Hub, and Soundstorm Music Education Agency.

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Schools and families to complete a 600 strong line-up at the Royal Albert Hall
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School children from across the city, and members of Southampton’s Family Orchestra will complete a diverse and exciting line up of performers when 200 performers from Southampton join a 600 strong Massed Ensemble at the Music For Youth Proms.

Taking place on Monday 5 November at the Royal Albert Hall, this will be the performance of a life time for all involved, including pupils from Upper Shirley High, Shirley Junior, Wordsworth Primary, Hollybrook Junior, Highfield CE Primary, Banister Primary, St Denys Primary, and Shirley Warren Primary Schools.

Since September 2018, all involved have been hard at work — coached by their teachers, musical directors and members of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra — learning the exciting new piece of music which they will all perform together at the Royal Albert Hall. A massed rehearsal on Saturday 3 November will be the first, and only, chance the performers will have to play the piece all together ahead of its high profile public debut.

And whilst the buses will return in the early hours of Tuesday 6 November, the fun is far from over. Inspired by the Royal Albert Hall performance, Southampton Music Hub will share the incredible new music from this magical event with all schools in the city. Workshops, performances and event on The Stadium Tour will allow the teachers, musicians and young musicians to share the music, and their incredible experiences, from the Royal Albert Hall throughout the year, leading to celebration events in July 2019.





Great Oaks iPad orchestra to join diverse Massed Ensemble performance at the Music for Youth Proms
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On Monday 5 November, an iPad Orchestra from Great Oaks (a school for young people with a range of complex learning difficulties) will join 200 young musicians from across the city, and 400 more from across the region, forming one of the most diverse Massed Ensemble groups ever to take to the Royal Albert Hall stage as part of the Music for Youth Proms.

They join a line up which includes some of the city’s most talented young orchestral players, members of Southampton’s Family Orchestra, and singers and musicians from schools across the city. Their performance on Monday night is part of a stellar line up from across the country, as part of the Music for Youth Proms 2018, performing a brand new piece of music by award winning composer James Redwood in celebration of BSO’s 125th anniversary.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“We’re delighted that Great Oaks school are joining us for this momentous performance. Led by Kelly Jo Peters, the hub’s SEND Music Advisor, Great Oaks music department has been pioneering the use of music technology for children with complex learning difficulties. To have them join us on stage at the Royal Albert Hall is a demonstration of the commitment of all involved — from music hubs, to Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, to schools — that there is no limit to what can be achieved by our young musicians, whatever their instrument, whatever their background, and whatever challenges they face in life.”



City’s talented young orchestral musicians join a stellar line up at the Royal Albert Hall

As part of the countdown to Symphony 125 at the Royal Albert Hall next week, Southampton Music Hub is shining a spotlight of some of the young musicians who will be part of the 600 strong massed ensemble that will perform alongside Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at this momentous event.

Today, the spotlight turns to some of the city’s most talented young orchestral musicians: the members of Southampton Youth Orchestra (SYO) and Southampton Youth Concert Sinfonia (SYCS) who will be part of the 200 young musicians coming from across the city.

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

The members of SYO and SYCS represent some of the city’s most talented young orchestral players. Over many years of hard work, determination and effort they have demonstrated the resilience required to become top-tier young musicians. Our hope is that by performing at the Royal Albert Hall — a world-renowned venue — as part of this once-in-a-lifetime event, they will be inspired to believe that there is no limit to where their musical ambitions can take them.”

The countdown to 125 begins...
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Exactly one week today — on Monday 5 November 2018 — 200 young musicians from across Southampton will take part in a momentous performance of Symphony 125 at the Royal Albert Hall. Along with a further 350 young musicians from Isle of Wight, Poole and Bournemouth, the new massed ensemble will be joined by 13 members of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Frank Zielhorst.

This remarkable event is part of Southampton Music Hub’s annual Stadium Tour programme, which brings inspiring and inclusive music experiences touring across the city. In past years, the Stadium Tour has brought world-class musicians in to schools and the community. This is the first time the Stadium Tour has ever taken the young musicians to a world-renowned venue outside the city.

Two new iPad bands kick start Synthesis Project
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September and October saw the launch of two new iPad bands, kick starting the first stage of the Southampton and Isle of Wight Music Hub’s Synthesis Project.

Taking place at Vermont School and Oasis Academy Mayfield, the two new bands are made up of young electronic musicians, invited by their schools to be part of this exciting new opportunity.

The two iPad bands are part of three year project, which has been funded by a £100,000 grant from Youth Music, and match funded with £10,000 from Southampton City Council. Starting in October, new iPad bands will be starting on the Isle of Wight, and, over the next three years, they will be joined by new iPad clubs and orchestras across the region.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton and IOW Music Hubs, says:
”It’s only been a few weeks, but already the Synthesis bands are creating some incredible sounds. Chosen for their interest and passion for electronic music, the young musicians involved are already starting to learn new music-making skills, and pull together in to tight-knit teams. The whole team can’t wait to see, and share, what they create over the coming months.”

Hear a recording of one of the band jam sessions from week three of the project:

Sing a new song together to remember a hundred years since the end of World War One
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Released today, ‘A Hundred Years’ is the latest free song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank: written by Jo Downs to remember a hundred years since the guns fell silent on the world’s first truly global war.

The song is a moving tribute to those who gave their lives in World War One, reflecting on the sacrifices made by those that took part, and the freedoms they won for generations to come.

The song is can be sung by all ages, with simple melodies that can be followed even by very young or inexperienced singers, and harmonies that can be sing by more confident or experienced ones.

Included with the song is a new episode of the Everybody Sing Podcast: helping teachers and music leaders get the most out of the song with warm ups, singing games and helpful tips for learning the song.