Posts in Ensembles
London Sinfonietta inspire Southampton School Children

London Sinfonietta, in collaboration with Turner Sims and Southampton Music Hub took hundreds of children on a journey into the world of minimalism. An interactive schools concert gave children the opportunity to see music played on toy pianos and microphones. The children composed music for the professional musicians to play and were given insight into the sounds, ideas and concepts that create this iconic style of music.

This was followed by a performance of Terry Rileys 'In C' by members of several Southampton Music Hub ensembles following a series of workshops and rehearsals with London Sinfonietta Musicians.

The day culminated with a community concert that introduced the audience to the world of minimalism

Kevin Appleby, Manager of Turner Sims, says:
"It's always special to see the artists of tomorrow performing on the Turner Sims stage. we have enjoyed a fantastic day of collaboration, inspiration and aspiration - bringing minimalism to life."

A new half term starts with an orchestral adventure for 1,000 younger school children

On Monday 4 November, around 1,000 pupils from across the city of Southampton and the Isle of Wight have enjoyed “An Audience With SYCS”, during two fun filled interactive performances, at Central Hall. 

Pupils from Year R, Year 1 and Year 2 were inspired by the talented young musicians of Southampton Youth Concert Sinfonia (SYCS) who played well-known tunes from films and musicals as well as classical favourites. 

From Tocatta to Toothless the Dragon, pupils learned about different instruments in the orchestra and their families, swing beats, repeating ostinato patterns and other elements of music through interactive musical activities and guided listening.

Kath Page, Manager for Southampton and Isle of Wight Music Hubs, and presenter for the day, said:
“It was wonderful to see the children so enthused and inspired by the music they heard and took part in today and in particular that the music was played so brilliantly by young musicians from our own ensembles. We hope that many of those pupils will eventually be musicians playing with our ensembles in the future”

New family-friendly choir — Soton Voce — launches in Southampton

On Tuesday 24 September Southampton Music Hub launched Soton Voce a new family friendly choir as part of its community offer across the city.

During the first few rehearsals the choir has been delighted to welcome a variety of voices, including their youngest member who, at 6 months old, particularly enjoyed swaying along to African calling song Allunde.

Regardless of age or ability , all are very welcome to attend — parents and caregivers with younger ones are invited to come along and make use of the play area at the back of the church at the same time as participating. The choir is now working towards a performance at Southampton General hospital in December but new members are welcome to join at any time with no pressure to perform.

Nia Collins, Musical Director for Soton Voce, says:
"We have made a great start with the voices that we have so far covering our usual eclectic mix including; Medieval part songs, African folk songs and Pentatonix's acapella arrangement of Fleet Foxes White Winter Hymnal. The joy of being able to take time out during our busy lives to just sing, be mindful and connect with others of all ages was particularly pertinent to me during our rehearsal last week as it was Mental Health awareness week. The choir affords us an opportunity to do just that on a weekly basis and I would love for us to be able to offer that opportunity to as many people in the city that we can"

All the sessions during the Autumn term will be free of charge taster sessions. From January the termly fee will be £30 with a guaranteed 10 rehearsals each term.

Soton Voce Rehearsals
11.30am - 12.30pm
at St Michael the Archangel, Bugle Street

Tickets go on sale for 'Southampton: A Musical Odyssey'

Tickets are now on sale for 'Southampton: A Musical Odyssey' — presented by Southampton Music Hub in partnership with Mayflower Theatre.

On Thursday 5 and Friday 6 March 2020, the whole family can set sail for an epic evening of entertainment as over 600 young musicians from across Southampton commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Ship: a pioneering journey which created connections that changed the world.

Led by Southampton Music Hub, in collaboration with Mayflower Theatre, and hosted by Soweto Kinch, the evening will feature musical performances from bands and orchestras of all different shapes and sizes from across the City of Southampton and celebrate the life-changing power of music, including, the premiers of Mayflower 400 inspired projects Big Sing: The Journey and Symphony 400: The Voyage

Tickets cost just £10 and are available from the Mayflower Theatre Box Office.

Southampton Music Trust’s crowdfunding campaign to give hundreds of Southampton’s young musicians a life-changing experience!

As Southampton commemorates 400 years since the Mayflower’s world-changing journey, Southampton Music Trust will support Southampton Music Hub to take hundreds of children learning a musical instrument for the first time on a life-changing musical journey. 

In July, young musicians from across the city's primary schools will blast onto the Central Hall stage to create brand new music in The Big Mayflower Jam! The Jam will tell the stories of the composers’ own journeys, exploring the ideas of belonging to a community and building a new future together.

This amazing first experience of performing on stage will be made even more special as the young people will be playing alongside professional musicians from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO)! The BSO will lead hundreds of young musicians as they play, listen, improvise, compose, and perform together, inspire each other’s musicianship, and build new connections and friends across the city.

But to give the city’s young people this amazing experience, Southampton Music Trust need your help. They want to make sure we can give life-changing music to children across the city, without it requiring any one person to give a life-changing amount of money. So, in partnership with Arts Council England and Spacehive’s Our Music Crowd project, they have launched a special crowdfunding campaign to harness the power of our community and bring together lots of small gifts to reach our life-changing target. 

The Big Mayflower Jam will give hundreds of young musicians a hugely inspirational musical experience, showcase their music, and demonstrate its importance: both to them as young people and to the city. Group music making is at the core of the project – activity proven to boost social bonding by helping participants identify collective identities and experiences, and as a result feel accepted. The Big Mayflower Jam will affirm the value of young musicians’ creative ambitions, improve their social and emotional stability, and help bring our communities together.

Please help make your community a better place and give our young people this amazing experience by making your donation at Sharing is caring – if you share that you have supported this project on your own social media pages, it can help generate an average of £5 more in donations!

Family friendly community choir looking for singers
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Starting on Tuesday 24 September Southampton Music Hub is delighted to welcome a new family friendly choir into its community offer across the city.

Soton Voce are a welcoming community choir based at St Michael the Archangel Church on Bugle Street in the old part of Southampton City Centre. The church has a small play area for children at the back of the church so if you would like to drop in with little ones in tow you would be more than welcome to.  Open to families of all shapes and sizes; all ages, abilities and voices are welcome, you just need to enjoy singing.

Nia Collins, Soton Voce Musical Director, says:
Soton Voce enjoys covering a very wide range of styles, genres and languages with repertoire ranging from Byrd to the Beatles, West African chants to Welsh folk songs and even toe tapping gospel - always in glorious harmony! We do read from music during rehearsals but if you have limited experience of this do not worry we will guide you or provide the words if you would prefer to learn by ear (which many of us do). I look forward to seeing you there.”

Taster sessions and rehearsals will start on Tuesday 24 September and run from 11.30am – 12.30pm every week during term times.  The choir fees are £30 a term from January with a guaranteed 10 sessions per term.  All the sessions during the Autumn term will be free of charge taster sessions with donations towards the use of the church very welcome.

Southampton Music Hub launches a new year of life-changing music

September marks the start of a new school year, and see’s the launch of another year of life-changing music. In a year which commemorates a huge cultural landmark for the city — 400 years since the sailing of the Mayflower on a world-changing journey — Southampton Music Hub is using the power of music to take the city on a journey which improves the health and wellbeing of children, young people, families and communities.

Coming Up in 2019–20

Symphony 400: The Voyage

Composer James Redwood will work with 120 young musicians in primary schools to create new musical ideas inspired by themes from the Mayflower Journey. This music will then be learnt and performed by young musicians at secondary schools across the city, to be performed at the Mayflower Theatre in March.

Big Sing: The Journey

Mayflower Theatre has commissioned two new musicals that are inspired by the Mayflower 400 story and celebrate the theme of journeys. Southampton Music Hub will take songs from the two musicals in to city schools ahead of two huge performances at Mayflower Theatre in March.

Mayflower Celebration Events

Save the dates in your diary now — Thursday 5 and Friday 6 March 2020 — as Southampton Music Hub shares the stage at the Mayflower Theatre with over 1,200 performers from schools and communities. Over two nights of performance and participation, there will be a celebration of the musical and personal journeys the performers have been on as they share and celebrate the life-changing power of music.

And much more…

The coming year is jam packed with musical adventures. From 1,500 taking their first musical steps in First Access, through music lessons and ensembles that give every child the opportunity progress and perform, the hub supports young musicians at every step of their journey. From the Synthesis project for electronic music, through to family music lessons and workshops, the hub supports music of all types. Working with Southampton Cultural Education Partnership and hub partners, the hub connects schools and cultural organisations in the city.

Celebrating a year of life-changing music for Southampton Music Hub
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On the last day of term, Southampton Music Hub is celebrating the end of an incredible year of life-changing music for the city’s young musicians in 2018-19.

The year was defined by one incredible story: a journey which started with 200+ of the city’s young musicians performing at the Royal Albert Hall in November; which saw that momentous event inspire over 40,000 hours of music-making with over 2,000 young musicians right across the city; and which ended with a huge celebration at Southampton Guildhall, with over 750 young musicians from over 45 schools performing in one day.


Of course, there have been countless other amazing stories this year. Here are a few highlights:

Kath Page, Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“Southampton Music Hub has gone from strength to strength this year, and we have been overwhelmed by the support from schools and partners that make that happen. Together, we continue to combine the exceptional and the everyday: with inspirational events, like the Royal ALbert Hall and Guildhall this year, driving new ambitions; through to delivering the music lessons and regular music groups which help turn new aspirations in to meaningful, life-changing skills and connections.”

iPad group from Kanes Hill School bring the excitement of electronic music to city education conference
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As part of Southampton Music Hub’s Youth Music funded Synthesis Project, a group of 12 young electronic musicians from year six at Kanes Hill school have spent the past ten weeks in an iPad club: working together to create their own, new pieces of music, and developing their team work skills along the way.

On Wednesday 26 June, they shared a debut performance of their exciting and unique musical creation with the education teams at Southampton City Council. Performing at Solent University’s Palmerston Theatre, the group amazed and delighted the audience with their brand new piece of music, all created and performed using iPads.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“The young musicians did an incredible job, showing all the teams at the education conference that music is a powerful tool for helping us overcome the challenges we face in life. At the start their ten weeks together, there was a huge unknown for everyone — participants and music leaders alike — but by working together towards a shared goal, inspired by creating great music, they faced up to many challenges, and in doing so, both created an incredible performance and learnt important life skills for the future.”

Southampton Music Hub celebrates the end of a year of inspirational music for the city

350 Young Musicians Perform Symphony 125 at Southampton Guildhall

On Tuesday 2 July 2019, Southampton Music Hub celebrated a momentous end to an unforgettable year of music for the city with an exciting day of music-making and performances at Southampton’s O2 Guildhall.

Following an unforgettable performance at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2018 — an event which saw over 200 of the city’s young musicians perform alongside members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO)  as part of a 600 strong ensemble at the Music for Youth Proms — Southampton Music Hub have spent the past six months sharing the music and inspirational experiences of this once-in-a-lifetime event with schools and communities across the whole city. 

Young ukulele players taking part in a massed playing event alongside 400 others.

In the afternoon, over 400 young musicians and singers — many of whom had only been learning their instrument of only a year — came together for a massed playing event, performing a special version of ‘Symphony 125’; the piece of music performed at the Royal Albert Hall.

In the evening, over 350 young musicians from across 45 city schools — over two thirds of the city’s schools — and thirteen music hub groups and bands performed an exciting programme of music to a packed out audience, including their own epic arrangement of ‘Symphony 125’, conducted by BSO CEO Dougie Scarfe and led by the song’s composer James Redwood.

Throughout July there will also be over 25 school concerts, involving nearly 1,500 young musicians. In total, over 2,000 young musicians will be involved in celebration events to mark the culmination of over 250 hours of workshops and lessons inspired by the Royal Albert Hall event.

Kath Page, Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“Our celebrations this week have been an incredible way to mark the end of an inspirational year of music for the city. Huge moments like the ones we’ve enjoyed this year — from the Royal Albert Hall to Southampton Guildhall — are a great way to inspire our young musicians with huge new ambitions. And, thanks to the incredible work of our schools, music leaders, instrumental teachers and workshop leaders, Southampton Music hub is helping make those dreams a reality by helping every child in the city make life-changing music every week.”

On Twitter, Councillor Darren Paffey said:
“Such a privilege to be there to hear Southampton’s young musicians perform with such passion, sensitivity and commitment. The Guildhall was absolutely bursting with talent tonight! Well done to everyone involved”

Image Gallery:

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.”

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

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

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.”

Southampton's wind and brass bands perform joint concert

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.”

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

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

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.”