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Amazing Season Planned for our Young Musicians Programme

Posted on 9 September 2016

We have an amazing season planned for the 250 children and young people in our Young Musicians Programme. It includes workshops with international artists, performances at Sage Gateshead and across the region, and artistic collaborations with national partners and some major emerging artists.

The season opens with a residential for all four of our Youth Ensembles – Folkestra, Jambone, Quay Voices and Young Sinfonia – at Hild and Bede College Durham. The weekend will give the Music Directors (Ian Stephenson, Paul Edis, Matt Beckingham and Justin Doyle) and the ensembles time to get lots of music under their skin. Each ensemble will be working with a PRS Fund Emerging Artist across the season, who will spend time creating something with and for them. We’re delighted to welcome Hannah James, Matt Anderson, Zoe Gilby, Anna Appleby, and Freddy Viner to YMP.

Our weekly activities start in September, with Foundation Strings, Step Up and Non-Auditioned Ensembles on Saturdays, and the Centre for Advanced Training on Sundays, all led by our team of expert tutors and overseen by our Study Leaders – James Birkett (Popular and Contemporary), James Craig (Piano and Strings), Marion Craig (Wind and Brass), Roger Hempsall (Percussion) and Mary Hitch (Voice).

In October, we welcome the Buxtehude Youth Orchestra from Germany to work with our orchestral students and Young Sinfonia, and Royal Northern Sinfonia Principal Guest Conductor Julian Rachlin will work with our Centre for Advanced Training strings students. Students from the CAT will also perform regularly in free concerts on Sundays in term time.

Jambone embark on a mini-tour early December around the North East, and some of our advanced strings will perform in Sage Two with The Lake Poets. On 10/11 December, we have our YMP Winter Festival, with Foundation Strings, Step Up, Ensembles and Centre for Advanced Training performances, and Young Sinfonia performing before Royal Northern Sinfonia in Sage One.

In late January, as part of the New Year New Artists weekend, Centre for Advanced Training students will benefit from workshops with ECHO Rising Stars artists, and we will hold strings and jazz workshops for all our students aged 4-19 years. Quay Voices perform as part of the Durham Youth Choral Festival in Durham Cathedral and take part in a joint project with the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia.

In February half term Young Sinfonia go to York to work on an early music programme with artists and students from University of York, culminating in a performance in the National Centre for Early Music. Jambone and Quay Voices will travel to Whitby and spend some time working together, and Folkestra travel to Rothbury to record tracks as part of our Heritage Lottery Fund Pass It On project. Jambone return to the Great North Big Band Festival in Sunderland and Folkestra perform in the Music for Youth Festival in Sage One and the inaugural St Cuthbert’s Festival in Durham Cathedral.

Lars Vogt, Music Director of Royal Northern Sinfonia and an internationally renowned pianist, will lead piano masterclasses with Centre for Advanced Training *students and then direct a combined *Young Sinfonia and Royal Northern Sinfonia performance of Schubert Unfinished Symphony.

Jambone and Jazz Attack will be performing as part of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival and in May, Folkestra will return to the Hexham Gathering with Folkworks Saturdays. On 10 June, Young Sinfonia will perform as part of Royal Northern Sinfonia’s final concert of the season and in July, Folkestra will tour north east venues with Northlands as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund Pass It On project.

On 15-16 July, we close the year with our Summer YMP Festival. As well as performances from nearly every group, including our Foundation Strings and Step Up Strings programmes, Jambone and Quay Voices perform Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert (with tap dancer!) in Sage One. The weekend culminates with our Celebration Concert, where the students who have progressed the very most perform and we say thank you and good luck to those leaving us.

As ever, keep an eye on everything we’re doing on Twitter, our brand new Facebook page and our website.

And if you think that this all sounds ridiculously exciting and you want to be involved, then recruitment for 2017-18 opens in February 2017!

Ed Milner
Head of Learning

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