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Young Musicians Programme 2017-18 Season Highlights

Posted on 22 February 2017

Recruitment has opened for the 2017-18 academic year and we have another great season in store.

This current season, our players and groups have had an amazing year of performances and opportunities including masterclasses with international artists including from ECHO Rising Stars and Brundibar Arts Festival, performances with Sunderland band the Lake Poets to a sold out Sage Two and for Gateshead Council at the Baltic.

Our four ensembles are also having a busy year of exciting opportunities. Folkestra have worked with the Demon Barbers and are recording and touring with the band Northlands as part of Sage Gateshead’s Pass It On project. Jambone are performing at the Great North Big Band Festival and the Gateshead International Jazz festival and are joining Folkestra in the Music for Youth Regional Festival in Sage One. Quay Voices are singing in concert with the Chorus of Royal Northern Sinfonia and Young Sinfonia are playing side by side with Royal Northern Sinfonia and their music director Lars Vogt. Young Sinfonia are on an early music residential at the National Centre for Early Music and our ensembles each have a composer working with them through Performing Rights Society Fund Emerging Artists programme.

The year culminates in July with the YMP Summer Festival – a full weekend of performances from all our programmes, including the annual Celebration Concert of our best and brightest Centre of Advanced Training students and performances by Jambone and Quay Voices of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert at Ushaw College and in Sage One.

How to follow a year like that?

In 2017-18, we will continue to give our young participants the very best experiences. Our Study Leaders, Music Directors, tutors and management team all work together to produce the highest quality programmes and opportunities, and we have created another year of activities that will stretch and excite our participants.

Our Foundation Strings and Step Up Strings programme will be enhanced with more provision for young wind and brass players on Saturdays and we are continuing to grow our Folkworks Saturdays and Jazz Attack Training Ensembles. The Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) runs year round, with 80 students studying instrument and voice, small ensemble and music language. Many of our students also take part in our Youth Ensembles. CAT students will have workshops and masterclasses with international artists, including as part of the New Year New Artists Festival, and will perform regularly in Sage Gateshead and other venues in the region, as well as in the Music for Youth Regional Festival.

Our four Youth Ensembles will again kick off the new year with a joint residential in Durham. Under the continued leadership of Ian Stephenson, Folkestra will grow this year in numbers and perform regularly across the region and beyond. They will play at the inaugural Folkworks Festival in 2018 and will work with Jambone, collaborating to perform new music by their Music Directors.

With their Music Director Paul Edis, Jambone will continue to grow and develop with gigs in jazz venues around the region, at the Great North Big Band Festival, Gateshead International Jazz Festival and in the Summertyne Festival.

Quay Voices will work with Matt Beckingham on two major projects with Royal Northern Sinfonia and Chorus (to be announced!) and a collaboration with Young Sinfonia. Young Sinfonia, under the direction of Justin Doyle, will play at Ushaw College as part of Royal Northern Sinfonia’s season there, will take part (with Quay Voices) in the Music for Youth Regional Festival and take part in a contemporary music project with Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Finally, we have secured funding so that each ensemble will have another emerging composer working with them to develop more new music.

With musical excellence at the very forefront of what we do, we want to hear from children and young people excited by music and eager to engage. It’s going to be another amazing year and we would love to have you with us.

Ed Milner
Head of Learning

Please see for application details, or visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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