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Teaching Materials 2015

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Latest News

Young musicians…get your music heard 

4 December 2014

Time is running out for young musicians wanting to perform at the world’s largest youth music festival – entries must be in by 8 December. The Regional Festival Series, sponsored by ABRSM, the exam board of the Royal Schools of Music, runs between February and March in 50 venues across the UK.  National youth music organisation Music for Youth delivers a season of events which young people, and their music teachers and leaders can get involved, including the 5-day MFY National Festival in Birmingham (7-11 July) and the spectacular Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall in November. The Regional Festival Series features 40,000 young participants performing all over the country, providing a unique opportunity for around 1,500 groups to perform to new audiences, listen to other groups from their area and get valuable feedback from the team of professional musicians who will help them to progress their musical talents.

This free event is open to groups of two or more who are 21 and under, playing (or singing) any genre of music to any standard.

To join over 40,000 young musicians in the world’s largest youth music festival, enter your group for free at It takes just 10 minutes to sign up your group to a festival performance in February or March, or you can submit a recorded entry by Wednesday 4 March 2015."

Programme announced: Dartington International Summer School, August 2015

3 December 2014

Dartington has released details of Joanna MacGregor’s first programme as Artistic Director for Dartington International Summer School. Joanna has put together a programme of courses and concerts open for everyone; professional musicians and students of all ages, plus people who love to play and listen. World-class musicians and singers across classical, folk, jazz, world music and electronica come together with conductors, directors, writers, poets, actors and visual artists in a packed and holistic programme.  There are opportunities to perform, improvise, write, dance, listen, share and watch across four weeks, with bursaries also available to attend this centre for excellence and creativity. 

  ‘Dartington is a place of extraordinary beauty, and the Summer School has inspired musicians and artists of all backgrounds for more than sixty years. The 2015 programme remains true to the tradition of welcoming everyone; by day, every corner of the estate hums with activity and learning, and by night the medieval Great Hall hosts a packed series of concerts, from Gabrieli and music of the Baroque to 19th century opera, cutting-edge jazz, contemporary and chamber music.’ Joanna MacGregor, Artistic Director 

Cross-collaboration is at the heart of this year’s programme; encouraging people of all abilities and interests to step outside of the familiar and try something new. Week 1 sees Medieval and Renaissance music courses combine with improvisation, jigs, poetry and ecology. Leading poet Alice Oswald explores the nature poetry of Chaucer and collaborates with world-class Dutch jazz trumpeter Eric Vloeimans. Eric also joins Joanna MacGregor for an improvisation course built around the bluesy works of John Dowland.  Plus there’s the chance to enact the stage jigs of 16th century theatre with Lucie Skeaping and discover fairy tales and medieval miracles with writer and cultural historian Marina Warner

For full details of the course and concert programme, plus pricing options please visit:

A Golden Hello from the British Army’s Corps of Army Music

2 December 2014

Aspiring musicians are being offered golden hello payments worth up to £3,500 when they sign up to serve with the British Army’s Corps of Army Music (CAMUS).  CAMUS is made up of 22 bands from the Regular Army and 19 bands from the Army Reserve. It provides a broad range of musical genres, from wind bands, marching bands and a string orchestra, to more modern music such as rock and pop bands. In addition, musicians who work in a full-time civilian job can also take part outside their normal working hours by being a part of a Reserve band.

    To qualify for the elementary level payment, worth £1,250, applicants must hold either a grade A to C in GCSE music, or a grade six to eight instrumental or vocal qualification from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Drama, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the London College of Music or the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music. 
    Supplementary level golden hellos, worth £2,500, are on offer to those with an associate diploma from those institutions, a BTEC, or an AS or A Level in music. 
    To qualify for advanced payments, worth £3,500, applicants must have a graduate qualification from Royal College of Music, the London College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Drama, Guildhall School of Music and Drama or Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. 
Anyone interested in a job with CAMUS or in finding out more about the golden hello payments can visit, call 0207 8744 8608, or email

A brand new young mixed-ability orchestra

1 December 2014

As part of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s The London Residency 2015, Southbank Centre and Barbican Guildhall in collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra will join forces for an education project that brings together a brand new young mixed-ability (Grade 3 and above) orchestra, the Young Orchestra for London. The project culminates in two landmark performances by the Young Orchestra for London – one on the Barbican Concert Hall Stage (12 Feb) and one on Southbank Centre's Clore Ballroom (15 Feb), both led by Sir Simon Rattle.
Following an open recruitment day at Southbank Centre, online application to the orchestra is now open and will close at noon on Friday 5 December. All applicants will be required to attend a selection workshop in December and by the end of the year 100 young people aged 11 – 21 from across the 33 boroughs in London will have been selected to take part.
From 11 January 2015 the Young Orchestra for London gets together for a series of repertoire rehearsals and workshops, where the young players can learn about general musicianship skills and the repertoire that is being performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker during the residency. Sessions are creatively overseen by Rachel Leach and full orchestral rehearsals will be led by conductors Ben Gernon and Duncan Ward with musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra supporting some of the sessions. Sectionals will take place with the support from members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, who will also be available for online Q&A sessions with the young musicians. 
In February 2015 the project culminates in two performances at the Barbican and Southbank Centre which will see the Young Orchestra for London conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. The programmes include Sibelius Finlandia and a movement from Malcolm Arnold's Little Suite No.2, plus a newly commissioned piece entitled Zero at the Bone for a ‘Giant Orchestra’ by composer Stephen Montague which is specifically designed for Southbank Centre’s annual Imagine Children's Festival. This piece will involve youngsters outside the Young Orchestra for London joining in, too, and will also feature parts for non-instrumental players.   
Further information on how to apply for the Young Orchestra for London as well as an online application form can be found on both the Barbican’s and Southbank Centre’s websites:

NYOW players in concert with  professionals

28 November 2014

Members of BBC National Orchestra of Wales and National Youth Orchestra of Wales performed side-by-side in Cardiff this October, in a Halloween Spooktacular, a family concert which was part of the two orchestras’ continuing relationship.  

The concert took place at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, and highlights were broadcast on BBC Radio Wales. In addition to the festivities on stage there were opportunities for children to try a musical instrument, with demonstrations given by students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.  

The relationship between the two orchestras is just one component of the extensive Partnerships and Learning programme produced by BBC NOW, whose musicians were recently seen on cinema screens across the UK by more than 100,000 primary school children, in BBC Music’s Ten Pieces film.  The concert formed the climax to an intensive three-day project in which the young players of NYOW sat alongside professional musicians from BBC NOW, with musicians mentoring the students and offering advice. 

The concert programme was designed not only to appeal to a family audience, but also to stretch the young NYOW players, who only had two full days of rehearsals before the concerts. 

National Youth Orchestra of Wales, the world’s first national youth orchestra, has produced many talented players during its 65-year history. Many members of BBC NOW are alumni of NYOW, and the project’s conductor, Grant Llewellyn, played cello in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales before turning to conducting.  

Matthew Jones, the manager of National Youth Orchestra of Wales, explained what the collaboration meant to the students: ‘These 'Side-by-Side' collaborations are always a fantastic opportunity for senior members of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales to sit beside and learn from their professional counterparts at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales’. 

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