Our New Offering



23rd July 2015. A New Academic Year, a New Offering!

Dear BMT Supporter

We would like to thank you for all your support for our music courses over the past twelve months.

We are contacting you to share the musical opportunities that we are offering in the coming academic year.

Many thanks to all who responded to our survey, and also to the students’ committee and the music hubs, for sharing thoughts and ideas.

The results have helped shape the offer we are now making, which we hope better fits the profile of students wishing to participate in our musical activities, and also provides new opportunities for all.

We hope also, that by letting you know as early as possible, you will be able to plan ahead and commit to attend your chosen group.

From October 2015, the current orchestras and bands will be replaced by the following:

Bedfordshire Youth Symphony Orchestra (Grade 6 standard and above)
The orchestra will meet twice a year, at Christmas and at the start of the summer holidays.

It will be open to all orchestral instrumentalists by audition, and will be conducted by Mr Michael Rose. The orchestra will study the larger symphonic repertoire.

Those students who have applied to play in the current Youth Orchestra, Second Orchestra or Joint Orchestra during the last academic year will be invited to join.

Bedfordshire Youth Concert Orchestra (Grade 3 – 5 standard)
The orchestra will meet twice a year, at Christmas and at the start of the summer holidays.

It will be open to all orchestral instrumentalists by audition, and will be conducted by Mr Julian Pentz and Mrs Catherine Rose. The orchestra will be the first opportunity for our students to experience playing in a full orchestra.

Those students who applied to play in the Senior Strings during the last academic year will be invited to join. In addition, those students who played in the second or joint orchestras, and who wish to gain a little more orchestral experience before joining a full symphony orchestra will be very welcome.

We are very keen to encourage brass and woodwind players of the required standard to audition.

Bedfordshire Youth String Orchestra (Grade 1 – 3 standard)
The orchestra will meet three times a year; at autumn and spring half term and at the start of the summer holidays.

It will be open to all orchestral string players by teacher recommendation. It will give string players a first opportunity to play in a full-scale ensemble.

Those students who applied to play in the Junior Strings during the last academic year will be invited to join.

Bedfordshire Youth Wind Band (Grade 4+ standard)
The band will meet three times a year during each of the main school holidays.

It will be open to all woodwind, brass and percussion players by audition and teacher recommendation, and will be conducted by Mr Paul Burrett. It will cover a wide range of repertoire from show tunes and jazz to classical arrangements.

Those students who applied to play in the Wind Band and Concert Band during the last academic year will be invited to join.

Bedfordshire Youth Training Band (Grade 1 – 3 standard)
The band will meet three times a year during each of the main school holidays.

It will be open to all woodwind, brass and percussion players by teacher recommendation, and will be conducted by Mr Gareth King. It will give players a first opportunity for ensemble experience.

Those students who applied to play in the Training Band during the last academic year will be invited to join.

Auditions
The main audition period will be in October each year for the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra and the Wind Band. Students will be required to perform a piece of their own choice and play some sight reading. Students may audition at other times of the year by arrangement, if necessary, and may also be invited to attend other courses on a temporary basis.

Details of how to apply to audition will be communicated in September.

Chamber Course
We will continue to offer students, of Grade 4 standard and above, the opportunity to develop their skills in small ensemble playing through the Chamber Course in the autumn and spring half terms.

In addition, string students will have the opportunity to work with players from the Philharmonia Orchestra, prior to the October half term course on 24 October 2015, in preparing Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, and also watch the orchestra rehearse and perform the piece as part of their programme at the Bedford Corn Exchange that evening.

Additional Workshops and Events
In response to much of the feedback we have received, we are keen to offer those more advanced students opportunities to develop their musical skills in other areas, and so are planning one day workshops for the Easter holidays to cover such areas as:

  • Creative music making
  • Jazz and Improvisation
  • Composition

We are currently in discussion with a number of leading music professionals and professional groups to support these workshops and are hoping to announce our programme early in the autumn term.

Social Activities
We are looking to see how we might further enhance the social aspects of all our courses, especially during break periods.

Music Jamboree
We will be working with our local music hub partners to offer a Music Jamboree on 9 April 2016 in Bedford, aimed at those students who play instruments from beginner to Grade 1 level.

As well as working in small and large sections the participants will have a chance to try other instruments as well as perform together.

Vocal Provision
We shall be reviewing our choir and opera provision in the autumn term.

Course Payments
Many thanks to those of you who have given us feedback on the new application and payment procedures introduced this year.

We will be further reviewing payment processes in light of the feedback received in readiness for the new academic year.

2015-16 Course Schedule
For advanced notice of courses and venues download the BMT 2015-2016 course schedule.

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