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Hampshire Music Service

Hampshire Music Service News

A summary of our press releases throughout the last few years are shown below. Have a look at all the fabulous events, projects and schemes we have been a part of - you can't deny the quality and diversity of what HMS brings to the young people of Hampshire!

Hampshire's young musicians gather the community for festival performance

As part of the Winchester Festival, Hampshire County Youth Orchestra brought a musical spectacle to Winchester Cathedral, with their performance of Benjamin Britten's 'Noye's Fludde', accompanied by singers of all ages, and a range of extra instruments from recorders to tea cups.

Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Education, Councillor Peter Edgar, said: "Our County Youth Orchestra is very popular and the young musicians always enjoy taking part in the Winchester Festival. Noye's Fludde is a great composition and the orchestra managed to involve the musicians'; whole community - adults and children, staff and parents. It was an impressive performance.

"Young people benefit so much from playing an instrument, especially in an ensemble or orchestra - it's good for learning, it's creative, it's an opportunity to make more friends and work as a team, and above all it's fun. Our Music Service offers children, from all backgrounds, the chance to play an instrument and I would encourage all Hampshire's youngsters to seize the opportunity."

Around 250 performers took part in the performance, following months of weekly rehearsals, bringing a huge variety of instruments into the mix.

The performers included around 50 young string musicians from across Hampshire who had tried a taster session with the Orchestra earlier this year, and then signed up to the weekly rehearsals to join the performance.

Also taking part were children and young people from Romsey Youth Choir, St. Bede's Catholic Primary School, Basingstoke, Kings Furlong Junior School, Locks Heath, Owslebury Primary School, Winchester, Winchester Area Schools Orchestra, and members of the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra.

Noye's Fludde was originally a medieval 'miracle and mystery'. Such plays were representations of Bible stories, devised to teach the Bible to a largely illiterate population. The narrative for Britten's Noye's Fludde opera is based on the story of Noah and was first performed in 1958.

'Year of Music' (CYoM) launched by Hampshire County Council Chairman

A 'Year of Music' in which young musicians will be given exciting new opportunities, and schools offered new activities to engage children with music, has been launched by Hampshire County Council Chairman, Councillor Keith Chapman MBE.

'In my year as Chairman, I wanted to choose a theme that was universally inclusive and with the ability to inspire all,' said Councillor Chapman.

'As a lifelong music lover, being on the board of The Anvil in Basingstoke - one of the largest concert halls in the region, and having seen the fantastic opportunities my daughter's involvement in the Hampshire County Youth Band has provided, I have been active in supporting youth music for many years, and will continue to do so for many more.

'Music breaks down barriers, encourages an equal platform for participation and develops social and study skills to assist young people with their education, and in their wider lives. With help from our Hampshire Music Service, I hope I can help bring all of this to more children and young people in the county, and encourage those who are already musicians, to aim even higher with their music.'

The Chairman's Year of Music will include an award scheme for schools, which will support and incentivise schools to provide concerts and other musical activities for pupils and the school community. The Year of Music will also aim to increase the number of events held by Hampshire Music Service ensembles around the county, and highlight the different 'musical journeys' that children can pursue - showing young people the huge variety of ways to engage with music.

The Year of Music will also see the creation of a Youth Forum, bringing together some of Hampshire's keen young musicians to share their views and help shape the future of Hampshire Music Service and the musical opportunities it offers.

Councillor Chapman launched his Year of Music at The Anvil on 26 June, at the Hampshire Music Service's Festival of Brass - which included a number of Hampshire's youth bands playing a wide variety of music.

Opportunity for young guitarists to hone their skills

Young guitarists of all abilities are being invited to hone their playing skills at an 'Acoustic Guitar Festival' next month, hosted by Hampshire County Council's Music Service.

The Hampshire Acoustic Guitar Festival 2016 event will be held on Saturday 9 July, between 2pm and 8.30pm, at Kings' School in Winchester, where young people aged 6 to 18 will be able to learn, play and perform in workshops and masterclasses, and watch live performances.

Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Education, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for children and young people of all musical abilities to come together and get involved with music. The festival is geared up to appeal to a broad range of guitar players - from complete beginners to advanced, and it is a chance for all to learn and grow.

"The event promises to be great fun with a fantastic atmosphere, and I hope young people from all across Hampshire will come along and get involved."

For beginners and parents, there are two workshops, where they will learn a number of easy chords in order to play hundreds of songs.

The more advanced guitarists can take part in a classical masterclass with acclaimed UK guitarist Gary Ryan, to develop their technique and musicianship, or be shown how to master non-traditional techniques in their own playing - such as the likes of Newton Faulkner and Michael Hedges.

Other workshops include a song writing class - to learn the secrets of writing a hit song; fingerpicking - to turn a simple chord pattern into something truly memorable; and the Looper Pedal - that turns a solo performer into a one man band.

At the end of the day, everyone taking part will have the opportunity to enjoy an evening concert with their family and friends, with performances from solo musicians, ensembles and unplugged local bands, with a finale performance by Gary Ryan.

Tickets cost £5 for up to three workshops, or £3 for one workshop and includes entry to the evening concert. Tickets to the evening concert are £2, for friends and family.

Visit the Music Service website for more information and to book tickets.

An ‘out of this world’ musical performance

On Tuesday 8 March more than 170 children from 10 special schools and schools with special needs provision, across Hampshire, joined together recently for an outer space themed sing along performance.  

The event, organised by Hampshire County Council’s Music Service, told the story of a fallen star and the adventures it has getting back to its place in the sky before it lost its shine. Between each song, schools performed their own dance and musical performances, culminating in the finale built around a song that had the message ‘everybody has a place to shine’ at its centre.  

Choirs of children from special schools in Basingstoke, Fareham, Havant, Test Valley and Winchester - sang songs they had been rehearsing since the beginning of the year. They were supported by the Baycroft School Brass Band.  The space-themed story was inspired by Tim Peake’s own space adventure to the International Space Station that many schools are following, and was linked to key areas of learning about space from the science national curriculum.

Hampshire joins national celebration of Commonwealth Day

As part of nationwide celebrations, Hampshire County Council has held a flag-raising ceremony in Winchester today (14 March), to mark Commonwealth Day.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq, read a message from His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Commonwealth Secretary-General, and then the Vice Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Keith Chapman MBE, read the Commonwealth Affirmation.

The Vice-Chairman said: 'It is an honour to take part in this national event. As a collective public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth, it enables participants to show appreciation for the values the Commonwealth upholds, and the opportunities offered for friendship and cooperation with fellow Commonwealth citizens, young and old, around the world.'

The flag was raised by the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Angela Clear.

The County Council's staff choir, the Castle Singers, sang Jerusalem and a variety of other songs to complete the ceremony.

This was the third year that local authorities and civic dignitaries, community groups and charities throughout the British Isles carried out local flag raising events and ceremonies of dedication to mark Commonwealth Day.

His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth said: 'Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth is a most imaginative way for people in local communities - wherever they live, learn or work - to join together with others throughout the Commonwealth in a spirit of respect and understanding to celebrate the variety and unmatched diversity of our global family. I welcome and commend it.'

More than 850 Commonwealth Flags were raised in locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories, and Commonwealth countries.

Hampshire school children in 'gigantic' sing

Over 3,500 children, from 55 Hampshire schools, recently lent their voices to turn up the volume for 'The Giant Sing'.

Organised by Hampshire County Council's Music Service 'The Giant Sing'; comprised four performances, over two days, of the musical adaption of Oscar Wilde's short story 'The Selfish Giant', composed by Jan Stroud.

Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Education, said: "We are very proud of our music service and 'The Giant Sing' is another great example of the opportunities that the service opens up to children and young people of all ages to get involved in music. The young people that took part are following in the footsteps of those that have previously performed the musical to high acclaim, from thousands of children all over the world, in large theatres, small village halls, and even at The Royal Opera House. Music plays an important role in a well-rounded education and it is a wonderful way to bring people together."

Choirs of children, age 7 - 14 years - from schools in Basingstoke, East Hampshire, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Hart, New Forest, Rushmoor, Test Valley and Winchester - sang the songs they had been rehearsing since the autumn term, backed by a live band. The magical story was further brought to life with a drama and dance performance by students from Kings'; School in Winchester, and narration by BBC Radio Solent presenter, Nick Girdler.

Hampshire's 'Giant Sing' was held at The Anvil in Basingstoke and was one of many staged across the world to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the musical.

The 'Giant Sing' tells the story of a Giant who returns from a long holiday with his friend, the Cornish ogre, and was furious to find children playing in his garden. He selfishly decides to build a high wall to keep them out. Spring never returns and it is always winter in the garden, until one day when the children find a hole in the wall and as they play again the trees begin to blossom. Only one tree remains in its winter form and the giant see a tiny boy who isn't tall enough to reach the branches. The Giant lifts him up into the tree and spring comes again.

Have you been thinking of joining a Hampshire ensemble?

Then watch this video - current members are ready to convince you!

We will be asking current and ex members to share their experiences using #HMSensembles over the coming months to prove why it's a no-brainer...

To learn more about our ensembles and which are in your area and at your current stage/grade - visit our ensembles page

Hampshire and Germany in harmony to celebrate peace

A special concert celebrating peace and commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I will bring together young musicians from Hampshire and Giessen in Germany.

Organised by Hampshire County Council’s Music Service, and to be hosted by the County Council’s Chairman, Councillor Jonathan Glen, the performance will take place on Saturday 30 January, 7.30pm, in Winchester Cathedral.

Featuring talented musicians from the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra and school choirs, together with the Giessen Liebigschule Choir from Germany, the highlight of the evening will be the world premiere performance of ‘The Lost Wand’, by Francis Pott.

Commenting on the forthcoming concert, Councillor Glen, said: “This concert is a wonderful way to commemorate the centenary of World War I. The participation of young people from Germany, joining those from Hampshire is particularly poignant. In addition to an evening of first class musical entertainment, I am particularly looking forward to the opportunity for people to come together in this celebration of peace, to reflect and remember. I urge people to get their tickets, for what promises to be a very moving performance.”

The Lost Wand’ has been composed especially for the Chairman’s Concert and has been commissioned by the County Council, Arts Council England and The Friends of the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra.

Comprising songs to be sung in both English and German, the performance aims to portray, through music, issues of war, peace and humanity – issues that are so relevant today. Also on the programme will be music by Britten, Brahms, Mauersberger, Shostakovich, Mozart and Beethoven.

Performing the challenging and wide-ranging musical score will be around 300 young musicians and singers from the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra, and a massed choir formed with young people from Henry Beaufort School, King’s School, Perins School, Wyvern School and Barton Peveril College.


Children fill Winchester Cathedral with festive cheer

Special Celebration 2015
Special Celebration 2015

Over 230 children from 18 special schools and schools with special units across Hampshire were joined together for a festive musical celebration at Winchester Cathedral on Friday 3 December 2015.

This annual event, organised by Hampshire County Council’s Music Service, re-tells the nativity story with a modern twist, combining traditional Christmas carols with modern songs as well as readings by the schoolchildren.

The service will begin with a procession of banners representing all the schools taking part. Children and helpers dressed as angels will carry candles to the altar. The service will then continue in themed sections with the children in costumes processing as innkeepers, shepherds and kings with other Christmas symbols.

Music will be provided by the Baycroft School Brass Band, the Hampshire County Youth Choirs and Hampshire Music Service award holder soloist Connor Bates on Cello.

Longdown Activity Farm supported the event by bringing Max the donkey to the event and then a young goat to support the Christmas storytelling.

Region Named Best for Youth Jazz in the Country for second year running

For the second year in a row Southampton Music Hub and Hampshire Music Hub are celebrating winning a prestigious national award at the 2015 Music Educations Awards: the Will Michael Award for Jazz Education, held at the Royal College of Music on 1 December..

Presented by UK Jazz Services , the Will Michael Award for Jazz Education recognises the contributions of both music hubs to introducing jazz into musiceducation,  and the outstanding commitment to young jazz musicians. The joint Southampton and Hampshire bid fought off many  other regional authorities to be named the best in the UK.

The Music Education Awards celebrate the work of hubs across the UK that demonstrates imaginative, inclusive and all round high-quality music provision.

Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education, said: “What a triumph for both Hubs that I know are incredibly committed and work very hard - a very well deserved award. It is encouraging to see Hubs working together to widen the opportunities for young people to learn to broaden their experiences in music. This is a fantastic achievement and both Southampton and Hampshire Music Hubs and members of the youth jazz groups should be very proud in achieving national recognition.”

Provision for young jazz musicians in the region has reached an all-time high due to significant investment and a string of exciting initiatives. Alongside several outstanding youth jazz groups, including the nationally renowned Southampton Youth Jazz Orchestra (SYJO),  young musicians have enjoyed participating in free jazz improvisation workshops, composition masterclasses and working alongside leading professionals.

There has also been a drive to help teach jazz more effectively with support for teachers and better links with experts from the University of Southampton and the Turner Sims Concert Hall. All this has helped contribute to young musicians from the region achieving success on the national stage with ex-alumni now playing with prestigious acts such as Jamie Cullum, Portico Quartet and the BBC Big Band.

800 young musicians invited to Royal Albert Hall

MFY RAH Wyvern College

Hampshire County Council’s Music Service is bringing together more than 800 children to perform at the Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November.

Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education, said he was proud that the county will be so well represented.

He said: “I am immensely proud that the county will be represented so magnificently at such an auspicious event and in such a prestigious and iconic venue.
“The contribution the Music Service makes to young people’s all round education is significant and important, both to driving up

MFY RAH Eggars Sch

standards in our schools and for encouraging social interaction and integration among our young students.”

The prestigious event will take place at the famous London venue from 23-25 November and performers will come together for the opening night from a number of groups, including an over 500 strong choir made up of Hampshire school children and members of the Hampshire County Youth Choirs.

MFY RAH Laura Jurd

Music will be supplied by members of the Hampshire County Youth Orchestras and Hampshire County Youth Bands. A visual dance performance has been especially choreographed by Wessex Dance Academy.

The composition, The Mary Rose, is by the local late composer, Martin Read; from Winchester, originally commissioned by Hampshire Music Service for their millennium celebrations. Two other instrumental compositions will accompany The Mary Rose

MFY RAH Catherine Upfold

by ex Hampshire Music Hub Scholars Catherine Upfold, from Andover, and Laura Jurd, from Medstead , now operating out of London, respectively. Both were supported by Martin Read. Laura Jurd was one of just seven international young artists selected for BBC Radio 3’s enormously prestigious New Generation Artists scheme 2015-17.

Hampshire Choirs' new setup calls for more voices

HCYC - New choir image

Young singers, from the age of five upwards, are invited to join one of Hampshire County Council's Music Service vocal ensembles.

The county is adding a fourth choir to its already very successful trio of existing choirs in response to increasing demand, from both children and young people.

Membership is open to all pupils, up to the age of 19 years, who are in full-time school or college education. Potential members, for any of the choirs, are asked to register their interest as soon as possible in order for music service staff to hear them sing. Priority will be given first to Hampshire residents and then to non-Hampshire pupils who attend Hampshire schools and colleges.

The choirs sing regularly at events in venues such as Winchester Cathedral and The Anvil, Basingstoke. In recent years, performances have included collaborations with the BBC Singers and tours to Italy and Canada. Rehearsals take place during term time on Friday evenings at The United Church, Winchester.

The four choirs are:

  • Hampshire County Youth Choir (HCYC)
    - main choir, focusing on singers in year 10 (from age 14 years) and above who are exceptional younger singers

  • Hampshire County Youth Training Choir (HCYTC)
    - the new addition - will be run in parallel with the main choir, focusing on singers in year 7 (from age 11 years) and above who are exceptional younger singers

  • Hampshire County Youth Junior Choir (HCYJC)
    - focused on singers in year 4 and above (from age 8 years)

  • Hampshire County Foundation Choir (HCFC) - focused on singers in year1 (from age 5 years) and above

For more information, and to register your interest, contact Hampshire Music Service:
023 8065 2037, or email

··Hampshire County Youth Choirs

Children raise the roof of the Royal Albert Hall

BBC Ten Pieces Prom - 2015

Over 400 Hampshire school children enjoyed a once in a lifetime opportunity to sing on the national stage at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday (18 July).

Singing a specially arranged version of Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’, 400 Hampshire primary school pupils schools joined hundreds of other children from all over the UK to perform in BBC Music’s ‘Ten Pieces’ concert

As one of the BBC’s 240 Ten Pieces Champions, Hampshire County Council’s Music Service has been working with 13 junior and primary schools on this piece of work since the autumn, culminating in Saturday’s performance on the national stage.

BBC Ten Pieces is a new, national initiative involving 21,000 schools, led by BBC Learning and BBC performing groups. The aim is to introduce a generation of children to a range of classical music, inspiring them to use the music as a stimulus for their own creativity.

Children were able to respond to a choice of one of ten pieces of classical music and develop their own interpretation of the selected piece through music composition, dance, digital art and other art forms, as well as taking part in performances of the pieces.

The piece that the BBC Singers chose and invited specially selected champions, such as Hampshire Music Service, to participate in was written by George Frideric Handel for the coronation of George II in 1727, and is performed at every coronation since then.

BBC Ten Pieces has also had the involvement of the five BBC Orchestras and the BBC Singers as well as celebrities such as Barney Harwood from Blue Peter and childrens’ presenters Dick and Dom.

Have a look at some of the Twitter activity on HCC's Storify...

List of the schools from the Hampshire County Council area that participated:

  • ·All Saints Junior School, Fleet

  • ·Alverstoke CE Junior School

  • ·Bartley CE Junior School

  • ·Berrywood Primary School (Hedge End)

  • ·Hale Primary School (Fordingbridge)

  • ·Kings Copse Primary School (Hedge End)

  • ·Knightwood Primary School (Knightwood,Valley Park, Chandler’s Ford area)

  • ·Orchard Junior School (Dibden Purlieu)

  • ·Otterbourne Primary School

  • ·Romsey Abbey Primary School

  • ·Scantabout Primary School (Chandler’s Ford)

  • ·St Mary Bourne Primary School (Andover)

  • ·St Mary's CE Junior School (Old Basing)

  • ·The Crescent Primary School (Eastleigh)

Diamond anniversary celebrated in music

GFYO - 60 anniversary concert 2015

The Gosport and Fareham Youth Orchestra, one of Hampshire Music Service’s many successful music groups for young people, has celebrated its 60th anniversary with a concert of ensemble favourites.

Councillor Peter Edgar, Executive Member for Education at Hampshire County Council, said: “It was one of the most spectacular concerts I have ever attended –absolutely marvellous to see present and past members of the orchestra, some 250 of them, playing together and recalling the past 60 years.

“Hampshire Music Service is an excellent example of the quality services provided by the County Council. The contribution the service makes to young people’s all round education is significant and is key both to driving up standards in our schools and to encouraging social interaction and integration among our young students.”

Among the highlights of the concert, that took place in Fareham’s Ferneham Hall, was the premiere performance of ‘Diamond Celebration’. The orchestral score was composed specially for the event by Tom Guyer, a former percussion member of the orchestra and past winner of the Hampshire Music Service’s Composition Award.

Now rehearsing at Henry Cort, Fareham and with more than 150 members, the orchestra continues to go from strength to strength and will be touring Belgium this summer.

A short history of the Gosport and Fareham Youth Orchestras:

Founded in 1955 as a string orchestra, the Fareham Junior Orchestra, by Louis Fussell, a stringteacheremployed by Hampshire County Council, the orchestra evolved over the years with the support and guidance of parents and teachers.

Soon there were regular concerts in aid of charity and, in 1958, parent Ben Barnard began a 32 year relationship with the orchestra providing outstanding administrative support, and his contribution is still remembered through the annual Ben Barnard concert.

During the 1960s, under the leadership of Mavis Masters, a music teacher at Gosport Grammar School, and then of John Witham, who became conductor in 1968 the orchestra evolved from a string to a full symphony orchestra.

During the mid-1970s the orchestra had grown to around 80 young musicians and in 1977 became part of Hampshire County Council’s Music Service, taking on the new title of Gosport and Fareham Area Youth Orchestra.

In 1977, the orchestra became part of the Hampshire Music Service and today consists of a symphony orchestra, concert band, plus training groups for strings and wind instruments.

Hampshire primary schools treated to a musical prom at The Anvil

Primary Prom 2015 - Trolls

Around 1600 Hampshire school children were treated to a free musical performance at the Anvil, Basingstoke, for the annual Hampshire Music Service’s Primary Proms 30 June 2015.

Aimed to musically entertain and inspire primary school children, this event is regularly oversubscribed. The concert (10.30am), repeated in the afternoon (1.15pm), was an hour long and compered by Hampshire Music Service Primary Music Consultants Liz Davies and Nicky Watling.

The programme included performances from Hampshire Music Service’s own Youth String Quartet, Youth Percussion ensemble and Gosport and Fareham Youth Concert Band (who are celebrating their 60 year anniversary in July). These were supported by the Hounsdown Vocal Group and All Saints Church of England (Aided) Junior School Orchestra and Choir. Two mass sing-alongs were led by the Primary Music Consultants and the final items included pieces related to the national BBC Ten Pieces project for which the Hampshire Music is a registered champion. Content highlights also included a composition by an All Saints young pianist Bolun Tan called Down the Rabbit Hole and a percussion piece, Rebound, using basketballs (!).

Eastleigh Area Schools Orchestra celebrate their
40 year anniversary

EASO - 40 anniversary 2015

The Eastleigh Area Schools Orchestra (EASO) invited ex members to join in celebrations Monday 29 June 2015 at Thornden Hall, Chandlers Ford, their usual rehearsal venue. The Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Eastleigh Des and Veronica Scott were in attendance and also joined ex members in a reception before the concert.

The first half of the concert showcased the talent throughout the ensembles, from the Trainers Group through to the String Quartet, with members’ favourites across the programme. The second half welcomed 20 or so ex members and staff to build a larger whole orchestra with pieces played that appeared on the first ever EASO programme – La Rejouissaance from Music for the Royal Fireworks, by George Frederich Handel.

EASO was founded by Pearl Mace and David Leverton, who were in attendance on the night, as a full orchestra in 1975. There have been many changes of staff and instrument groups over the years. Currently there is a wind orchestra (EAWO) of over 50 led by Gabrielle Horne and a string orchestra (EASTO) of 25 led by Sue Leonard. EASO has achieved much in their 40 years, but more recently at the Southampton Music Festival in the first weekend of March 2015, EASTO took part in the secondary string orchestra class on the Saturday and received a commendation mark of 86. They also received the Assumpta Brady cup for most promising group ahead of 3 other string orchestras. EAWO took part in the youth ensemble class on the Sunday and received a commendation mark of 86 and were invited to perform at the Festival Concert on Saturday 21 March. Unfortunately that is during their annual residential weekend at Avon Tyrrell, New Forest. They also had some members taking part in individual classes, with great success.   

Audition call for Hampshire’s  talented young musicians

HCYO - French Horn section

Accomplished young brass, string, woodwind and percussion musicians are invited to join one of Hampshire County Council’s Musical Ensembles.

Potential members are asked to register their interest in attending an audition for an opportunity to join the county’s Youth Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Brass Bands, for the next academic year starting in September 2015. Membership is open to all pupils up to the age of 19 years who are in full-time school/college education. However, priority will be given first to Hampshire residents, and then to non-Hampshire residents attending Hampshire schools and colleges).

Hampshire County Council’s Music Service will be holding auditions in July (dates and venues currently being finalised) as existing members will be moving on to higher education or starting their careers, leaving a number of exciting opportunities, for students at Hampshire schools and colleges, to make their mark.

The current vacancies are:

  • Hampshire County Youth Orchestra

       Bassoons (grade 7 and above)

       Double Basses (grade 4 and above)

       Percussion, two places (grade 5 and above)

       Orchestral Pianist, to cover Piano / Celeste / Harpsichord (grade 7 and above)

       Violins and Violas (grade 5 and above)

  • Hampshire County Youth Wind Ensemble

       Wind, Brass (particularly French Horn), and Percussion (grade 4 to post grade 8 standard)

  • Hampshire County Youth Brass Band

       Brass and Percussion (grade 3 minimum to post grade 8).

Councillor Peter Edgar, Hampshire’s County Council’s Executive Member for Education, commented: “Our ensembles are renowned for their high standard of musical ability, resulting in exciting performances and for young musicians to be part of that is one of the best experiences that they can get. Joining one of our ensembles a fantastic opportunity to broaden their musical experience and seize the chance to play music to audiences, not just in Hampshire, but all over the UK and abroad. Aside from the benefit of being able to hone their talent, playing regularly in an ensemble offers social benefits too and is an enormous confidence booster. A whole new world of musical discovery is there for those budding young musicians. ”

For more information and to register your interest for an audition,
contact Hampshire Music Service on 023 8065 2037, or email

Celebrating 25 years of the Havant Clarinet and Saxophone Choir


Havant Clarinet and Saxophone Choir, an ensemble managed by Hampshire County Council’s Music Service, celebrated its 25th anniversary with a celebratory concert at Waterlooville’s Merchistoun Hall.

The choir’s thirty-six members are all aged 11-19 and attend local schools and colleges. The celebratory concert featured some of their favourite pieces, including: ‘Pink Panther’; Gordon Goodwin’s ‘Sing, Sang, Sung’, for which they received an Honours award at this year’s Portsmouth Music Festival; and ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’, which was performed at the choir’s first concert 25 years ago.

The Havant Clarinet and Saxophone Choir is one of 56 ensembles managed by Hampshire Music Service, which provides a range of music education and support to Hampshire schools. Learn more about Hampshire Music Service at

The choir takes part in a range of festivals and concerts throughout the year, and can next be seen at the Waterlooville Music Festival. They will perform on Saturday 13 June in Waterlooville precinct, followed by a concert at St George’s Church on Thursday 18 June, where they will be joined by the Havant Area Guitar Orchestra. For more details of this event visit

Hampshire’s ukulele world record broken, halfway around the globe

The Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Colin Davidovitz, has expressed his congratulations after Hampshire’s world record for the largest ukulele ensemble was broken this month, in Tahiti.

Over 4,000 participants gathered at Tahiti’s International Ukulele Festival on Saturday 11 April, breaking the record set by Hampshire Music Education Hub last July, where 2,370 ukulele players gathered in St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton.

Councillor Davidovitz took part in Hampshire’s winning attempt last year. Commenting on the new record, he said: “Our win was a great achievement while it lasted, and one which can only have inspired more young people to start their musical adventure by mastering the ukulele.

“I recall how remarkable it was to see our 2,370 participants last year, but to have more than 4,000 must have been something wonderful to witness. I’ve already heard about another record breaking attempt taking place in Los Angeles this month, so I look forward to seeing whether they can do any better!

“Hampshire County Council’s Music Service has already expanded the quantity and range of instruments it offers and is actively supporting the many more schools that are making musical study and practice available to young people across Hampshire.“

As a result of Hampshire's previously held record, ukulele is still strong in the county, with ensembles and performances supported by Music Service staff...

Above: Grange Junior School. Below: Peel Common Junior School


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