Monthly Archives: September 2022

National Youth Choir – auditions


Audition booking is open NOW
Audition booking closes: Thursday 13th October National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) is delighted to announce details of this year’s auditions for the National Youth Boys’, Girls’ and Training Choirs. We would like to invite you to share information about these auditions with your students / choir members aged 9-18.
For young singers who have a passion and talent for singing with others that they want to take to the highest level, along with a readiness to learn, an NYCGB audition can be the start of something amazing!
NYCGB choir members receive the best choral training possible including unbeatable opportunities to develop skills in music, performance, recording, leadership and teamwork, and to grow in confidence and aspiration. They sing alongside the most gifted young singers in the UK, developing their skills to the highest level, as well as having plenty of fu n and making life-long friends. We passionately believe that choral singing is for everyone and strongly encourage all talented young singers from all backgrounds and musical styles to audition. We particularly encourage young people of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds, those from low-income households and those who are disabled to audition.  Financial assistance is available to cover the £20 audition fee and anyone on free school meals can audition for free. More details are available on our website here. All auditions will take place online in October and November, and this can be done from home or from school.
Thursday 29 September. 4:00pm – 5:15pm We’re hosting an online open event for young people and their families, singing and music teachers, choir leaders and music professionals working with young people aged 9-18.
Come along to a free online open event to find out what it’s like to be a member of our choirs. If you like what you see, you can then book a friendly, online audition. If we’re able to offer you a place in one of the choirs, you’ll be invited to attend up to two residential courses each year.
We hope to meet some of your young singers at our auditions this autumn! And if you’d like to find out more information to pass on to your students, we would love to welcome you to our online open event mentioned above.  
Best Wishes,

Wind Band Tour 2023

This is the text of the letter that went out today to everyone at Wind Band rehearsal

France Tour, 2023

Dear Parents,

Following our highly successful European excursions pre-Covid, where the Wind Band were accustomed to staging outstanding concerts across Western Europe, we are now looking to resume our tours in 2023.  However, it has been very difficult trying to work within a realistic budget at a time when costs are soaring across all aspects of life.  We have therefore chosen a short-haul option of the Loire Valley and Normandy in France.

We plan to depart from UVHS late afternoon/early evening on Saturday 15th July, 2023, and return late on Thursday 20th July (with school breaking up on Friday 21st).  The accommodation will be on a half board basis with three nights spent in Angers (Loire Valley), and one night in Carentan (Normandy). 

The band will perform 3 concerts whilst in France (2 in the Loire Valley and 1 in Normandy).  Students will also have the opportunity to spend time visiting the towns and chateaux in the area as well as experiencing the culture of the region.  Transport will be by two coaches and trailers: outward via the Dover-Calais ferry route, return via Cherbourg-Portsmouth.

The cost of this tour has been quoted at £650 per student (based on a band size of 72 players), but the Friends of UVHS Music will subsidise the cost for all band members by £100 (a significant amount), bringing the student charge to  £550 each. There is a little additional financial support available from The Friends for those families who require it and/or with two or more children going on the tour – please contact me if you feel you need assistance: no band member is ever denied the chance to go on tour on grounds of finance. 

If you wish your child to participate on the tour, please make a deposit payment of £100 by Friday 15th  October.  Three further payments of £150 will be scheduled (by the end of January, March and May 2023), with the full balance paid by Friday 26th May. All those students going on the tour will be expected to attend rehearsals regularly, or to give valid reasons for absence in advance.

We prefer to accept contributions on-line via your Parentpay account  –  this tour is not currently on Parentpay but will appear on your child’s account in the next few days.  Please note you will need to give electronic consent for your child’s participation in this trip. Medical notes and emergency contact details will be collected in April/May, but please be aware that we do not travel on group passports so every student will need a valid passport before departure (that now means that the passport MUST have been issued at least 6 months before 15th July, 2023 and also have 6 months left before expiry).

We regret that we are no longer able to accept cash payments, but if you wish to pay by cheque, please make it payable to ‘UVHS’ and complete the consent slip below, returning it in an envelope clearly marked with your child’s name, form and trip details “Wind Band – France Tour, 2023”.

May I also take this opportunity to ask all parents to make sure that they are signed up to the Performing Arts Blog, accessed via the ‘Links’ tab on the school website. The majority of messages from the Performing Arts are done via the blog now, not via letter, and it is important for us to know that you are receiving them. There is also an online calendar which allows you to keep up to date with concert dates, fundraising events and Friends of UVHS meetings.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Richard Butler MBE

Junior Band & Choir – a reminder

Just a reminder that all yr7-9 students who take flute, clarinet, sax or brass lessons in school are expected to attend Junior Band every Thursday lunchtime – it is an essential part of learning how to play in a group and also develop confidence.

Ona similar note, all students taking singing lessons should be attending Choir on a Friday lunchtime.

Wind Band Tour, 2023

Letters about our proposed concert tout to France (Loire Valley & Normandy) in July 2023 will be given out at the Wind Band rehearsal tomorrow (Monday). Please ensure that there is full attendance – thank you.

Ensembles & Rehearsals

All musical ensembles are up and running from tomorrow – please check the Enrichment Timetable below and make sure that instruments are in on the correct days. In order to get to lunchtime rehearsals on time (12.55pm), students need to either bring a packed lunch or order a grab-a-bag at morning break. Full attendance is essential (including ALL woodwind and brass players in yr7-9 going to Junior Band, especially if they are also in Wind Band!).


I know it’s a little premature, but welcome back to the new school year and (hopefully) a ‘normal’ year in terms of rehearsals and performances across all the Performing Arts at UVHS. Below are some important dates for the first few weeks – the lunchtime rehearsal timetable will be confirmed next week and then published here as well.

Thursday 8th                        Combo                 3.30-4.30pm

Friday 9th                              Swing Band         3.30-4.30pm

Monday 12th                       Wind Band          3.30-4.45pm

Wednesday 14th                Combo                 3.30-4.30pm

Thursday 15th                     Combo                 3.30-4.30pm

Friday 16th                           Swing Band         3.30-4.30pm

Monday 19th                       Wind Band          3.30-4.45pm

Wednesday 21st                PRIZEGIVING @ The Coro             Combo 6.30-8.45pm

Friday 23rd                           Swing Band         3.30-4.30pm

Monday 26th                       Wind Band          3.30-4.45pm

Wednesday 28th                Combo                 3.30-4.30pm

Thursday 29th                     OPEN EVENING @ School             Combo 5.30-7.30pm