Category Archives: News

Band News

Jazz Combo played superbly at the Open Evening on Thursday evening, especially as it is a totally new band with only 3 weeks of rehearsals under their belt. There will be no rehearsal this week, but we will resume every Wednesday evening from next week.

Wind Band are working really hard. After 18 months with no rehearsals everyone has lost out in terms of detailed ensemble experience, sight-reading and regular playing, but we are already getting back towards our trademark ‘big’ sound.

Swing Band have also been making great progress, and we are even considering whether to try a public performance before Christmas. Again, the last 18 months have taken their toll in terms of playing experience, but they are really getting back ‘into the swing of it’!

Junior Band, String Ensemble & Choir have had a couple of rehearsals so far and are trying hard to get back into regular ensemble work.

The smaller ensembles have also started rehearsals and are already getting to grips with their repertoire. As with all the other groups, it is not only the lack of regular playing (outside personal practice, that became very difficult over the 18 months in terms of motivation) that has had an impact but, more importantly, the lack of regular ensemble playing that had become such a feature of music in the school and the key to the quality of our performances.

Obviously, Covid-19 absence has disrupted everything over the last few weeks but as we get a little more continuity, the route back to where we were in March 2020 will seem a lot clearer and achievable. Many thanks to the dedication, commitment and enthusiasm of all the students giving up their time and really wanting to be part of the resurgence of Music at UVHS – Mrs H. and myself are so happy to be back rehrasing with everyone!!

Royal Marines Band – work experience

The Marines will be once again holding ‘experience’ sessions this year, but they will initially be virtual (as last year). Details are below, and I would encourage as many students as possible to join the session this half term break, so that they can explore some of the opportunities open to them.

Cumbria Youth Orchestra

Please see the attached letter and contact information about joining Cumbria Youth Orchestra this year. I cannot speak highly enough of the value of playing in regional and county music groups – I myself came through the Lancashire Schools Music setup and have never looked back and can quite honestly say that I would not have gone on to experience what I have through music without it.

Westmorland Youth Orchestra & Wind Band

The Westmorland Music Centre (Kendal) has an open day on Saturday: the two main groups are a great opportunity for musicians to further develop their musical skills outside school, and I thoroughly recommend that UVHS music students look at what they could experience beyond the provision that we offer at school. Please see the attached flyer.

Extra-Curricular Music & Drama

Please see the attached timetable of extra-curricular Music & Drama activities for the Autumn term. All rehearsals begin Monday 13th September.

 LUNCHTIME – 12.50 – 1.25PMAFTER SCHOOL 3.30 – 4.35PM
Flute Choir
Clarinet Choir  
6th form Panto
Windband (until 5.15pm)  
Trinity Drama exam
String Ensemble
Percussion Ensemble
Year 9/Year 10 production rehearsals
MUSIC – Furness Junior Music Centre & Primary Music Tuition (until 6.30pm)  
Trinity Drama exam
Brass Ensemble
Yr 11 Autumn production

Yr 11 Autumn Production (until 5pm)
Junior Band
Saxophone Ensemble DRAMA –
Year 7/8 Drama Production Group
Primary Music Tuition (until 6pm)  
6th form panto
Whole School Choir   DRAMA –
Trinity tutorials (on request)  
Swing Band (until 4.45pm)    

Swing Band – THE RETURN!!!!

Swing Band is back!!!!!!!!!

Rehearsals will recommence THIS Friday (10th September) after school in the Main Hall, from 3.30pm – 4.45pm. Any wind player, string player or guitarist who is playing at the equivalent of grade 6 standard or above is welcome to come along!!!!!

Performing Arts Careers Day @ RNCM

Take to the Stage

Tuesday 6 July | 10.00am to 4.30pm | Online | Free entry with advance sign-up for individual and school groups |
Run by the Royal Northern College of Music

A career in the performing arts can be exciting and diverse. Join us to explore the possibilities, and get tips and inspiration from the very best in the profession.

It’s packed with workshops and panel discussions with experts from the RNCM, RADA, LIPA, ArtsEd, Mountview, Central, GSA, and more. Information you need to smash that audition, overcome nerves, choose between courses, and find the best routes into pop music, film and TV. Explore a range of careers in performing, production, directing, choreography, stage management, set design, lighting, sound and costume. Whether you’re an actor, dancer, musician, or want to use your creativity in a backstage role, Take to the Stage will provide you with the perfect springboard into the performing arts.

How do I apply?

Click below to register. Places are free and once you have registered you will receive full details for the day.

Further Information

For any questions about the day or for booking school groups, email

Photo credit: Brian Slater

Register here

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Royal Marines livestream concert this Saturday

If you are bored on Saturday evening, the Royal Marines will be streaming their annual Mountbatten Festival of Music from the Royal Albert Hall. This year, despite it having to be a reduced band, four former UVHS students will be playing – Rob Norrie, Jodie Giles, Ruth Tarr & Andy Spain.  However, even better than that, Ruth and Andy will be principal soloists on the night, and Ruth is also leader of the String Section (she also happens to be the principal violinist of the Countess of Wessex Symphony Orchestra which is the joint Army/Marines orchestra for royal celebrations).

It is always an amazing spectacle of music with phenomenal drum displays, comedy musical items, some great film music and also fantastic rock/pop arrangements, as well as the traditional elements.

The link is below – please feel free to share it with friends and family  and support our students. Concert starts at 19:30.

Royal Marines Band Service – virtual work experience

Virtual look at life course- 15th/16th February 2021. Perform virtually with the Royal Marines Band! CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS – 1st Feb!!!!!!!!!!!

As part of the virtual work experience course taking place in February, you get the exciting opportunity to virtually perform alongside the Royal Marines Band!

Open to all young musicians aged 14+, those who attend will be given a behind the scenes tour of The Royal Marines School of Music and the opportunity to pose live questions to musicians currently in training. There will also be a discussion with the Director of Music (Training) on the application and audition process and how to best present yourself at each stage. Each day the group will also split into breakout rooms for their choice of “My Career” presentation; an opportunity to hear from a musician or bugler about their background, time in training and career so far, with time available for questions and discussion at the end.

All those attending will be given an insight into the fitness requirements to join, all of the RMBS #MoreThanMusic opportunities and will also be given the option to play alongside the Royal Marines Band Service in a collaborative project. The course is designed to give young people a taste of what life is like in the RMBS and to get the most out of the experience musicians should be approximately grade 5 or above.

Virtual look at life course- 15th/16th February 2021

There is a very tight turnaround for this – closing on 1st February.

Please email to find out more or to apply now!