County-Wide Opportunities

Buckinghamshire County Ensembles 2021/22 Season

We are delighted to announce the new season for BCYO, BYWE, BCYC & BYJC

Buckinghamshire County Youth Orchestra (BCYO)

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Musical Director: Tom Horn

Orchestral Manager: Melinda Priestley

The orchestra has a strong reputation for high quality performance both at home and abroad, having enjoyed tours to Budapest, Prague, Iceland and Jersey in recent years, as well as many UK concerts. This season will feature a programme of Russian repertoire, including Borodin's Polovskian Dances and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No 2.

Buckinghamshire Youth Wind Ensemble (BYWE)

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Musical Director: Ed Hodgson

Orchestral Manager: Fay Hayhurst

The high levels of musicianship in this ensemble means that it produces performances of exceptional quality, playing repertoire designed to challenge each player and provide them with a unique chamber ensemble experience. Players work alongside professionals in rehearsal to develop both their technical knowledge as well as their musicianship skills

Bucks County Youth Choir (BCYC)

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Musical Director: Edwin Pitt Mansfield

Associate Director: Fiona Firth

BCYC is an auditioned choir for experienced young singers who enjoy learning and performing a variety of music to a high standard. It is a county-wide ensemble performing mixed, choral repertoire in a friendly and supportive environment. The 2021/22 season will feature an eclectic range of music, ranging from Baroque to Contemporary in genre and spanning different languages.

Bucks Youth Jazz Collective (BYJC)

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Musical Director: Ralph Wyld

Manager: Fay Hayhurst

The central ethos of this new and exciting group is improvisation, with the majority of time spent working in small groups on interaction, listening and leadership and will include opportunities to work with established players. In addition to preparing for performances, there is a strong emphasis on process, ensuring our young jazz musicians have the skills to play in and lead jazz ensembles, and preparing them for further studies.

Programme of events:

• All four groups exist to provide access to high level repertoire working with the best young musicians in the county and our programmes will also include some partnership and masterclass opportunities with established professional musicians.

• We recognize that at this level, many young people are pursuing music seriously and so the schedules for these groups are designed such that you can participate in more than one group should you wish. This also allows university students to return to Bucks to take part and we encourage them to do so.

• This year’s programme will include a 3-day, 2-night residential for each group.

• Members should be aware that other performance opportunities may arise during the year, and we will give as much notice as possible for these.

• The skeleton dates below are firm and must be fully committed to except in exceptional circumstances. As most players are in their upper school years, the summer term schedules ensure that they do not interfere with exam preparation.

Bucks County Groups 2021.22

*Dates marked with an asterisk are concert dates and so players/singers will be required for the evening in addition to rehearsal times

• Dates highlighted in blue are residentials (3 days/2 nights)
• Applications for all groups are open until the first session listed above
• Existing members will not be required to re-audition
• For new applicants, auditions will be arranged individually with the directors
• Rehearsal locations with timings will be sent out to all members at the start of the season
• All rehearsals are full days and exact times will be sent to members at the start of the season
• Additional concert/masterclass opportunities may arise during the year and we will give as much notice as possible for these

Applications:
All groups are open to any young person up to the age of 22 of the required standard. Applications are considered for any child currently or previously resident or at school in Buckinghamshire and from any adjacent area where similar provision is not available.
• BCYO & BYWE are open to players at Grade 6 level or above on their instrument. We will always consider applications from students working towards Grade 6 with the support and recommendation of their teacher and then assess their suitability at audition.
• BCYC is open to any musician who has reached minimum standard of Grade 5 or higher in any instrument. All new singers will be expected to audition for a place in the ensemble. It is not essential to be having singing lessons, but some singing experience and an appropriate level of reading and musicianship skills are necessary.
• BYJC is open to players of any instrument with some experience and a passion for jazz and improvisation. They should be of a standard to play in a senior band or orchestra and most importantly be passionate about improving their skills and challenging themselves to improve.

Auditions:
• Existing members are not required to audition but must complete a new application form. Prospective new members will be contacted for an individual audition where necessary as applications are received. All BCYO string players will be assessed at the first rehearsal and positioned accordingly.
• All BYJC applicants will be ‘auditioned’ at a workshop session with the director
• We will endeavour to arrange auditions in the most convenient location across the three BMT music centres in High Wycombe, Amersham & Aylesbury
• Applicants for BCYO, BYWE & BCYC will be required to sing/play a solo unaccompanied piece of their choice and undertake some unseen sight reading/singing

Membership Fees:
Fees for the 2020/21 season are as follows:

1 group £300
2 groups £350
3 groups £400
4 groups £450

Fees include all elements of the programme, including the full cost of residentials
• Subsidies are available for students eligible for FSM (50%) and siblings (15%)
• Payment plans can be arranged to spread the cost across the year
Access to all senior county groups is driven by ability and opportunity. We want all eligible and committed young musicians to be able to take part. If the cost presents a challenge, particularly in the current situation, then please contact the Director of Music at BMT for a confidential discussion via director@bucksmusic.org

To apply for any of these groups, please complete the online form below, or download here and return it to the address shown.

County Groups Application Form 2021/22

Download and return the application form here, or enter online using the form below.

    Personal details

    Select groups(s) by ticking each one that you wish to apply for.

    Bucks County Youth OrchestraBucks Youth Wind EnsembleBucks County Youth ChoirBucks Youth Jazz Collective

    Joining any of the senior groups requires the commitment to attend all the dates listed above.

    Do not send any payment now – once registered you will be contacted to agree your payment plan.

    Student Leadership Programme

    BMT is keen to promote meaningful leadership opportunities for young people. This programme will provide excellent young musicians in the county the opportunity to achieve ArtsAward at Bronze, Silver or Gold level, which are comparable awards to GCSE and A-Level qualifications.  For more information, please visit www.artsaward.co.uk.

    Arts Award Supporter

    To apply for the Student Leadership programme, students will need to complete a formal application and be willing to make a significant contribution to music-making in the county. 

    Community Projects

    BMT is the core organisation of the Bucks Music Education Hub and as such supports and co-ordinates a number of community projects. Details of these can be found on the News feed and the events and Projects page of the BMEH site.