WYJO at Marsden Jazz Festival!

Spot Wakefield Youth Jazz Orchestra in this video having a great time at Marsden Jazz Festival last weekend! It was a great concert with lots of new members who played brilliantly! Well done to everyone involved including their great Directors, Stuart Wilkinson and Amanda Spalding.

Thank you to Shanita at ‘Music In City Life’ for letting us share……



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New Music Hub Parent Group

20th October 2017 (6pm) – Manygates Music Centre

We hope that everyone has had a good start to the Autumn term and thank you once again for your support to Music Education and to our Music Centres and Ensembles.

We were overwhelmed by the support and wealth of ideas contributed in the meetings that were held in our 5 Music Centres last term. Thank you to everyone that attended. One of the suggestions was to look at forming a wider Wakefield Music Education Hub Parent Group to help look at future sustainability and ideas for ensuring that these valuable musical opportunities continue to broaden and thrive.

We are confirming that an initial meeting will take place at Manygates Music Centre at 6pm on the 20th October for about an hour for anybody that may be interested in being part of such a group and discussing what its purpose and aims may be. Please note that this date has changed from the one proposed last term. If you would like to attend can you please confirm your attendance by either calling the music office on 01924 303306 or emailing jbarrell@wakefield.gov.uk

Wakefield Youth Jazz Orchestra performing at the annual Hubalaboo! Concert

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Battle of the Bands 2017

This years Battle of the Bands is nearly upon us so please come down and support Wakefield’s young talent as the following 5 final high school bands make their debut and battle it out at Unity Works on Wednesday 1st February at 6.30pm. FREE ENTRY

‘789s’ (Airedale Academy)
‘The Waves’ (Kettlethorpe High School)
‘Clockwork Souls’ (Crofton Academy)
‘Not Exactly London’ (St Thomas a Becket Secondary)
‘The Minority’ (The Kings School)

The event will also feature special guest performances from Loz Campbell, Wakefield Youth Session Orchestra and last years winners…. Brass Boots!


Our esteemed judges this year are:

Cllr Peter Box (Leader of the council)
‘Icecream’ Andy Taylor (Lead singer of Twice Nightly and previous X Factor finalist)
Paul Hepworth (Superintendent from West Yorkshire Police)
Loz Campbell (Talented young singer songwriter and previous winner)
Rosie & Liz (Talented ‘fairly young’ performing arts teachers from Castleford Academy!)

We are also pleased to work in partnership with ‘Music for Youth’ this year who will be providing additional tips and feedback from their mentors.

A massive thanks in advance to the West Yorkshire Police, Wakefield Music Services, Wakefield College, Unity Works and of course our judges and all the high school students and staff.

Good luck!


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Happy New Year!

A Happy New Year to all our great young musicians, schools, academies, partners and brilliant teachers! All groups, ensembles and Music Centres start back this week with exception to Manygates Music Centre (Saturday morning) and Wakefield Youth Orchestra and Training Orchestra that will commence next week.

Best wishes for a good start to 2017!


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London Here We Come!

Wakefield Youth Percussion Ensemble have been invited to play at The Royal Albert Hall in the Music For Youth Proms on Monday 14th November!

The group, directed by WMS percussion teacher Rhodri Younger, recently wowed the audience at the festival in Birmingham with their dynamic medley of percussive delights ranging from body percussion to a drum line and massed tuned percussion finale!


The group were one of six Wakefield groups invited down to the second round of the Music For Youth at Birmingham in July along with ‘Wired’ from Highfield School, The Glee Choir from West Bretton Primary, Manygates Session Orchestra, St Peters & Clifton Primary School Choir and ‘Folkus’ from St Thomas a Becket Catholic High School.

Phil Needham (Principal of Wakefield Music Education Hub) added “It was brilliant to see so many groups invited to represent Wakefield and a recognition of the many talented young musicians and teachers that we have across the district! This is the icing on the cake and so well deserved for Mr Younger and the percussion ensemble. They have worked so hard over the last few months and their performance not only sounds stunning but is also visually captivating! London here we come!”

Wakefield Youth Percussion Ensemble is one of 70 progressive music ensembles that run every week at Manygates and 4 other Music Centres across the district.  To find out more please click here.


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Winter Concert 2016

143553 Winter Concert FlyerThis year’s concert is being held in Unity Hall on Friday the 27th November at 7pm. The evening will feature four of Wakefield’s finest ensembles; Wakefield Youth Orchestra, Outwood Music Centre Dixie Band, Wakefield Youth Choir, Wakefield Youth Training Orchestra and special guests ManyVoices Adult Community Choir. We feel very proud that these groups feature and successfully bring together talented young musicians from many different schools and backgrounds across the district.

Wakefield Youth Choir will be singing a diverse selection of material from popular to the more festive and the Outwood Area Music Centre Dixie Band will play some very well known melodies such as ‘Bill Bailey, Won’t you please come home?’ and Kenny Ball’s famous piece ’Midnight in Moscow’. In the second half, the Youth Orchestra’s programme takes up the theme of ‘A Night at the Opera’ with works by Bizet, Ponchielli, Wagner and Offenbach. The evening will again feature the Training Orchestra performing works by Beethoven, Ling and Perry. With such a varied programme we know that this special evening will truly entertain with music that promises to suit all tastes!

Tickets are priced at £8 and £5 for concessions and are available from the Music Office or online at Unity Works

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Marsden On My Mind

Wakefield Youth Jazz Orchestra entertained the crowds at this years Marsden Jazz Festival. Audiences were amazed by the young musical talent that Wakefield had to offer – all under the fantastic musical direction of Amanda Spalding and Stuart Wilkinson!

Check out this little snippet and blast from the past, ‘Georgia On My Mind’ featuring Isaac Cooper, putting down his trumpet and taking up vocal duties.

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Outwood Music Centre Re-Opens

Hubalaboo! Wakefield Youth Jazz OrchestraOutwood Saturday Morning Music Centre will re-open again on Saturday the 19th September in the stunning new ‘Sir Michael Wilkins’ Arts Centre at Outwood Grange Academy.

The Music Centre is one of five thriving Saturday Morning Music Centres that are situated across the Wakefield district. They offer a range of exciting groups and ensembles from beginner through to advanced that include wind bands, guitar groups, string ensembles, jazz and rock bands to mention just a few!

For further details about these fantastic Music Centres, how to join and other musical opportunities please click here

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A Musical Hubalaboo!

Audiences were treated to an exciting eclectic mix of entertainment from rock, pop and folk through to jazz and classical music at this years Hubalaboo! event on the 20th May at the Theatre Royal. The concert showcased the many inclusive musical opportunities that Wakefield Music Services and partner organisations within Wakefield Music Education Hub provide for young people of all ages, abilities and from different communities across the district. The concert featured contributions from partners such as Jazz North, Jo Jingles, West Yorkshire Police and Music and the Deaf with performances from schools including Highfields, The Rookeries, St Thomas a Becket, Horbury Bridge and English Martyrs.

Phil Needham (Principal of Wakefield Music Education Hub) said “The music hub is now entering into its fourth year and continues to go from strength to strength! Tonight’s show featured the talents of over 200 young people and was a musical celebration of the achievements that partnership working can bring!”

Check out the gallery below. A big thanks to John Jowett from the Wakefield Music Collective for the photos and top shots!


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West Yorkshire Music Hubs Join Forces

Over 100 instrumental teachers came together for a packed day of training on Tuesday 10th February at Manygates Music Centre in Wakefield. The event, which included teachers from Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale Music Services, aimed to share the excellent practice that goes on across West Yorkshire.

The day included workshops on Composing In The Classroom, BBC 10 Pieces, Body Percussion, Singing & Signing, Whole Class Ukulele and The Changing Musical Needs of The Young Person. Sessions were run by staff from the hubs and also by guest presenters Gail Dudson (Yorkshire Youth & Music) and Sam Dunkley (SD Music). The event concluded with a terrific massed performance of Zadok The Priest by Handel, directed by Thom Meredith (Principal of Kirklees Music School) and put together in under 20 minutes.

Phil Needham (Principal of WMEH) added that “Training days like these are always vital for colleagues to keep updated with the latest musical developments, to share ideas, reflect and formulate innovative practice for the future.  We have an annual cycle of continuing professional development that ensures that our instrumental teachers are some of the best trained in the country. Recent developments to work alongside our neighbouring music hubs can only be a good thing and is leading to some exciting initiatives over the next few years!”

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