The City of Hull Youth Symphony Orchestra was the first ensemble to be formed under the auspices of Hull City Council fifty years ago by the Music Adviser of the time, David Clover and the Head of Instrumental Teaching, Arthur Burgan. The Youth Brass Band, Windband and Show Band, as the Jazz Orchestra was first named, followed during the next few years as the Hull Instrumental team expanded. The Music Service has continued to grow and now runs 19 different ensembles catering for many levels of musical ability in a comprehensive range of styles plus several smaller chamber groups. The students are mostly drawn from the schools and colleges in the Kingston upon Hull area and receive tuition in school or college on the various instruments by members of the Kingston upon Hull Music Service staff.
When the students reach the required level they first join one of the elementary or training groups and then progress through a junior orchestra or band before reaching the senior level. There are also three choirs. These different orchestras, bands and choirs rehearse weekly at the Albemarle Music Centre in Hull. The whole service is under the umbrella of Kingston upon Hull City Council through the Children and Young People’s Services.
The orchestra now has approximately 75 members ranging in age from 12 to 21 and most are members for about 3 years.
The orchestra travels on tour every two years, funded by the families and supported by the Friends’ Association. Countries visited over the years include: Austria (four times), Germany (three times), Belgium, Switzerland (twice), Sweden, France (twice), the U.S.A., Italy (twice), Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Croatia.
The orchestra has also performed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and also at the Edinburgh festival.
The orchestra has been fortunate to work with some very famous soloists including Paul Tortelier, Shura Cherkassky and Julian Lloyd Webber. The orchestra has appeared on the BBC – most recently on the One Show and on ITV.
The orchestra won a “Sainsbury Youth Orchestra Award” a number of years ago which enabled the Music Service to book the internationally acclaimed concert pianist Anya Alexeyev to perform with the orchestra.