Fabulous Fundraising Friday!

We started 2015 with fabulous news regarding fundraising for CLYO:

Barclays Bank have kindly agreed to match fund our pre-Christmas fundraising events – busking in the York Branch of Barclays Bank and bag-packing/playing in M&S Guiseley, Leeds.

The Emerald Foundation have made a very generous donation to the Friends of CLYO to enable us to purchase an ‘A’ clarinet and piccolo as well as contributing to our general funds.

The Tuckshop held on a Friday night has been raising funds and these have been building up!  A decision has been made to offer the funds to the various groups that rehearse on a Friday evening.

All-in-all a great day for CLYO funds!  We continue to seek financial support to enable us to purchase a bass clarinet, another ‘A’ clarinet and to pay for the repairs needed on the cor anglais and contra-bassoon.


Tour to Perugia

Loading up the van, ready to go 🙂 DSC_0498DSC_0497

After the personal delivery of Robbie’s trumpet, we’re on our way!10534154_918335064848878_5377195925272421113_n







By ferry.. 984139_918603794822005_1788724608769889196_n

And lots of time on the bus… 10509521_918892564793128_493400084025461624_n 10509605_918603664822018_5587399351541977552_n   Day 2

Stunning scenery on the way… 10478435_918913574791027_1120919969451487172_n10421587_919034228112295_4581093947758140430_n


After 30 hours 4 minutes, we have arrived safe at Perugia Park Hotel 🙂

10552651_919139431435108_2787247044150830775_n 10502223_919140154768369_8725473122882685390_n


Day 3 – The day that CLYO had to go offstage to fetch more encores!

Much sleeping and showering has occurred and a fresher looking CLYO has made its way to Ovierto.

Now transfer Italian style from coach park to Duomo… 10534433_919666074715777_3994412507674734884_n (1)


Our first concert venue.

. 10527643_919674538048264_3989903737210172493_n (1) 934747_919674524714932_1556557953538852127_n (1)

And the instruments arrived safely one hour before the first rehearsal!10464366_919697354712649_1106151365877109482_n

Verdi sounding great in the Orvieto Duomo… https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=919729694709415

Chilling before the first concert… 10424330_919781968037521_3769420183139544887_n 10526172_919781761370875_3898616398648685679_n10426120_919781851370866_521269943417685369_n


After a full programme and four encores, they were still standing, clapping and asking for more… you get the picture! 🙂

10449947_919930671355984_5629437006685667396_n10410159_919930808022637_8138082612952105553_n10547663_919930611355990_4903334096925520458_n Happy day, happy audience, happy CLYO 🙂10423775_919930724689312_6376465070073498403_n









Day 4

Chilling prior to our visit to Assissi, then Spello for more encores..

10544333_920205021328549_8813895737043366448_n (1)10565126_920205094661875_6734942955355248204_n10494556_920205124661872_8153799876269379167_n

Assissi and the Basilica of San Francesco – difficult to describe how amazing this is 10478222_920315574650827_2161028196192621735_n 10565170_920315651317486_4256454631000490882_n10543631_920315704650814_116377423762066478_n

Sheltering from the baking sun…10464348_920316954650689_8496873636492904618_n10487407_920317077984010_8670851032733157288_n10527647_920316997984018_4566397011568918617_n

We arrive at Spello to a police escort!10438896_920412384641146_2904861036983601503_n10256422_920412407974477_6060747085589368784_n

Dinner in restaurant II Trombone 10527312_920412734641111_7347974493278243709_n Sensational view ….10462393_920412771307774_5413929128142928433_o

It’s a cat’s life..   10387673_920454867970231_3114522540951629707_n

Our venue – and our maestro..10492149_920454891303562_7464394683622684273_n

Lads waiting while the ladies change..     10457483_920454931303558_334779859278061878_n

“I seem to remember saying to CLYO months ago that our Italian guests would love our repertoire – not sure we could ever have imagined quite how much tho!
Extraordinary reaction from a capacity house – and yes, we had to do four encores again.
Started ‘Pirates’ at 22.48 – so possibly the fastest ever!
Amazing, amazing CLYO.” 🙂 (Dougie)


Day 5

A day with chocolate, Perugia during the jazz festival, a beautiful lake then back for prizes and an evening without playing any Tchaikovsky!

It was a ‘cool’ 36 when we left the chocolate museum/factory today.
Tasting session much enjoyed!1551464_920823037933414_3033843099277767465_n10561574_920823051266746_6394987026685172481_n

Concert in Montefalco advertised on Italian telly 🙂

Relaxing couple of hours in Perugia with live jazz being played all over the centre. 10484196_920865114595873_9045693475539381324_n

Great views and a bit cooler – enough for an impromptu footy game in the main square..10562977_920865074595877_3079270101589031294_n

One more from Perugia as we leave for our next stop.  What a stunning area!


A relaxing hour at the spectacular lakeside of Castiglione del Lago
before heading off for evening quiz at the hotel…10557241_920934581255593_6683880753055792086_n

Lovely awards do with lots of laughs 🙂

De Boer awards went to
Izzy Rose
Ellie Pollock
Matthew Li
Bhanhee Kim

10461970_921110611237990_2597000927447521651_n (1)

And the Music For Alice Award – in memory of ex CLYO member Alice McGill who died in the Tsunami in 2004 – goes to Amy Green..

Bravo, Amy for your brilliant playing and leading this year!10488368_921110971237954_5980150287158940052_n

The Paul Mountain Award for outstanding achievement goes to Rob Greenwood!

Congrats and bravo to Rob and thanks and best wishes to all our wonderful leavers 🙂

After a great quiz from Sarah and Hannah
Late night jazz in the bar with Jacob, Tom and Dan 10402755_921107401238311_5111038995172920410_n (1)

What a day! 🙂


Day 6

Today, sightseeing in Gubbio and then off to Montefalco.


It’s hard to believe that it could get any more beautiful than the last few days
– but it does!1926724_921391864543198_4482215488315193060_n10551042_921391951209856_9115783586363853212_n (1)1044239_921392064543178_2444950101264520134_n (1)


The highlight was the ski lift..10565082_921421851206866_1323544383358342356_n (1)

Wonderful, wonderful views..10556285_921421947873523_659085535483752463_n (1)10491215_921421921206859_7667474571617559450_n (1)

and all back safely 🙂

Kipps, being the legend he is, walked all the way!10538060_921421984540186_4702497582292646641_n (1)10462769_921422034540181_3457773961800568075_n


The museum at Montefalco certainly has the wow factor and also a great acoustic..10411189_921502637865454_5531983898849413832_n

A tired, but happy, CLYO in Montefalco..10547418_921543094528075_829461093646203309_n

Casually watching Umbria vs Lazio at boxing – as you do after a rehearsal!10565148_921564264525958_1753006603760880676_n

“Tiredness showing in the eyes but not in the music – there was playing in Enigma that was as fine as anything I have ever heard.  To start Francesca at 22.30 and play it like that should not really be possible – not to mention the four encores..” (Dougie)


Day 7

Our amazing CLYO spirit continues 🙂

A couple of hours wandering around beautiful Cortona before heading to Chiusi for a complete performance of Enigma, several encores and then water works.

Ready for the final concert by this fabulous CLYO year…10447704_922172204465164_1518089863599282924_n (2)

And here we go – the final concert of the tour!10436186_922192654463119_4801505333215596176_n (2)


Four concerts
More standing ovations than we could count
14 encores
Nine beautiful towns in Umbria and Tuscany visited
Playing of great quality, care and passion with simply the finest string sound around
One serious re-invite from a major promoter
One happy CLYO 🙂

10486951_922295881119463_646321635632398031_nAnd after all that, late night jazz in the bar – amazing 🙂

Our awesome leavers 2014 with the Maestro of course 🙂10489683_923467141002337_1675921841749668912_n



Day 8

Head for home…

Day 9

Arrive in Leeds at tea-time – safe and sound.  What a great trip 🙂



Review: City of Leeds Youth Orchestra [Yorkshire Post]

By Robert Cockroft
Published on Friday 21 March 2014  [Yorkshire Post]

Leeds Town Hall

This concert offered a glimpse into our musical future – and the future looks bright.  The City of Leeds Youth Orchestra, more than 100 players of secondary school age, played pieces by Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky and Elgar with heartwarming skill, brio and commitment.

Some of these young people will doubtless progress to professional orchestra.  But for the moment, they are enjoying the liberating disciplines of music-making and their enthusiasm was contagious.

With many amateur orchestra, allowances must be made for mishaps and misunderstandings.  Not however, for this one.

Dougie Scarfe, the inspirational conductor, had devised a testing programme of textural variety and his charges responded to the challenge with remarkable assurance.  There was much to admire: the splendid brass and punctual percussion in Verdi’s Nabucco Overture, the resilient string line – not least from the fine cellos – in the Intermezzo from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and the fleet woodwind in Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini.

More admirable still was the players’ musical understanding of these contrasting pieces, their capacity for emotional engagement.  This was perhaps best conveyed in a richly expressive account of Elgar’s Enigma Variations.  Beautifully shaped and deftly characterised, with a glorious Nimrod, it ended in a blaze of optimism – and, from the audience, a surge of pride.

Orchestra busk at York branch of NatWest

Members of the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra “busking” at the NatWest bank in Market Street, York, to raise money for a tour to Italy.

Twelve members of one of the country’s leading musical organisations for young people took to the streets of York in a bid to raise funds for a trip to Italy.

The City of Leeds Youth Orchestra (CLYO) is looking forward to an eight-day tour to Perugia in July of next year.
CLYO musicians from York schools went busking in the city to raise money for the tour. NatWest Bank in Market Street hosted a variety of small ensembles.
The day included performances from a brass quartet, barbershop group, string quartet, woodwind trio, horn trio and jazz quartet.


Summer Residential 2013

This July CLYO’s residential course took place at Repton School from 14th to 19th July culminating in two concerts: the first on 19th July in Selby Abbey and the second on 20th July in the village of Botton as part of the Ryedale Festival.

The course was a brilliant part of the year. Everyone really got to know each other and the atmosphere was very special and the music-making fantastic.

The music included Rimsky Korsakov’s Cappricio Espagnol, Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, with principal cellist Zach Owen, and Rachmaninov’s magnificent Symphony No. 2.


Review: City of Leeds Youth Orchestra [Yorkshire Post]

By Chris Robins
Published on Friday 22 March 2013 09:51 [Yorkshire Post]

Leeds Town Hall

Somehow 20th century music always seems to be the right stuff for teenagers, and this showcase concert for Leeds’ 100-strong Youth Orchestra showed them to be on top of their game.

Dave Heath’s African Sunrise/Manhattan Rave, written in 1995 as a vehicle for Evelyn Glennie and the Scottish National Youth Orchestra, was here stolen by Leeds’ 17-years old percussionist Jake Brown who owned it comprehensively in his remarkable performance.

The piece is a tribute to the Bernstein of West Side Story, less obviously in African Sunrise where Heath cunningly plays on young people’s well-developed capacity for sentimentality, more obviously in Manhattan Rave where Bernstein’s ‘Rumble’ and ‘Mambo’ scenes are prominent before Jake Brown climaxed his cadenza with a direct quote. A brilliant piece, brilliantly played, with Jake Brown echoing Gary Burton/Chick Corea collaborations on marimba and Buddy Rich on trash and kit drums. Shostakovich’s Symphony No 12, written in 1961, is a work of subtle, subversive genius played here with a touch of that same genius by these superb teenagers and their magician of a conductor Dougie Scarfe. Only Elgar’s 19th century-style long-winded Cockaigne Overture eluded these young players – and no wonder, it is not actually a very good piece.

City of Leeds Youth Orchestra to drum up a surprise at Leeds Town Hall

A talented young Yorkshire percussionist will up sticks from the back of the orchestra to take centre stage as soloist in a sensational percussion concerto at Leeds Town Hall.


17 year old Jake Brown will be playing everything from the full range of orchestral percussion to dustbins and a junk drum kit in a performance of Dave Heath’s African Sunrise: Manhattan Rave with the 100 strong City of Leeds Youth Orchestra (CLYO).

The piece was originally commissioned by the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland for Evelyn Glennie. CLYO’s principal conductor, Dougie Scarfe, said:

“The first movement is a beautiful evocation of the African landscape and sunrise, with the second a high octane depiction of downtown Manhattan. It is an incredible show piece written for one of the world’s top percussionists and youth orchestra.”

Also on the programme when CLYO perform at Leeds Town Hall on Saturday 16 March are Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture and Shostakovich Symphony No 12 The Year 1917.

Dougie said:

“I’m continually delighted at the level of commitment, technical quality and sound of CLYO and proud that we have the home grown talent to perform such exciting repertoire for our audiences.”

As well as leading the percussion section of CLYO, Jake Brown is the principal percussionist with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and has been playing percussion since the age of 11. Jake currently studies at the Junior Royal Northern School of Music and has been offered a place to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London from this September.

The concert is at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 (£5 for under 18s, jobseekers and full-time students, with £1.50 reduction for over 60s) and can be booked online at www.leedsconcertseason.com or from the box office on 0113 224 3801.

Also a big thank you to this website for help and assistance.

Acoustic renewed thanks to Ray Payne

The acoustic in our rehearsal venue has been dramatically improved thanks to Ray Payne’s efforts.

‘Over two and a half days in the first week back this term, with the kind permission of the Head Teacher of City of Leeds School I used a scaffolding tower to reach up to the high points of the brick walls in the main hall and fix some M8 Eye type rawlbolts which I then used to hang some black fire retardant curtains. The curtains cost nothing as I had taken them several years ago from Ralph Thoresby Theatre before it was demolished. The main aim was to reduce the resonance of the room and to take out the hard corners of the room which were causing a ricochet effect especially when the orchestra played anything above forte.’

Penny Jackson has kindly hemmed the curtains.

Five young Leeds musicians win coveted places in National Youth Orchestra


Five talented students have received news that is music to their ears – they have come through a tough audition process to gain places in the prestigious National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO).

The NYO, which has 170 members from all across the British Isles, gives Britain’s most talented teenage musicians the chance to develop their skills with specialist tutors and perform under the baton of world class conductors in top concert halls across the country.

Joining the NYO for its 2013 season will be five members of the 102 strong City of Leeds Youth Orchestra (CLYO) – percussionists Jake Brown, 17, and Tom Pritchard, 15, along with string players Jack Greed, 15, on violin, Katherine Raven, 18, on viola and Zach Owen, 17, on cello. Last year two members of CLYO achieved membership of the NYO, with another a reserve player.

Jake is currently studying percussion at Junior Royal Northern College of Music with Ian Forgrieve and auditioning for conservatoires, with a view to becoming a professional musician. It will be his second year in the NYO and he has been awarded the great accolade of the role of section principal for the percussion.

He said:

“I feel very privileged to be a member of the National Youth Orchestra. I had such a great experience last year and I am very excited for the year ahead, especially the challenge and responsibility that comes as principal percussion. All the tutors are very supportive and really help us to improve as players.”

The CLYO experience will stand the five young musicians in good stead for NYO which starts after Christmas with a residential course prior to a concert at Leeds Town Hall on 5 January 2013. Jake said: “CLYO has had such a huge impact on me, from the age of 10 it has given me the opportunity to play and experience lots of fantastic pieces. It has been an integral part of allowing me to gain the skills necessary to become a member of NYO.”

Dougie Scarfe, Principal Conductor of CLYO, said:

“CLYO has established itself as one of the finest youth orchestras in the country and the selection of an unprecedented five of its players by NYO is recognition that CLYO is a jewel in the crown for music-making in Yorkshire.”