Tour to Czech Republic/Slovakia 2016

Day -1

The big instruments are all loaded ready to go ūüôā

CLYO_Prague_sticker  Here we come!

Day 1

¬†0745 and we’re off!

Cambridge services and all well. Already¬†experts in the CLYO discipline of ‘counting from the back’Tour16_2












Hopefully it won’t rain all week! We are reunited with Ric and Jane our main drivers from Perugia 😄

Tour16_4Our EU adventure is now officially underway ūüôā



13 hours into the journey, all well.
Good night sun

The 03:40 loo stop somewhere in Germany – all part of the tour experience 😄
(About 260 miles to go)

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Day 2

Crossed into Czech Republic at 0635 and the sun is out 😎

11:45 and we’ve arrived at hotel after an hour or so finding our way into Prague!
Very hot, all safe.
Just waiting to see when rooms will be available and then plan the afternoon


 Tours are always about dealing with what you find Рtoday with a combination of us arriving early and a busy hotel meant that we had to wait over 4 hours in the heat for all our rooms to be ready.
No-one could have dealt with it better than CLYO – an absolutely exemplary, chilled attitude.
Amazing – so proud.



Day 3

First rehearsal under way in Plezn! A wonderful venue!

Three standing ovations! The tour is definitely underway with a bang!








Update from Meg (cellist):

The first concert is all over and the music aspect of the tour has officially commenced. The people of Plzen were treated to warm and sweaty renditions of Sarka and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake alongside Lehar’s The Merry Widow and Vilja. Not forgetting the truly beautiful Lark Ascending from our fantastic leader Sarah Twaddle which received tearful applause. Our first audience were so special and lapped up the three encores, which were both emotional and loud, as well giving three standing ovations, (a rare occurrence in the area). The buzz has hit everyone in the orchestra and we are thoroughly looking forward to the next three concerts although thankful for the rest day!x

Day 4

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Morning after the triumph before – CLYO chills after check out before exploring Prague
Tour16_17Still life legend (‘Kips’ I think!) with goldfish pond

Tour16_18Three and a half hours into our slow journey to Olomouc and the game of I spy is reaching metaphysical stage!

Today we have learned that roadworks on main roads in Czech Rep can turn a three hour journey into a five hour one – just like home!
As ever we kept ourselves entertained on the trip and the hotel here in Olomouc is lovely.
All safe and well.


Day 5

First early morning run on the tour (in the rain).
Olomouc is one of the main centres of Moravian culture with stunning churches and the largest number of baroque statues in Central Europe – which means a lot!
All v quiet at the hotel when I got back – we’re going to need all our energies to do three concerts in three days so great if everyone sleeps.
Looking forward to the Archbishop’s Palace later.

Tour16_24 Tour16_20Tour16_21 Tour16_22 Tour16_23 Tour16_19

Tour16_25Setting off later as the weather is a bit poor so my view whilst I have a coffee is happy people in five big groups playing cards – including the viscous Scandinavian Snap! Tour16_26





Just getting to rehearse at KromńõŇô√≠Ňĺ Castle after a ‘damp’ lunchtime!




Max rehearsing Dvorak and sounding great in this wonderful hall!Tour16_27

Tour16_28Trish Holch Arrived in Bratislava and found this at tourist information !

Tour16_29 Just over 30 minutes to go!

Tour16_30 They did it again!

Tour16_31 Tour16_32 Wonderful performances from Max and Megan tonight and hugely appreciated by the large audience

Depending on the signal etc. we hope to broadcast the Merry Widow Overture from Bratislava on Saturday using Facebook Live on the CLYO page. It’s the first piece in the programme at 18.00GMT. Fingers crossed!

Day 6

Tour16_33 The morning has been spent in the impressive town of Olomouc. We took the opportunity to take our first full orchestra photo against the Holy Trinity Column, which is a World Heritage site. Now on to Slovakia!
DS x¬†Tour16_37 Tour16_36 Tour16_35¬†Lots of posts about the orchestra and the concerts but let’s hear it for the team – Hannah, Julia, Sarah, Julia, John, Kipps plus our two student staff, Jacob and Rob.
These are the wonderful people who devote themselves all tour to looking after your young people, day and night, who have helped me organise the trip, prepare the music etc, etc.
They are the best team and we are all blessed to have them.
DS x

Tour16_38 Tour16_39 And again! A wonderful response from our first Slovakian audience. Now en route to Bratislava in a very happy (and noisy) coach.



Arrived safe in Bratislava, our third hotel in just over three days!
This is a true tour and CLYO are responding like a true orchestra.

Day 7

Three concerts and eleven standing ovations down, we’re now in Bratislava and preparing for our final great opportunity – playing in the home venue of Bratislava’s professional orchestra – at the Slovak Radio Hall.

Another great programme showing our many and varied talents and don’t forget we are hoping to relay the Merry Widow Overture live on Facebook – tune in just before 6pm UK time.

Everyone at home can be very proud of our CLYO.

Just to add even more sparkle to tonight, in the audience we will have the Deputy Head of the U.K. mission in Bratislava and Baroness Neville-Rolfe Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business Department in the British Government!
Can’t wait to blow them away with the wonder that is… 😄


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Tours are all about experiences and playing in the Slovak Radio Hall is sure to be just that 😄



Unfortunately there is no signal and no wifi so we will not be able to stream the overture tonight. However, this is the excellent hall we’re in today and it’s great to hear CLYO in this acoustic – they are sounding very professional.

They did it again! Six standing ovations! More news to follow shortly!

Well… 4 concerts, 18 separate standing ovations, 13 encores, audiences in love with CLYO and one happy and proud CLYO.
John will post some of the video when we get back but I can honestly say that tonight was one of the very finest CLYO performances – ever.
What a privilege to play in such a great hall.
An outstanding tour and thanks once again to the outstanding team who made it possible.

Day 8

Tour16_45 First wave of returnees, checked in and through security at Bratislava airport, bound for Manchester.
Only one person left their passport at the hotel, meaning emergency taxi, I’ll leave it to you to guess who it was… 😎




After just over five hours we have crossed into Germany and heading towards N√ľrnberg. It’s been a nice, quiet trip so far! (At least on this coach!)


10.5 hours in and a beautiful sunset over W√ľrzburg.


Calais is behind us and we should arrive in Dover at 6am!


Orchestra busk at York branch of NatWest

Members of the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra ‚Äúbusking‚ÄĚ 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.


Germany Tour 2012

Every other year, the members and staff of CLYO pack their bags and embark on a foreign tour. In July 2012, we set out for a tour of eastern Germany; in our two main locations of Bautzen and Leipzig, we enjoyed a jam-packed week of 4 concerts, 2 hotels, 2 prison tours, several restaurants and free time in which we could explore our beautiful surroundings.

The repertoire for the week included Vaughan Williams’s A London Symphony, An American in Paris by George Gershwin, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Concerto for Trombone, performed by our principal trombonist Ryan Durkan. We also paid tribute to German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, who spent much of his life in Leipzig, with a performance of his Double Violin Concerto by two orchestra members, Oscar Holch and Dominic Ingham.

germany 2012

Leipzig tour through the eyes of a CLYO member ‚Äď Lydia Cockburn, 17, 2nd trombone

The tour began with an epic coach journey from Leeds to Bautzen, taking 25 hours in total. Although this seems a lot, the journey actually made for quite a sociable experience and certainly gave us plenty of time to get excited for the week ahead! After arriving and checking in to our rooms, we were given free time in which we were able to look around the quaint, hill-top town of Bautzen, before returning to the hotel for an evening meal.

We spent two full days in Bautzen, with a concert each evening in two beautiful, spacious churches in Herrnhut and Niesky. This stay included a guided tour of the Bautzen Memorial, a former Stasti prison, and a trip to the easternmost town in Germany, Görlitz, to have lunch and see the Polish border. Both of these excursions were fun and interesting, and allowed us to gain some knowledge of the local history and culture. Thanks to the widespread appreciation for classical music in eastern Germany, we were welcomed at each concert venue by large and appreciative audiences, making the experience all the more rewarding for the young players.

The following day involved transferring from Bautzen to Leipzig, so we went via the stunning city of Dresden, where we had a few hours to explore before a picturesque boat trip along the river Elbe. This was an ideal way to let off steam after a busy two days, and it was a great opportunity to experience another of the main cities in eastern Germany.

The next two days included more cultural outings such as a visit to Colditz Castle and a guided sightseeing tour of Leipzig, in which we visited the St. Thomas Church, where Bach was choir director for 27 years. Our third concert took place in the Festival Hall in Bad Schmiedeberg, and on this occasion we performed the Bach Double Violin Concerto, which went down extremely well with the local audience. Our final concert was in a beautiful church in Jena, where we played the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and finished off with Pirates of the Caribbean as an encore.

Overall, the CLYO tour to Germany was a fantastic experience which saw the orchestra deliver its best concerts of the year, raise thousands of euros for charities and ultimately become a much closer group of people, now not only with shared interests, but also shared experiences.

From London to Paris in concert with the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra

For their next concert the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra (CLYO) will take their audience on a musical journey around Europe – and the ticket’s free for schoolchildren.

The orchestra’s members, ranging in age from 12 to 19, come from across Leeds and further afield. They have been rehearsing together since September, and are preparing for their first concert of the season at St Edmund’s Church in Roundhay.

Entry to the concert is free for schoolchildren, who will hear a full symphony orchestra perform a programme of music inspired by London, Paris and Venice. The varied programme includes George Gershwin’s An American in Paris, the first movement of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ second symphony A London Symphony and Franz Liszt’s symphonic poem Tasso: Lamento e Trionfo, which was inspired by the songs of a gondolier in Venice.

Principal conductor Dougie Scarfe said, “CLYO is a friendly and exciting place for young people to make music, and with 85 members this year the orchestra is going from strength to strength. We are hugely fortunate to be able to perform two concerts a year in the wonderful St Edmund’s Church, and this programme will give you a taste of what the orchestra has to offer in the coming months.”

Plans for the rest of the season include two appearances at Leeds Town Hall, the annual travelling prom which brings the orchestral experience to Leeds schoolchildren, and a tour to eastern Germany in July 2012.

The concert takes place on Saturday 19 November at 7.30pm, at St Edmund’s Church, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 1JN. Tickets are available on the door at a price of ¬£10.00 and ¬£5.00 concessions. Schoolchildren are admitted free of charge.

Summer Residential 2011

The summer residential took place at Giggleswick between the dates of 10 – 15 July. ¬†The orchestra gave two great concerts – the first at Ripon Cathedral on the Friday followed by a return visit to the Ryedale Festival on the Saturday. ¬†Both concerts included Shostakovich’s magnificent 10th symphony.

Spain Tour 2010

Between the dates of 12 Р20 July the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra were on tour in Spain arriving hot on the heels of their victorious World Cup team.

Their first concert took place outdoors in the spectacular surroundings of the Plaza Oriente, Madrid.  In an appropriately celebratory atmosphere, they received numerous standing ovations from a large and enthusiastic audience.

Subsequent concerts were given at the Monastery of San Zoilo, Carrión de los Condes:  the Iglesia de Santiago, Medina de Rioseco; and the Monastery of San Benito, Valladolid (part of the Musica para Noches de Verano festival)

Norton Concert 2009

This year the Giggleswick residential wrapped up with concerts on 17th and 18th July with concerts at Selby Abbey and St Peter’s Church, Norton. ¬†The latter concert formed part of the annual Ryedale Festival. ¬†On both occasions the CLYO gave a performance of the Planets Suite by Gustav Holst. ¬†Some pictures of the course can be seen here.

Poland Tour 2008

July 2008 saw the band undertake an ambitious concert tour of Poland.  During their stay they gave two concerts at Krakow, a concert in Przemysl Cathedral and at Radom. The final concert was at the historic Warsaw  Conservatoire.