Welcome to the Centre for Wessex Young Musicians - home of the Wessex Youth Orchestra
The CWYM (based at the Bournemouth and Poole College of Further Education), is a Saturday morning music centre providing quality ensemble training and music theory classes for young musicians of all ages and stages. Now with more than 200 members (and continuing to expand), it is one of the largest music centres on the South Coast. With three main concerts each season, a Wessex Young Soloists’ Concert Series, highly successful music festival performances, concert tours, charity busking events, visits to London’s West End and Southbank, a Centre newsletter and tuck shop, the CWYM not only offers high quality musical experiences, it makes it a lot of fun too.
The Centre’s largest and best known ensemble is the Wessex Youth Orchestra directed by CWYM Director Susanna Riddell. Now entering its 50th season, the WYO regularly appears at Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, across the UK and on international tours to great acclaim. Maintaining a 100% success rate in all WYO appearances at the National Festival of Music for Youth since 2011, and in the summer of 2016, acheiving the additional and indeed the highest accolade currently available to youth orchestras in the UK - Music for Youth's National Partnership Award, the WYO continues to prove itself as one of the most exciting and successful regional youth orchestras of today.
An off-shoot of the WYO is the Wessex Youth Chamber Orchestra, a group of 35 or so WYO musicians who come together for one-off performances of chamber repertoire. Whilst the WYO and WYCO offer access to a wide range of musical experiences for the Centre’s more advanced musicians, the CWYM’s other ensembles remain equally important. They provide vital training for our younger musicians (and possibly future members of the WYO) in both the preliminary and intermediate stages of their musical education. There are two string orchestras – Wessex Starter Strings and Wessex Middle Strings, two concert wind bands – Wessex Junior Fanfare and Wessex Youth Fanfare, and our newest venture the Wessex Young Apprentices Orchestra. The range of Saturday morning activities is complimented by music theory classes, covering the necessary knowledge of grades 1-5 ABRSM Music Theory.
Not forgetting our fantastic team of SWYM (Society for Wessex Young Musicians) volunteers and parent helpers who run the Centre tuck shop, assist with CWYM fundraising or simply become the “movers and shifters”, Saturday mornings at the CWYM are busy, noisy, full of energy and laughter. We’re very proud of our family-friendly atmosphere, why not try it yourselves? Come and join the Wessex family!
2020-21 Season: The CWYM in COVID times is open and making music! The Centre for Wessex Young Musicians is COVID-Secure. We are very proud to have been able to continue to offer music-making and high quality ensemble training to our young musicians during these unprecedented times. Using a blended approach of small bubble sectionals and rehearsals (when Tier related restrictions allow) and online rehearsals which also serve as backup during Lockdowns, we have been able to operate uninterrupted throughout the Autumn term, and now look forward to our new projects for 2021. Scroll down to see the CWYM ensembles' latest Lockdown performances.
Spring 2021: Saturday January 16th - March 27th
Summer 2021: Saturday April 24th - July 3rd Normal rehearsal Location: Jellicoe Theatre Building, College, Danecourt Road, Parkstone, BH14 0PQ
December 2020 - WYO and CWYM Ensembles - Online pre-recorded Concert event
"Spring Concert" - socially distanced/multi-track recorded performances - to stream online
POSTPONED "50th Anniversary Gala Concert" - Wessex Youth Orchestra - Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts
Summer Concert - all ensembles - Saturday July 3rd 2021 - Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts TBC
CWYM Projects For information on previous CWYM Projects, including the Great Wessex Windies Day 2019, please click here. Lockdown Projects All the CWYM's latest Lockdown projects can be viewed on the Wessex Youth Orchestra's YouTube channel - click here. Here's a taster:
GoFundMe Page! Can you help us to meet the costs of recording projects, as we strive to maintain musical training and focus towards challenges and performance, whilst keeping our young musicians and our audiences socially distant and safe during these COVID times? What will we be doing? Well here's one we did earlier! Enjoy!