Kirklees Youth Symphony Orchestra
Musical Director: Thom Meredith (Principal, Kirklees Music School)
Leader: Abigail Askew
KYSO, under the umbrella of Kirklees Music School, was founded in September 2000, rising from the ashes of the Huddersfield Youth Orchestra system which flourished in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Its aim is to provide high quality orchestral opportunities for the students in the area who have reached advanced standards of performance. The Youth Orchestra embraces a variety of genres and styles, from classical to contemporary, film and popular, engaging in project work with other arts organizations and complementary groups.
Since its creation, KYSO has performed works such as Gershwin “Rhapsody in Blue” with Keith Swallow (2002) and Rick Uttley (2010), Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concerto with John Lill (2004), Bruch Violin Concerto no 1 with Atsuko Sahara (2007); “The Armed Man – a mass for peace” by Karl Jenkins (2005), a performance instigated by the Halifax Young Singers and combining youth choirs from Huddersfield, Halifax, Bradford and Leeds; “Tubby the Tuba” (2008); “Romany Wood” (2008) a new work by David Gaukroger and Howard Blake “The Snowman” (2010 and 2011). July 2006 saw the first of our ‘Pops’ concerts when our guest was Richard Fleeshman, star of Coronation Street and winner of ITV’s ‘Soapstar Superstar’ and in November 2010 we performed for the third time at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert. In 2008 KYSO recorded its first CD.
The orchestra performs regularly in Huddersfield Town Hall and also tours every two years. Recent tours to Italy (2003 and 2009), Spain (2005), the Czech Republic (2007) and Austria (2011) have proved extremely popular. KYSO has successfully participated in the National Festival of Music for Youth, appearing both at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The orchestra is coached by members of KMS staff and the string section is a successful orchestra in its own right. The ‘Kirklees Schools String Orchestra’, directed by Ralph Barker and assisted by Will Mace, has been successful in many festivals and regularly wins the right to perform in London and Birmingham with the National Festival of Music for Youth. The brass section (KYSO Symphonic Brass) is trained by Nick Dolling, the woodwind by Rachel O’Sullivan.
Hear the orchestra with Lindley Junior School Choir, soloists Ellie Pike, Harry Meredith and Thom Meredith under the baton of Ralph Barker performing a selection from 'Les Miserables' at Hudderfield Town Hall.