Merry Christmas Everyone!

We have only had three weeks of rehearsal this term… and even then with hugely reduced numbers of students. We miss all our concerts and rehearsals so much! Still, we are proud that we have been able to put a few things together for this virtual Christmas concert… and we look forward to 2021 being a lot MORE full of music!
Some fun ideas for Christmas music-making – or a future MusicFest item, maybe?

Stay musical over the holidays! You’ll find some Christmas carol karaoke here and awesome singing blobs here (yes, really!)

There’s loads of great music being streamed over the holidays… check out this guide. Also check out loads of things to listen to and music facts here

Listen to what the BYMT ensembles have been working on this term here

Have a great, music-filled Christmas, and we look forward to making LOTS OF NOISE at some point next year!

The blog is back!

The Show Must Go On! - Poster

What a weird year this has been… but for the first time since March, we will be able to start a very limited programme of extra-curricular activities next week. We are restricted to keeping activities within bubbles, and lunchtime is too short to use for rehearsing these days, so we can only offer music activities for Years 7, 8 and 9. Here is what’s on offer:

Wednesday after school: Year 7 choir and Year 7 band

Thursday after school: Year 9 Jamsesh (all instruments/voices)

Friday after school: Year 8 Jamsesh (all instruments/voices)

We can only accommodate a small number of students at a time because of the limits on how many people can sing/play wind instruments in a room, and if you have expressed an interest in joining, we have emailed a number of you to invite you (check your emails!). Further places may become available in due course.

Although this is a very small beginning, we are really looking forward to doing some music, and recording some things to put into a Virtual Christmas Concert.

BYMT Musical Theatre workshop

TUESDAY 1st DECEMBER BYMT will be welcoming CARLY THOMS (West End’s Current Miss Honey) for an exclusive online MATILDA Workshop.  Looking at the acting & dancing skills required for MATILDA, Carly will coach you through some of the scenes from the hit West End show & teach you some of the choreography.  There are 3 workshops 5.30-6.30pm (Ages 8-11) / 6.45-7.45pm (ages 12-15) / 8.00-9.00pm (ages 16-21).  Cost is £8 per student.  Spaces are limited – don’t miss out!  For more information & to book, please visit  

Jess Gillam’s Virtual Scratch Ensemble – Christmas edition

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The concept is simple: On the website there are parts for all instruments, you video yourself playing the part that suits you most, send it in and then they’ll collate all of the videos to make a Virtual Orchestra and Jess will play along too. All audio parts will be used in the final video, however it may not be possible to include all video appearances.

The Christmas piece will be Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson. Written in 1948 by Leroy Anderson and recorded by The Ronnettes, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby, this piece is a firm Christmas favourite and will be great fun for us all to play together. You can download musical parts and choice of click tracks from

Happy summer everyone!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Virtual Summer Concert, and proved that Hayes just can’t stop being musical! 🙂

Well it’s all been very strange, hasn’t it! We are looking forward to seeing everyone in September. We are hoping to have some extra-curricular music up and running, as we know how much everyone has missed it, but it will have to take a slightly different format from normal. We’ll let you know the details when term starts (things might change in the meantime, so we don’t want to make any firm plans just yet).


We will get back to having concerts as soon as we are allowed to. If that isn’t for a while, we will do more virtual/video events. If you have any brilliant ideas, please let us know about them!

In the meantime, have a great summer and stay musical!

Daily listening Friday 17th July

Summertime” is a song by American hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. The duo consisted of rapper Will Smith (the Fresh Prince) and disc jockey Jeff Townes (DJ Jazzy Jeff). The song was released in May 1991 and became their most successful single.

The song samples the 1974 song “Summer Madness” by the American band, Kool & the Gang.

Have a fabulous summer holiday! Maybe do some really lovely musical things – try a new instrument, learn a new piece, or listen to something different. We look forward to hearing all about it next term.

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Daily listening Thursday 16th July

His third album ‘Hide and Seek’ was released in March 2020.

Adam Ben Ezra (born 1982) is an Israeli self-taught multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator, known for his double bass performances. He is also an online sensation with more than ten million hits on YouTube and a strong social media following. He was introduced to the double-bass at age 16 and was instantly attracted to the instrument’s rich sound. He incorporates elements of Jazz, Funk, Latin and Mediterranean music into his playing, and often uses a combination of electronic effects and pedals to loop his notes in order to deliver a rich wall of sound.

Find out more about the double bass here

Daily listening Wednesday 15th July

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899 – 1974) was an American composer, pianist and big-band bandleader who composed thousands of scores over his 50-year career. He composed It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) in 1931. The lyrics were written by Irving Mills. The song is now accepted as a jazz standard.

big band is a type of ensemble of jazz music. They dominated jazz in the early 1940s when swing music was most popular and the big bands provided the accompaniment for dancing. Swing music uses subtle syncopated rhythms (rhythm patterns where stressed notes are placed off the beat).

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It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. I swear, it's ...

In contrast to the typical jazz emphasis on improvisation, big bands relied more on written compositions and arrangements. They gave a greater role to bandleaders, arrangers, and sections of instruments rather than soloists. Big bands usually consists of ten or more musicians with four sections: saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a rhythm section.

Daily listening Monday 13th July

This is Rondo alla Mambo (inspired by the Third Movement of W. A. Mozart’s Horn Concerto No.3) played by French Horn player, Sarah Willis, and the Havana Lyceum Orchestra of Cuba. Sarah Willis is a horn player in the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. She travelled to Havana in Cuba to teach and discovered that music was everywhere, and was very surprised to come across a monument commemorating Mozart. This was the inspiration for her project ‘Mozart y Mambo’ a one-time musical experience combining Mozart’s horn concertos with traditional Cuban music. Find out more about this project here.

The mambo is a genre of Cuban dance music which originated in Cuba in the 1940s. Listen out for the syncopated rhythms and exciting percussion. Compare the mambo-style melody in today’s extract above (from 57 seconds) with Mozart’s original version here from the 1780s.

Daily listening Sunday 12th July

Do Not Be Afraid is a choral song composed by Philip Stopford with words by Gerard Markland. It is based on four verses from the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 43.

Philip Stopford (born 1977) is an English sacred music choral composer and choir director. He is known for his contemporary a cappella and accompanied settings of traditional Latin and English prayers and hymns. A cappella means vocal music performed without instrumental accompaniment as can be heard in today’s piece. A cappella is Italian for ‘”in the manner of the chapel”‘ – it was originally used in religious music.

Daily listening Saturday 11th July

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Sir Simon Rattle, conductor · Berliner Philharmoniker / Recorded at the Berlin Philharmonie, 5 November 2010

Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian composer and conductor from the late Romantic period of music. Today’s piece, the Symphony No. 1 in D major was mainly composed between late 1887 and March 1888.

The extract is from the start of the fourth movement.

Things to listen out for:

  • The introduction consisting of an abrupt cymbal crash, a loud chord in the upper woodwinds, string and brass, and a timpani roll, all in succession.
  • Fanfares in the brass section

The symphony is scored for a very large orchestra, consisting of the following:

  • Woodwinds – 4 flutes, 4 oboes, 4 clarinets, 3 bassoons 
  • Brass – 7 horns, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones, 1 tuba
  • Percussion – 6 timpani, 1 bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tam-tam
  • Strings – 1 harp, 1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, double basses