Hub Highlights

10 Dec 2018

Shrewsbury Brass Band


Shrewsbury Brass Band have had another successful year, seeing them go on tour to the Isle of Wight and also play at a range of events including the Mayor’s Parade, Remembrance Sunday, Christmas Joy at the Abbey Church, Ironbridge Brass Band Festival, Festival of Remembrance at Theatre Severn and playing at the inaugural Shrewsbury University Graduation Ceremony.


The band have moved from strength to strength during 2018 under the conductorship of Steve Pritchard-Jones and has seen a number of new players join over the last twelve months. The use of the facilities at the Music Service and Oakmeadow School has enabled the band to have fulfilling and successful rehearsals every week.


During 2018 the band have been keen to push themselves and have taken on a range of more challenging music including Rossini’s ‘William Tell Overture’ and ‘Lest We Forget’ which was originally arranged for the Grimethorpe Colliery Band by Christopher Bond.


Earlier in the year, the band joined forces with Shropshire Youth Brass Band in a joint workshop which saw the combined bands working together on a piece called ‘Windows on the World’ by Peter Graham. This was an extremely successful event which culminated in a performance of a range of the movements from suite. Steve Pritchard-Jones, conductor of Shrewsbury Brass Band, led the workshop. Mr Pritchard-Jones said in response to the event “I am delighted to see so many musicians and enthusiastic young brass players working together to have such a brilliant musical experience; such a fantastic day!”.



As we move in to December and the festive period, the band have a busy programme of events and can be seen playing at a concert alongside the Shropshire Girls’ Choir to mark the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War at the magnificent St. Chads Church in the heart of Shrewsbury. Later in the month, they will be supporting Carols in the Square, the above mentioned Christmas Joy concert and Carols on the Parade in Bayston Hill alongside many other engagements.


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas from Shrewsbury Brass Band.'

3 Dec 2018

Wilfred Owen Primary School

Our Year 3 and 4 class organised a tea party last year.  They had been working on the whole school theme of ‘Let’s Remember’.  As part of their legacy outcome the children trained to be Dementia Friends.  This involved staff members from the Uplands Nursing Home coming into school to teach the children key skills to support them working with the elderly and those with dementia.

Tea-party-2.JPG   Tea-party-1-ice5mg.jpg   

Following visits to the Nursing Home the two classes combined to finish their programme of work with a tea party.  They invited some of the residents they had met at The Uplands to come and join them.  The children dressed in their party clothes and performed a number of old songs which they encouraged our visitors to join in with.  The children waited on the visitors, serving food they had prepared and enjoyed the chance to talk about memories with the residents.

19 Nov 2018

In the Summer The Hive hosted the first part of our new VERSE-atility Project where we are working with young carers, using music and dance to increase confidence, build trust, develop relationships and increase skills. After a series of tasters across Shropshire, 11 young carers joined us for a week of intensive activity, during which they created and recorded their own original song, choreographed their own dance piece and started their Bronze Arts Awards. The week was rounded off by an amazing performance created by the young people, supported by The Hive and Shropshire Inclusive Dance. Coming up next - the young people will be back at the Hive in the New Year to take part in Music and Dance Masterclasses, with Shropshire Music Service joining us to support the young carers to continue their music in school. The VERSE-atility project is funded by National Youth Music & Carers Trust 4 All and is a two year project aiming to engage 30 young carers over this time. You can see the project in action in this short video:
This is "VERSE-atility short" by Hiveshrewsbury on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

As a Hub Partner and local charity 'Changing Lives through Creativity' it is fantastic to be able to share a little of what we do. For more information and to find out how you might be able to get involved, please contact: Sal Hampson, Programmes & Projects Manager 01743 234970

Photo: Simon Jones.

12 Nov 2018


What to do with nearly-life-sized busts of the composers once their moment of local glory has passed? That was the question faced by Rosie and Lawrence Mortimer, founders of Whittington International Music Festival, as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Brahms began to clutter up their cottage after the first five years of the week-long single-composer festival in Whittington, near Oswestry.


“It seemed like a good idea to have the composer of the year staring down on our concerts”, says Lawrence. “Rather like Sir Henry Wood at the Proms. But we never considered what we might do with them afterwards!”


Now after a summer project, all five have been incorporated into “The Classical Falls”, a gentle water feature round which future festival musicians can rehearse and relax. The fact that there’s no room for any other composer is not a problem: the festival has taken to focussing on the music of a nation rather than an individual. After “Fantasia on a British theme” in 2018, the theme for next May is “Czech Mates”.


5 Nov 2018

Ray Langton Music

Ray Langton Music in partnership with Shropshire Music Service and Shrewsbury Folk Festival has been leading the Shropshire Youth Folk Ensemble (SYFE) for nearly two years now. 

SYFE now has more than a dozen members aged 10-17 years playing a mix of instruments. There is a strong focus on performing and to date this has included  playing at Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Shrewsbury Food Festival and  Beat & Bells 2018 to name but a few. They have also enjoyed workshops such as a fun filled percussion one  and most recently being tutored by John Kirkpatrick. This workshop led to a very successful concert 'A Feast of Shropshire Music' featuring both The Shropshire Youth Folk Ensemble and John Kirkpatrick. 

New members are always welcome and for more information contact

5 Oct 2018

Home Instead

We’re delighted to welcome a new hub partner. Home Instead are an organisation dedicated to helping older people remain in their homes and receive care, rather than being placed in nursing homes. They have been organising open-to-all sing along sessions with the help of SMS staff members. At each session, a local school choir has been invited to perform. We look forward to working together in many creative ways, bringing all ages together to make great music.

24 Sep 2018

Creative Inspiration Shropshire

13 Sep 2018

Tour 2018

"What an absolute blast and a privilege", was what I was thinking as I drove down to be with my family in West Wales in early August. 


What was I thinking about?  Well, between 26 July and 2 August, I had the great pleasure of being part of a team from Shropshire Music Service which took just under 80 students on tour to the Harz region of Germany.


Drawing on youngsters from Shropshire Youth Orchestra, Shropshire Girls’ Choir, Shropshire Youth Wind Orchestra and Shropshire Youth Brass Band, we pulled together a truly eclectic and electric ensemble.  Some judicious reassigning of certain instrumental lines to others (for example, we had no oboes but a goodly number of saxophones) meant that our repertoire stretched from Adele to Mozart and the Sherman brothers to Sibelius.


Based at an excellent hostel in Wernigerode, we performed at a number of venues within easy reach, including a modern bandstand, a country park and an 800 seat concert hall.  Among the pieces performed by the full complement of players, a number of smaller ensembles from each instrumental/vocal section had featured spots.  The diverse repertoire included Karl Jenkin's ever-popular Adiemus (Girls’ Choir), the first movement of Gounod's Petite Symphonie (woodwind), a movement from Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (strings), the Fucik Florentiner March (brass) and Steve Reich's Clapping Music (percussion).


Aside of the concerts, the massed throng enjoyed a couple of sightseeing trips in Wernigerode and Goslar and an afternoon at a small water park.  A visit to the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp site proved to be a very moving experience for all concerned and led to much thoughtful discussion, not only about WW2 but also in relation to current international conflicts and politics.


Particular points that stick in the mind? Well, we were blessed with fantastic weather (often 35/36 degrees), Halberstadt Cathedral was a stunning building that was really inspirational to play in, all our audiences were really responsive (with some standing ovations along the way) and, of course, it was such a joy to work as part of a really fun staff team. 


Oh, and I nearly forgot, the students!  Along with my colleagues, we all considered it such a privilege to be among and perform with such a great body of students.  Their attitude and behaviour on tour was a credit to them and, of course, their music making was a real joy to be part of.


Bring on the next tour!

Mike Turner

Germany was amazing, absolutely amazing. I had the best time playing music with everyone involved (students and staff alike) at the fantastic venues we played at (especially the cathedral in Halberstadt… that was incredible). The accommodation was great, the food was lovely… basically everything about the place we stayed was fab! The various activities we did in between concerts were amazing too, for example the swimming centre at Brockenbad was great, the cable car up Bad Harzberg was amazing and visiting Dora concentration camp was also very thought provoking and very interesting… generally the entire thing was extremely relaxing (especially after college and secondary school for the younger years). I had a blast!

Kristian Blyth

As a parent it means a great deal that you can trust the organisation that is taking your child halfway around the world. Not only did we know that he would be safe but we also knew that he would grow as a person and return more confident.

There isn’t much that makes a teenager enthuse but we seriously couldn’t get a word in edgeways when he got home. Every experience he had was positive and the camaraderie that he experienced was amazing. He has formed many new friendships which have continued after the trip. The Cathedral concert will always stay with him and what a great opportunity to perform in such a venue. The concentration camp visit is also something that I don’t think will ever leave him, and taught him so much about what happened at that time.

Thank you for giving the students this experience your time and care are greatly appreciated.

Jill Blyth