What are Summer Skills Courses and why should I take part?
If you love being creative and exploring new ideas as well as acting, singing, dancing and generally being silly then YMT is the place for you!
YMT is the UK's most active organisation offering music theatre opportunities to young people aged 11-21. On our Summer Skill Courses - which are basically like summer camps - you'll work with leading theatre professionals (people who have worked on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, American Idiot, In the Heights, Cats, The Diary of Adrian Mole and so much more) to create something that is TOTALLY NEW! This is what's unique about our Summer Skills Courses: nowhere else can you work on something that's completely new and completely yours! PLUS, you'll get a Grade 6 Certificate from Trinity College London - a testament to the high quality of our work!
Aaron, 17 – ‘The experience was incredible. I’ve learned so much. The course gave me so much more confidence.'
You will have the opportunity to meet like-minded people and be at the centre of the creative process. We have participants from all over the world at different experience levels - and that's great! You'll learn so much not just from our professionals but also from each other. The exciting thing is meeting someone who loves musicals and theatre just as much as you! So many other companies do Annie or Oliver, Spring Awakening or West Side Story - and that's fine - but now's your chance to be part of something different. You'll have the chance to shape and develop a new piece, offering ideas for movement, direction and lyrics.
Courses are intense, but they're also incredibly fun and informal. You'll also be staying in some really amazing places too - like Fettes College, rumoured to be JK Rowling's inspiration for Hogwarts or beautiful boarding schools like Rugby School, Lockers Park and Warminster School.
Ayesha, 20 – ‘I can’t recommend these courses enough. I had so much fun working with an amazing team and meeting so many lovely people.'
We're running seven Summer Skills Courses in 2016 - all across the UK - and each course will take inspiration from a different theme. This year's themes cover classics like Shakespeare's The Tempest and Arthur Miller's The Crucible. We'll also be exploring Wes Anderson's zany comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won four Oscars back in 2014. Other themes include vampires, suffragettes, protesters, the Jazz Age and FANDOMS like Harry Potter, Pokémon, Beyoncé, Dr Who, Star Trek, One Direction and lots more.
YMT is dedicated to offering young people unrivalled opportunities in the arts and now's your chance to join the UK's leading music theatre company and follow in the footsteps of Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith.
David, 11 - ‘Thanks for this amazing opportunity. I have made so many new friends and I love it here so much I am definitely coming back!’
Rugby School, Warminster School, Fettes College and Lockers Park.
Take a look at one of our Summer Skills Courses from last year.
We chat with actress and musician Amy Gardyne (formerly Amy Walsh) about her time in the YMT Company.
I was part of the YMT Company for four years - The Last Tango (2006), Rare Dreams (2007), The Silver Bough (2008) and A Winter’s Tale (2009). I learnt more than I could ever put into words through each of the four shows, all of which were very different. The first was based on a novel called Ali and Nino and was mostly pre-written and composed, the middle two were completely devised on-site by the company and the creatives and the last, A Winter’s Tale, was a book musical by Howard Goodall, so I was lucky to experience a more traditional musical theatre structure as well collaborate with some amazing actors, musicians and creatives to explore what we could come up with ourselves. YMT did wonders for my self-confidence, especially through the devised projects, by throwing me completely out of my comfort zone and encouraging me to use skills, instruments and techniques, which I previously been too afraid to try (in public at least!)
Do you still keep in contact with any YMTers?
Yes! There are a few people from each year who I regularly keep in touch with, although I’m rubbish at that kind of thing! But I see fellow YMTers all over the place at auditions, workshops and shows, and you inevitably find at least one friend-of-a-friend who did a project with you back in the day... You do end up with a wonderful, nationwide network of multi-talented friends and contacts.
Why should people get involved with YMT?
For those friendships and those connections, for that invaluable creative experience, for building your self-confidence and putting yourself in those scary situations! For getting the chance to collaborate intensively with a group of people who are all as madly passionate about musical theatre as you are, for being amazed by what they can do and surprised at what you can do too. For me it was also the first time I’d ever stayed far away from home for a long period of time, which was such a useful experience before moving out and going to university and drama school.
What would your dream role be?
The Donmar’s version of The Threepenny Opera with the translation by Robert David MacDonald and Jeremy Sams is one of my all-time favourites, because it was the first time I’d encountered really gritty musical theatre. I’m also a huge fan of Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris. Urinetown is brilliant. But ask me next month and I’ll probably have changed my mind!
What/who should young people research in the arts?
I can’t think of anything really specific I’m afraid, but what I would say is get out there and see and do as much as you can! Obviously this is harder if you don’t live in or close to London, but it isn’t impossible. Never turn down any opportunity to see ANYTHING - this includes street theatre, rehearsals, anything free. Beg and borrow (but please don’t steal…) loads of plays, soundtracks and librettos - this is what I had to work really hard on a drama school, trying to catch up with everyone else’s knowledge. Know who’s who in the industry all the time - producers, directors, casting directors, actors, musicians etc. Know what’s on and what’s about to be on in every theatre - and don’t forget all the regional houses too. The more you know before you get thrown in there professionally, the better!
Avocado!! I could eat avocados and nothing else for the rest of my life and be very happy.
Anywhere warmer and drier than the UK right now.
THE most important question: Scone (as in stone) or Scone (as in gone)?
AS IN GONE.
Read from YMT Alumni on our blog and check out how you can get involved with YMT.
Our friends at the NYO are auditioning!
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain comprises of 164 musicians aged 13 - 19 years old, from a variety of backgrounds and from every corner of the UK. We welcome applications from teenage musicians who play to Grade 8 distinction or equivalent standard, have a passion for orchestral music, a taste for adventure and great team spirit.
We are also recruiting talented teenage composers for a year of immersion in orchestral and creative opportunities.
Auditions are FREE, located across the country, with travel bursaries available. The audition experience aims to be positive, friendly and constructive and all auditionees will receive a workshop and written feedback. Bursaries are also available to cover the full cost of membership.
Being part of NYO is a fantastic opportunity for talented young musicians to take their music making to the highest level. They will work with world-class tutors and conductors, play in the UK’s greatest concert halls and forge lifelong friendships with like-minded musicians.
Visit our website - nyo.org.uk/apply-for-nyo-2017– to learn about the audition process, discover what bursaries are available and hear advice from NYO musicians and tutors about preparing for auditions.
Applications close 1 June.
I DID IT!
On Sunday 24 April 2016, I ran the London Marathon with over 30,000 others and I still can't quite believe it. It hurt a lot (my gosh did it hurt), but seeing YMTers, family and friends cheer me on was totally worth it. It took me 5 hours 21 minutes 15 seconds and I ran the entire thing!
I want to say a massive thank you to everyone for their kind words, support and donations! It has been an incredible experience, which I thankfully don't ever have to do again - although it was quite surreal running in between and Rhino and a Light House...
Together we've managed to raise over £1,500 so far for the YMT Bursary Scheme, which is absolutely amazing (so thank you!). Donations can still be made here (any contribution is so greatly appreciated).
My wonderful YMT family (Lara, Hannah, Simon, Jon, Sophie, Me, Diana and Anna).
The floor is my friend.
ONLY 2 DAYS TO GO... ARGHHHHHH!
I can't believe there are only two days to go until the big day! It only seems like yesterday that I was squeezing into my running tights (base layers? Whatever they're called...) and hobbling around Clapham Common.
I went to register at the ExCel centre earlier and got my goody bag (yay) and there were hundreds of people all cheery and excited, which was nice to see. I've got one little run tomorrow and then that's it! I'll be joining over 30,000 other fools to run 26.2 miles of London (probably in the rain too...).
A monumental thank you to everyone who has donated so far, we've managed to raise over £1,000 and contributions are still rolling in. Keep 'em comin'! YOU CAN DONATE HERE.
You can also track me on the day (bit stalkerish, but hey) by downloading the App! My number is 52375! We'll also be live tweeting on the day, so make sure you're following us on @ymtuk!
Thanks again to everyone! Anything you can spare really is amazing and goes a long way to helping young people in the arts. DONATE NOW! http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiser...