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  • WELCOME

    YMC PERFORMS AT
    ST MARTIN IN THE FIELDS

    Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nigel Goldberg

  • Age 8+

    JOIN OUR CHOIR

    It includes both Kodály and voice training and older children are given some special repertoire.

  • YOUNG STARTERS

    MUSIC FOR
    ALL AGE GROUPS

    The Youth Music Centre has been making beautiful music on Saturday mornings since 1967

  • WIND ENSEMBLES

    OUR WIND SECTION
    HAS EXPANDED OVER THE YEARS

  • EASY TO FOLLOW
    MUSIC THEORY AND COMPOSITION

    At YMC theory is taught for all grades 1-8, and special emphasis on examination technique is provided within each class.

  • FOR ALL YMC MEMBERS

    AURAL SKILLS

    Gain general aural skills in preparation for aural tests in national grade exams

  • AGE 2+

    JUNIOR MUSICIANSHIP

    Explore the basic concepts of music using rhythm, pitch, speech, movement and drawing

  • Age 8+

    JOIN OUR CHOIR

    It includes both Kodály and voice training and older children are given some special repertoire.

YOUTH MUSIC CENTRE

Artistic Director: Marina Solarek

The Youth Music Centre was established in Bigwood House, Hampstead Garden Suburb in 1967 and since that time has become one of the foremost Saturday morning music schools in London.

The essential aim of YMC is to welcome all children from the age of two to eighteen years into our community and to help them achieve their highest musical potential within a creative and happy environment where they can come together to enjoy making music.

YMC provides classes in musicianship skills for the very youngest children before they embark on instrumental lessons at the age of five or six. That is followed by a year of group lessons on violin, viola, cello, double bass or recorder after which children are ready to have their first orchestral experience. We also provide theory classes up to grade 8 and voice/aural classes. We are proud to say that we have many children who stay with us for their entire music education.
YOUTH MUSIC CENTRE

13

STAFF

212

STUDENTS

18

ENSEMBLES

5

Orchestras

Marina Solarek

Artistic Director and Conductor

Marina’s first professional work was as an extra ballet dancer in the Bremerhaven State Theatre.

She studied Music at the Musik Hochschule Heidelberg/Mannheim and later at the Hamburg Hochschule for Musik und Theatre where she was trained in Violin, Piano, Voice, Choir and Orchestral conducting.

In 1986 she moved to London to study violin with Professor Yfrah Neaman and gained her performance and teaching diplomas at the Guildhall school of Music and Drama in 1988.

Her first job was in the BBC Radio Orchestra and since becoming freelance she has played with most major London Orchestras and Opera Houses, has played in and led numerous West End shows and freelance orchestras and worked for film and television. As a chamber musician she has recorded for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. Her Piano Trio, which specialises in the performance of neglected 19th and 20th century women composers has performed at the Purcell Room, St Johns Smith Square, St David’s Hall Cardiff and has toured in Great Britain and Europe.

Throughout her playing career Marina has taught at many different institutions. She has taught chamber music at the Royal College Junior department, violin at Royal Holloway University and has given masterclasses at Belfast University. She also enjoys leading various amateur orchestras in London and conducting their string rehearsals. Recently she started conducting her own string orchestra in St Albans.

Sheena McKenzie

Cello and Ensembles

Sheena began her ‘cello studies in Hong Kong at the age of 11. Three years later, she moved back to her father’s native Scotland where she attended the Douglas Academy music school. At the age of 16, Sheena was invited to perform Prokofiev’s Concertino with the junior orchestra of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where she went on to study with William Conway. She was then awarded a post-graduate scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London with Amaryllis Fleming. (more…)

William Cole

Choir and voice/aural skills

William Cole read Music at Clare College, Cambridge where he graduated in 2013 with First Class Honours. He has conducted student and semi-professional ensembles, including the Hampshire Sinfonia and all the Cambridge University ensembles, in a broad range of orchestral and operatic repertoire and is currently Musical Director of Opera Lyrica. (more…)

Fiona Nisbett

Cello and conductor of Preparatory and lower strings Orchestra

Fiona studied cello with Alexander Baillie and William Pleeth. She made her concerto debut at the age of seventeen and since then has performed most of the major concertos with orchestra.

At the age of eighteen Fiona was one of five soloists selected to perform in the Youth Makes Music Rotary International Festival at The Royal Albert Hall.

She has given recitals throughout England, France, Holland, Germany, The Czech Republic and Italy including first performances of John McCabe’s Solo Partita for cello in Italy and Keith Beal’s Sonata No1 for cello and piano in Holland. (more…)

Greg Emfietzis

Junior Musicianship and Introduction to Orchestra playing

Gregory Emfietzis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. He played the violin and sang, performing in many international festivals, concerts and operas, before and while taking a degree in Music Science and Art at the University of Macedonia.

He moved to the UK in 2004, to study composition with Christopher Fox at Huddersfield University and with Fox, Richard Barrett and Jennifer Walshe at Brunel University. His music has been performed by leading ensembles across Europe and North America; the groups he has worked with include Asamisimasa (Norway), London Contemporary Orchestra (UK), Okeanos Ensemble (UK), Orkest de Ereprijs (Netherlands) and the Sonic Inertia Performance Group (USA). (more…)

Kristina Greally

Recorder

Kristina read Music at King’s College London and graduated in 2015 with a First Class Honours BMus. She is continuing her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where she is on the Masters degree in Historical Performance programme under Pamela Thorby. She gained a piano diploma, the DipABRSM, in 2009, and was awarded the FTCL, a Fellowship in recorder performance from Trinity College London, in 2012. Kristina has six years’ teaching experience, and was recently awarded the Cert PTC teaching diploma from EPTA (UK). She places special importance on ear training in young children. Kristina also teaches piano and recorder at Watford Grammar School for Girls, and accompanies singers and instrumentalists.

David Evans

Flute Ensembles and Parent Orchestra

David Evans studied the flute privately with Peter Lloyd before winning a scholarship to study with Geoffrey Gilbert at the Royal Manchester College of Music.

He has been a member of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and in England has played with many national orchestras including the Halle and the BBC Northern Orchestras, Royal and Festival Ballets, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Liverpool Philharmonic. David now freelances and teaches at the City of London School for Girls.

Graham Bennett

Theory and Composition

Graham Bennett BMUS LRAM PGCE studied piano, theory and composition at the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Royal Northern College of Music, and the Royal Academy of Music in London where he was awarded the Associated Board Entrance Scholarship. During this time he won many prestigious prizes and performed extensively in the United Kingdom and abroad as a soloist and chamber musician.

In 2001 Graham studied for a PGCE at the Institute of Education, University of London to obtain Qualified Teacher Status which enabled him to broaden his teaching experiences working with students in mainstream schools across North London, and he is Head of Theory and Composition at the Youth Music Centre

Graham is also the author, composer and publisher of the ‘Music Master Series’, a collection of Educational Music Books specialising in composition, theory and performance.

  • “A fantastic music experience for all my children. They look forward to playing every Saturday”

    Angela Stephens
    PARENT
  • “Highly professional and fun at the same time. My son has gained so much from taking part”

    ANNIE KING
    PROFESSIONAL VIOLA PLAYER