Messages from JMcK

16th July 2014


HCTB and HCJB Rehearsal Reminder


Dear Parents and band members


Reminder that there will be a rehearsal this Saturday (19 July) specifically for all members going on tour.


Please bring your music folders with you.


Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie


28th May 2014


Dear Parents and band members


Please find attached a letter regarding this event. This letter contains information for band members and (particularly) audience members.


Please can all band members arrive at 5.30pm for a brief set-up and seating rehearsal.


Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie


16th May 2014


Dear Parents and band members


Although a long way off, please can I notify you that a HCYB tour for Summer 2015 is in preparation. A number of exciting possibilities are being explored. More information will be published in September 2014. The likely tour dates will be Wednesday 22nd July 2015 – Tuesday 28th July 2015. If there is any variation of these dates it will only be by 24hrs or so (much depends on our made of transport).


Best Wishes

Jock McKenzie


16th May 2014

HCYB at London Guildhall Friday 6 June 2014


Dear Parents

The HCYB performance at the London Guildhall on Friday 6th June comes with some logistical challenges.

First of all can I please ask you to note a change of pick-up destination:

London bound (times as published)

1st Pick up -  Crofton Community Centre

2nd Pick-up – Winchester Services (M3 Northbound) NOT PERINS

3rd Pick-up – Fleet Services (M3)

Homeward bound

Drop-off points as originally published

*I will assume that members who were originally getting on the coach at Perins will now do so at Winchester Services – please let Emma Davis know if different.

I am sorry for this change, but after consultation with the coach company this is by far a better solution to potential problems. Basically, our time frame is tight; we cannot leave Hampshire at an earlier time due to many members sitting exams that day. In order to get to our London destination as promptly as possible we can ill afford lengthy time spent loading band equipment on to the coach at Perins. To resolve this I will drive to Perins earlier that day, load our equipment into a hire van and drive this to Crofton Community Centre (Stubbington). I will ensure that all HCYB equipment is loaded into the coach (booked to arrive early) ready for a prompt departure at 3.45pm. This being so, the coach can then make swifter progress with just very brief time spent picking students up.

Secondly, my dilemma is this – I live in Warsash (not far from Stubbington), but my car will be left at Perins of course. On the homeward journey I plan to get off at Perins, retrieve my car & follow the coach back to Stubbington (Mark Streather will still be on the coach for the full distance) to see that all remaining band members are picked up. Of course, the hire van will have to be left at the Stubbington pick-up point. Is there a volunteer parent who would be willing to drive this back to Perins on Friday evening whilst the band are in London)? I would love to hear from you if there is! You may ask why do I not drive it back myself on the Saturday morning? Can I please remind you there is no HCYB rehearsal on Saturday 7th , I will be setting-up for a major HMS DDay concert that day. 

Your help and co-operation will be greatly appreciated



Jock McKenzie



13th May 2014

HCYB at London Guildhall Friday 6 June 2014

Dear Parents and band members


I have at last received final details of the band performance on this date. Now this is the case, coach bookings etc are being finalised. This is a very prestigious event and venue which will lead to other future opportunities for the band.Please note there will be no HCYB rehearsal the following morning (HCTB and HCJB will rehearse as normal).


Basically HCYB form part of the entertainment for the end of an international conference gala evening. This entertainment also includes cast members from a west end show and The Cheatles (Beatles tribute band).


Please note the following schedule:


15.45 Coach departs Crofton Community Centre, Stubbington

16.30 Coach departs Perins Community Centre

17.15 Coach departs Fleet Services (M3)


Please note these are departure times; please make every effort to arrive early for loading

Please bring instrument, music & band uniform

A sandwich-based meal will be provided for HCYB at venue


19.00 latest arrive London Guildhall

19.45 - 20.35 Perform

21.30 latest depart London Guildhall 


I will provide homeward drop-off times once these are received from the coach company, but they will of course follow a very similar spread of time to the London-bound journey.


Please can you inform Emma Davis of your pick-up & drop-off points for this event.

Please can you also return the medical form - this can also be used for our visit to France the following month.

Please inform us of any dietary requirements


Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie



12th May 2014

HCTB - Message

Dear Parents and band members


HCTB have had a busy last two weekends; please can I thank you for some excellent playing, behind-the-scenes help and invaluable parental support.

Both of these recent events have a significant impact on our ability to inspire and enthuse potential members for the future; thank you for you role in making these events particularly effective.


With the HCYBs Open Day specifically in mind, can I please apologise for a lack of information from me about timings etc. The necessary information was displayed on the band website, but this should have been supported with an email from me reminding you all of timings etc. This was not the case and was clearly my error and no-one else - my apologies. With this lack of information available a small minority of HCTB members were unaware of the later finish time of Open Day. The consequence of this was that they were not able to stay for the concert, and, when I became aware of this I spoke with them and called their commitment to band activities into question. When I looked into this matter later yesterday afternoon it became obvious to me that I had failed to send the necessary email in the first place - my error. I have since made contact with those HCTB members who were not able to perform in the concert & offered my apologies for wrongly calling their commitment into question. I will revue my administrative procedures & make every effort to see that this does not happen again.


Looking ahead, the provisional itinerary for HCTB tour looks particularly exciting. Jon Cranston & myself will be making the necessary pre-tour  /  HCC risk assessment visit to France / Switzerland in the May half-term break. After this, the itinerary can then be finalised and shared with you, both in print and via a tour presentation evening (date to follow soon).


Best Wishes

Jock McKenzie 


HCJB Additional Performance

Dear Parents

A request has been made for an additional performance by HCJB. The details of this are:


  • Saturday 28th June 2014 (evening only)
  • Charity Summer Concert at Hilliers Gardens, Romsey (a lovely place)!
  • HCJB family / lift providers etc are welcome to join the audience for this concert.

This concert, if undertaken would provide HCJB with an excellent opportunity to play a full programme of music and additionally would provide a great means of preparation for the forthcoming tour. I really hope the band can play at this event, they are certainly sounding very slick & deserve the opportunity to display their skills at what will be a very significant event.


I must make a very swift response to this request, but first of all I need to know if HCJB members are available - there would of course be no morning rehearsal at Perins should this concert go ahead & members would not be requested to attend a lengthy staging / dress rehearsal at the venue.


Please can I ask that you inform Emma Davis at HMS of your availability or otherwise ASAP


Many Thanks - in anticipation


Jock McKenzie

Sent: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 09.01 AM
Subject: Mnozil Brass

Dear Parents and band members


Most of you will remember that the world-famous Mnozil Brass were invited to Hampshire last year to help the Hampshire County Youth Band celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Well, they are back in Hampshire on October 11 2014 performing at The Anvil, Basingstoke. I cannot stress just how brilliant this group is - an absolute must-see. Don't expect to see & hear something formal - their humour and theatrics are on a par with their playing - look them up on YouTube for a taster.


Tickets went on sale Tuesday 4th Feb and will sellout very quickly. I cannot recommend them highly enough - do try to go and see them - they really are the best in the world!


Jock McKenzie

Sent: Friday, January 10, 2014 3:46 PM
Subject: HCTB - New Year Message

Dear Parents and band members


Happy New Year!


Can I please ask you to add another performance date to your calendar/diaries:


Saturday 3 May 2014


Joint Concert - HCTB and Hamble Area Youth Band

Venue - Wildern School, Wildern Lane, Hedge End, Hampshire, SO30 4EJ

Time - 7pm (concert - preceded by a rehearsal at 4.30pm)

Tickets will be on sale nearer the time.


* There will be no morning rehearsal at Perins for the HCTB on this date.


As always please can you give prompt notification of unavoidable absences.


Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie


Sent: Friday, January 10, 2014 3:55 PM
Subject: HCTB & HCJB - New Year Message

Dear Parents and band members


Happy New Year!


Can I remind you all of the HCTB/HCJB Joint Concert on:


Saturday 8 February 2014


Concert - 7pm (Doors 6.30pm)

Venue - Main Hall, Perins School, Alresford, SO24 9BS

Rehearsal on the day : HCTB 3pm - 4.30pm

                                              HCJB 4.30pm - 6pm


* Band Uniform

* Please bring a packed tea

*There will be no tickets sales in advance or door admission. Rather, for this event we will take a retiring collection. How much you donate is up to you (guidance, ticketed concerts are typically £6 and £4 concessions).


Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie


Extracts of a letter sent out by e-mail Friday 26th October 2012.  Confidential and out of date elements have been removed so please check your e-mail.

Dear Parents and band members

Attendance and commitment 

The HCYBs enjoy an excellent reputation for musical standards and opportunity. Our standards and values are as a result of the commitment shown by so many of our members across the bands as well as the work and skills of our staff team. All members and parents are aware of the conditions of HCYB membership including the crucial elements of regular attendance and commitment to all band activities. Of course there will be instances where absence is unavoidable e.g. illness, educational activities etc but otherwise full attendance is a requirement of HCYBs membership.

All three bands have made an excellent start to this our 50th Anniversary year, but, at the same time there has been a high level of absenteeism at rehearsals. As a result musical standards and productivity suffers. Equally significant is the period of notification given for absence by some. All rehearsals are carefully planned for by our staff; we don’t simply turn up on a Saturday morning to announce “what shall we play today”? All too often this term notification of absence has been last minute (if at all in a minority of cases) or even given in retrospect. I should point out that falling ill at short notice is understandably a different context altogether). This forces conductors to abandon at the very last minute what was planned for the good of the bands & hence the standard of band playing and productivity suffers. Band / ensemble playing is a team activity – everyone matters and conductors plan for everyone to matter!

Please can I ask all members and parents to consider this matter with understanding and recognition of the excellent commitment shown by the very substantial majority of our members. Put simply we want you to be members of the bands and we want you to have a great time, but we expect you to commit!

Insurance of HCYB instruments 
Our band instruments are used in many varied situations. Very often, members use our instruments in a non HCYBs context i.e. school / college use, community bands, transit, storage etc. It is particularly this varied use that creates a situation where insurance issues fall ‘between the cracks’. It is for this reason that each year I pay a very substantial sum of money from the HCYB account to adequately insure our instrumental stock with a specialist company and policy. This protection ensures that our equipment is safe and operational in all manner of situations inside and outside of direct HCYBs use. The protection of these instruments ensures that instruments of a good (and often professional standard) quality are available to all band members that need them & who stand to benefit from their use in the HCYBs and beyond. This protection also ensures that our instruments can be maintained to a workable level. The day has never yet come when a student has been denied a place in the HCYBs purely because they do not possess a suitable instrument – I do not wish that scenario ever to arrive! Appropriate insurance of our band equipment goes a long way to safeguarding this provision.

Although not officially requested, some parents have chosen to include HCYB instruments on their household contents insurance, but the instrument has of course been insured at the same time under the official HCYB policy. In the recent past the there have been instances where household insurance policies have not ‘paid up’ in the event of a stolen / damaged / lost etc HCYB instrument. For this reason and those stated above it is essential that all HCYB instrument insurance matters are handled through our official policy. HCYB does not charge a loan or rental fee, but I would ask that parents contribute to the cost of insurance as requested (if in possession of a HCYB instrument). The amount requested is significantly subsidised and does not seek to differentiate between sizes and values of instruments.

Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie 
Director, Hampshire County Youth Bands