Messages from JMcK

Re: HCYB 10tet Saturday 7 March 2015

Dear Parents and band members

This is a reminder and confirmation of details for Saturday 7 March 2015

10.00 – 12.15 normal HCYB rehearsal at Perins School (no HCYB 10tet rehearsal)

13.00 lunch at Pizza Express, New Alresford (funded by HCYBA)

After lunch HCYB 10tet members will make their own way to Winchester for some free time (we have sufficient members with cars who have kindly offered to provide lifts).

18.15 Meet at The Great Hall, Winchester. Change (band uniform) & set up.

19.00 Concert starts

I have been informed of some changes of programme order:

HCYB 10tet start the concert & then play intermittently throughout the first half. The interval will be at approx. 20.00. HCYB members are free to leave at the interval if they wish, but equally are welcome to stay for the second half during which they will be encouraged to join HMS staff for some massed rank singing (the ‘grand’ finale …..). The choice is yours! If staying, the event is planned to finish at 21.20 latest. A buffet style snack tea will be available whilst the concert is in progress – help yourselves as blowing demands allow!

Please can I remind you that this event is for an invited audience only. Please make the necessary arrangements with your lift providers etc.


Many Thanks


Jock McKenzie


Re: HCTB concert date change

Dear Parents and band members

You have already been notified of an unfortunate cancellation of the HCTB concert on 27 June 2015. A new performance opportunity has been found on an alternative date. Please can I ask you to note the following information. As always, please inform us at the very earliest opportunity if your son / daughter is unable to attend any band activity.


  • Saturday 20 June 2015
  • Concert 7pm (HCTB shared jointly with “Portchester, Fareham & Gosport Training Band” and “Gosport & Fareham Wind Training Orchestra”)
  • The concert will be preceded by a mid afternoon rehearsal (time TBC)
  • Venue: Henry Cort School, Fareham   


Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie


Re: Regional Festival of Music For Youth

Sunday 22nd March 2015

Connaught School, Tongham Road,  Aldershot, GU12 4AS


Dear Parents and band members


I have now received confirmation that HCYB will perform in the morning session of this event. All participating ensembles are given a specific performance time upon arrival and registration. The performance session runs from10am – 12noon with registration from 9.30am. Please can I ask that all HCYB members are on site by 9.30am (in uniform) to ensure we are ready to play as & when requested. The morning session concludes with a short feedback session at which all participants are given an evaluation of their performance (we of course hope that we earn the right to an invite for the subsequent National Festival of Music For Youth). Parents & supporters are welcome to listen to the performances (no entry charge). Refreshments are available throughout the morning.


Many Thanks

Jock McKenzie



Friday 23rd January 2015



Dear Parents and HCYB 10tet members


Please can I give you further details for the HCYB 10tet event on Saturday March 7th.


This event is hosted by HCC Chairman & will take place in the Great Hall, Winchester before an invited audience. The concert begins at 19.00. My apologies for initially telling you that this event was in The Anvil, Basingstoke – but no, it is in the Great Hall, Winchester – logistically very much more manageable.


Please note the following:


  • 10.00 – 12.15 HCYB rehearsal as normal (no preceding 10tet rehearsal).


  • HCYBA have kindly made funds available for HCYB 10tet to have a meal in Alresford after HCYB morning rehearsal. I propose booking tables at Pizza Express in Alresford for 13.15. Please can HCYB 10tet members let me know if they will be taking up this offer.


  • After our meal HCYB 10tet members will go into Winchester for some free time prior to arriving at the Great Hall. I am planning to get members + instruments into Winchester in my car and via those 10tet members that drive themselves. If you are one of the HCYB 10tet members that drive please can you confirm if you will be willing to take some passengers the short distance into Winchester.


  • The concert itself runs from 19.00 until approximately 21.00. Please can you make your own arrangements for parental pick up / homeward journey.


  • HCYB 10tet members will be given a light evening meal & drinks at the venue.


  • Please make sure you bring band uniform on this occasion.


This is an  event at which HCYB 10tet will be acting in an ambassadorial role for both HCYB and the youth of Hampshire in general. We will have a substantial performance input into the evening’s programme. This event allows us to keep up our high profile before ‘the great & the good’ of Hampshirei.e. those that ultimately provide funds for the HCYBs’ existence.



Friday 7th November 2014

HCYB - Calendar Change

Dear Parents and band members


Please can I ask you make a change to your band calendar:


HCYB have been successfully entered to participate in the Regional Festival of Music For Youth at the Connaught School in Aldershot on Sunday 22 March 2015. This Festival falls into two sections; morning & afternoon. I have requested the morning session for us and am awaiting confirmation on this. HCYB have a very impressive record at this event and has done much to maintain our national reputation; in the past our performances have lead to us being invited to the National Festival of Music For Youth which in turn has, on occasions led to awards & invitations to the Schools Proms series.


With this addition to the band calendar our participation in this Festival will be instead of the proposed concert on the previous evening. Saturday 21 March will now revert to being a normal rehearsal at Perins (10.00 – 12.15).


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