Virtual SPYE Sessions

Following further local restrictions, all of our sessions this term will be online. We will be ‘meeting’ on:

  • Saturday 7th November, 2:30-3:30
  • Saturday 17th October, 2:30-3:30
  • Saturday 28th November, 2:30-3:20
  • Saturday 12th December (Christmas event)

In our first session we will be looking at the Nintendo Wii Theme. Please see the recent email for parts.

These virtual sessions are intended to offer SPYE members the chance to participate until we are able to restart face-to-face rehearsals. No charge will be made, but if you would like to make a donation to SPYE that would be most welcome. Please email us at if you would like to donate and we can arrange this so that we can also claim GiftAid on the donation.  

Returning to SPYE

We’re really hoping that we will be able to get SPYE playing together again on 26th September. We are unable to rehearse at our usual venue this term, but are in the process of confirming another venue, following risk assessment.

  • 26th September
  • 3rd and 17th October
  • 7th and 28th November
  • 12th December

Final confirmation and further details will follow shortly. However we anticipate rehearsals will run from 2.30-5.30pm on the following dates:

Obviously, the way we run rehearsals will be a little different, in order to keep everyone safe. Musicians will be well spaced during the rehearsals, in accordance with current guidance, and in addition everyone will: 

  • need to bring their own music stand 
  • have their own copy of their music
  • wear masks (except wind players while playing, of course!)
  • be asked to use hand sanitiser
  • be required to sign a declaration that they have not had any COVID symptoms in the previous 7 days and leave contact details for track and trace

A membership and health form has been emailed to existing members.  Please get in touch if you have any concerns or queries and look out for further emails with details of final arrangements.

Virtual SPYE 2!

We are pleased to announce that we are going to make another Virtual SPYE video. This time we are going to do 3 movements from Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances.

We encourage you to listen to a recording of all six dances – wonderful music! The three movements we will be playing start at 3:20 in this video

Please check your emails for a link to our shared folder of parts and instructions for making your recording.

Please try to let us have your recording by Friday 19th June.

Virtual SPYE

Some of our young musicians have been very organised and recorded themselves to make a virtual SPYE performance! Thank you to Matthew for his work and dedication in editing the video. They have done all of this without the help of adults. We’re delighted to see how much continuing to play during lockdown means to our members.


Virtual SPYE?

Our musicians have worked very hard this term and we know they will be disappointed that we have had to cancel our May concert. By way of making up for this (and providing extra activities to everyone occupied!), we wondered if our musicians would be interested in making a video, as many other orchestras have done, that we could put on our website and Facebook page?

Here is a fantastic example of a video collaboration from the New York Youth Symphony:


This would involve us sending out a (short!) piece of music for the musicians to practice and then record themselves playing. We can then ‘stitch’ together all the individual recordings to create virtual SPYE! A video recording would be great but if anyone would prefer to send a sound only recording that would be fine too. Please let the committee know if you/your child would like to be involved in this exciting project by emailing

SPYE Update 29/03/20

We hope you’re all managing to stay well and keep occupied if your normal activities are currently curtailed.

Remaining rehearsals and concert

It seems unlikely that we will be able to go ahead with the 3 remaining rehearsals and concert planned for this term, given the current situation, so these are now cancelled.

We will continue to review the situation and if it seems likely that some sort of event – perhaps an open rehearsal – will be possible towards the end of the summer term (late June/early July) we will look into organising one.


In view of the fact that 4 rehearsals have had to be cancelled this year we will offer a £20 reduction on fees next year as compensation (making the fee for next year £135).


Please stay home as much as possible and stay healthy.

SPYE Committee

Final Details for Residential 2020

We are all looking forward to our residential at Kingswood next week! Below is a copy of the information that has been emailed to parents/carers.


Can we ask that everyone arrives at St. Andrews Church by 5.15pm on March 6th 2020 ready for a prompt 5.30pm departure. This is to ensure we arrive at Kingswood ready for the evening meal.
For those parents taking their children directly to Kingswood please could you let us know (so we aren’t waiting at the church for you) by Saturday 29th February 2020  and could you aim to arrive at Kingswood for about 6.30 – 7.00pm.
We will be leaving Kingswood on Sunday at about 2.00pm, aiming to be back at St. Andrews Church by 3.00- 3.30pm.
For those parents collecting their children from Kingswood, please could you arrive at 1.45pm.



Please note, no nuts are allowed! All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are provided by Kingswood. There is a separate dining room where we will all eat together (Kingswood is a nut-free zone). Please can you let us know of any dietary needs / allergies by Saturday 29th February 2020. We have details on the Membership forms, but wish to have these confirmed so that we can let Kingswood know before we arrive. 

Packing list:

No huge suitcases, or bags, please. The coach space is limited with all the instruments too.    
  • One bath towel
  • Toiletries bag containing: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, hairbrush etc. **roll-on deodorants only**
  • Night clothes (and cuddly toy)
  • Slippers or soft indoor shoes
  • Socks and underwear
  • T-shirts (at least one with long sleeves for the outside activities on Saturday afternoon), sweatshirt (one thick, one light)
  • Trousers and / or jeans and / or tracksuit bottoms
  • Old clothes for the Saturday afternoon outdoor activities
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Sturdy shoes or wellingtons
  • Trainers
  • Large plastic bag for dirty clothes
  • Gloves, hat, scarf
  • Water bottle
  • Small card games to share
  • Book to read
  • Some money (no more than £10) for the shop. The shop sells snacks and drinks, as well as postcards, souvenirs, games and mementos.
  • In case of lost property please put your child’s name on all items of clothing!

In addition to the items above:

  • Everyone must bring their instrument, a labelled music stand, spare strings / reeds, a pencil and a rubber. Cellists MUST bring a spike protector.
  •  A mobile phone/device with head phones is allowed, but please do not bring radios etc. which will disturb others.
  •  No chewing gum, food, sweets, or canned drinks will be allowed during rehearsals (bring labelled water bottles).

The committee wishes to stress that members will not be allowed to smoke or drink alcohol at any time during the weekend.

The weekend is usually great fun and consists of music rehearsals on Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening and Sunday morning. On Saturday afternoon there will be outdoor activities run by the Kingswood staff. There will be free time too in between rehearsals where the children can either chill in their rooms or use the outside space. The outside spaces have to be quiet by 9pm and everyone has to be in their own rooms by 10pm (Kingswood rules).

The committee or Kingswood cannot accept liability for the loss, theft or damage of any personal property your child may bring.

If you have any questions about the residential, please do get in touch ( and we will do our best to answer them.

Happy New Year!

We hope all of our members and their families had an enjoyable holiday.

Thank you again to everyone who supported us last term. We have had some wonderful feedback from our 40th Anniversary Concert, and we were delighted to raise £335.44 at our ASDA fundraiser.

The coming term is set to be exciting for all of us at SPYE. We have exciting new repertoire to get our teeth into, and our Residential to look forward to in March!

Our first rehearsal of the term is this coming Saturday (11th January). Just a reminder that our dates for the rest of the term can be found here.