Based in the village of Eynsford in Kent, Darent Valley Youth Music (DVYM) is an independent music centre for young people from the North West Kent area around Dartford, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge. The centre comprises over 60 members: children aged between 8 and 18 years old, ranging from complete beginners to accomplished Grade 8 musicians.
The centre was formed in September 2005 by a group of parents and music teachers who were keen to promote musical activity in the locality and provide opportunities for young people to gain experience in group playing and performing. Though many have now moved on to higher education, we are delighted that some maintain a close link with the centre and its activities, often returning to rehearse and perform with the bands. Many of our members have gone on to play for highly respected bands including Eynsford Concert Band, Kent Youth Jazz Orchestra, and Maidstone Wind Symphony.
DVYM has evolved into a thriving organisation that now attracts players from further afield, but the centre remains at heart a friendly, enthusiastic group of committed young musicians. Our bands often perform at local events including music festivals, fêtes, concerts, social occasions, and charitable / fund-raising events. They also have a habit of busking.
The DVYM ensembles play a wide variety of musical styles including classical, military pieces, film themes, light music, jazz, swing, rock, pop and improvisation. The centre comprises the following ensembles:
- Minims – Beginner’s band (woodwind, brass and percussion),
- Enterprise – Step-up band (woodwind, brass and percussion)
- Concert Band – Senior symphonic wind band (woodwind, brass and percussion),
- Phoenix Jazz Band (woodwind, brass, guitar, keyboards, percussion)
- Vocal ensemble
What our Patrons say:
“…DVYM has gone from strength to strength. I’ve seen this first hand at each successive Christmas concert.
Music should be part of every child’s all-round education. Learning an instrument can improve academic success. Studying music also encourages self-discipline and diligence. Creating and performing music promotes self-confidence while giving pleasure to others…I am honoured to associate myself with Darent Valley Youth Music.”
“DVYM provides a wonderful opportunity for young people to enjoy making music together and for youngsters to grow in their musicianship. I am fortunate to hear the members of DVYM perform frequently and the standard is always high.”
“DVYM has students from a variety of backgrounds and I hope to see the group move from strength to strength. I would thoroughly recommend the concerts to anyone whether they like music or not; they’re very entertaining, enlightening and educational.”
“… (I) have been very impressed by the standard of playing and by the opportunity this gives to young people of a wide variety of ages to develop their musical skills. Besides, the concerts are very enjoyable: I remember coming out of one feeling a whole lot more cheerful than I did before.”
We depend on volunteers to run and we gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance of the following groups towards running costs such as conductor fees and venue hire:
We have an invaluable group of Friends of DVYM who support us.
We are grateful to The Sevenoaks Advertiser for their inclusion of us into their Community Events listing pages.freedigitalphotos.net. Band photography is courtesy of Linda Cronin Photography. Images of instruments are courtesy of Russell Joyce. Additional photography by Mike Robinson.