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10 years



The YMTS Story Engagement Development   Progression Good Evening one and all and welcome to this wonderful event celebrating 10 years of YMTS. Tonight, we hope to share with you a little of what Youth Music Theatre Scotland set out to achieve and highlight the Company’s journey showcasing the skills and talents of the children, young people and young adults who have taken that journey with us.   Now, perhaps more than ever, Creativity is a key skill we all need in order to thrive.  Children are naturally creative with over 90% of under 12s finding many right answers to solve any problems they encounter.  By the time our children are teenagers that drops to less than 5%.  We educate them to offer the accepted right answers and reward them for that, and only that.  Through the education system we offer, our children’s in-born creativity is often lost.   More worrying is the current focus to drive the creative subjects even further to the margins of what is offered in the classroom.  I’ve worked recently with children who have no arts provision at all in their school lives.  No music, no drama, no dance, and visual arts and crafts limited by no resources.  Sit with that for a moment and consider, what kind of world will that make for all our futures? YMTS is an organization who, from its very outset, dedicated its purpose to offer creative engagement, development and progression to the children young people who it was lucky enough to work with.  YTMS is an open access organization.  There is no audition to take part and the Company works very hard to be as inclusive as it can be.   Tonight, we aim to start building the next 10 years through a new and exciting Bursary Fund.   There’s a Place for Us will be a special fund to enable every child and young person who wants to be involved in YMTS to do so.  This fund is so important. No child or young person should ever be excluded from participation simply through a deficit of financial resource and this new Bursary Fund helps to ensure that YMTS can support all children’s involvement.  Susan McGill, Kirkcaldy based artist and legend, has created a very special There’s a Place for Us print and so very kindly donated it to YMTS.  Please make sure you get your special edition signed copy. It’s a beautiful print, and a beautiful gesture.  Thank you, Susan and Anna Mackenzie for all you support, enthusiasm and energy.

A little history as we mark this milestone moment: The Company grew from a series of projects which organically flourished. Around 2000, I was the Associate Director of National Youth Music Theatre who toured to Edinburgh each year for a month-long residency at the George Square Theatre and who had their production weeks at Adam Smith Theatre (AST).   At that time the amazing Sheila Thomson was in charge of the Theatre and she connected with artists from across the UK and beyond to program the space brilliantly.   Into this thriving arts venue I was invited by Sheila to direct a series of out of school time performance projects.  Our very first adventure was a youth production of The Pajama Game and then quickly picked up projects focused on new writing and for wider age groups . That’s where the Engagement part of the programme began.  

YMTS today takes the opportunities to get involved with the work to the very heart of its programme. Weekly classes in AST are open for Juniors and Seniors and their weekly sessions and final end of term productions are much loved and looked forward to events.   These original projects gathered momentum and soon we were offering 3 large scale events every year here in Fife.  At the same time my friend and colleague Liz Moran was the running the macrobert Arts Centre in the University of Stirling and, seeing the work  in Fife, she wanted a piece of the action and so the 3 projects in Fife grew to also offer 3 projects in Stirling.   The projects grew and developed, children and young people wanted more and more to do and opportunities for partnerships were springing up all around us. So much so, that in 2008, with great support from macrobert who offered the Company our first ever home, Youth Music Theatre Scotland became a Company and a registered charity delivering projects, weekly classes and workshops.  The focus remained the same:  Engagement; Development and Progression and it is on these 3 pillars YMTS built its programme of work. To date we reckon YMTS has worked with thousands of young people mainly across central Scotland but wider partnerships have taken the organisation as far and wide as Inverness, Mull, Dumfries and Lochgelly! YMTS was a key part of, the then Scottish Arts Council and now Creative Scotland’s, flagship INSPIRE programme in 2010 managing the pilot development of an Arts Academy, delivering a qualifications framework in creative arts with Mfest, Forth Valley College, the award-winning Kinetic Group, internationally acclaimed designer Iona Crawford, the film and animation company Di Fi Foe, Strangeboat film and Tolbooth Stirling.  The Company began to extend and expand its focus and the Development strand took root. Development projects and productions are where YMTS stretches the participants to grow further.  Either by exploring new, or often under used, material or through a particular aspect of the work that requires a specific skill – topical work or work with vocal or movement challenges, or a need for comic timing and delivery skills for example. Creating work with children and young people can involve tackling challenges subject matters.  It’s a useful, and very often a really positive experience, offering life changing and belief affirming moments.  It’s not always easy to make the choice of repertoire and it can be difficult to introduce ‘new’ to groups of young people who become very fixed in what they know but these Development projects are central to growing children and young people’s critical faculties. In addition to the children and young people you see on stage, YMTS also works with wonderful young musicians who are a key part of the YMTS Family.  They are always there but hardly ever seen. This team of young people work incredibly hard and their performances bring musical polish to each moment we see on stage.   The astonishing creative and artistic work of colleagues in costume, set, lighting, stage design also brings outstanding production value to each and every YMTS project.   The Company also offers opportunity to young people in mentored roles across all areas of production. There are legions of people involved in this, but throughout the Company’s journey there are some exceptional talents who we have been so fortunate to work with and I am sure the next 10 years will be populated by just as many up and coming emerging artists. 

Moving on to the third pillar of YMTS’s foundations: Progression. Taking the Engagement and the Development to the next level.  The risky bits. Pushing productions and performers to tougher places and really challenging their creative and performance personalities. YMTS was never set up to be ‘just another youth company’ at its heart was the need to challenge and to see what happened when you just ‘powered through it’! There have been many BIG risk moments in YMTS’s life from the first ever youth production of Phantom of the Opera in Scotland to not only taking work to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but running a venue there, and running it with young people, the writing, producing and presenting of new work for children and young people through the YMTS RED projects and special commissions such as Band the Belt.  YMTS set up an Arts Hub and a Hub by the Sea in disused High Street premises here in Kirkcaldy to bring creative life into dead spaces and in so doing were the central driving force behind Fife’s successful bid to be one of the 9 Youth Arts Hubs delivering Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine youth art strategy for the region.  From 2014 – 2016 YMTS became partners in the delivery of Time to Shine working in communities across Fife, building programmes with early years, with emerging artists and with family arts and building partnerships with youth arts, education and health and social care provisions across Scotland and beyond. The most enduring of those partnerships is with Fife Cultural Trust who continue to work very closely with YMTS delivering a programme of work across Fife. Why is ‘risky’ so important?  For me, now and when I was the Creative Director of the Company, the risk is what feeds artistic excellent.  Rising to meet the challenge with a creative approach and doing what you think you can’t builds aspiration, it builds accomplishment and it builds artists.  Without the risks to tackle something ‘more’ we are comfortable copyists – we may well achieve great copies – but our originality is left hungry.   YMTS has reached this milestone birthday and achieved so much of what the original vision for the Company was.  The foundations of Engagement, Development and Progression are firmly established and continue to offer creative challenges to all the children and young people who sign up to join the Company.  I am looking forward with great excitement to the next 10 years to see how this fabulous organisation, with children and young people at its heart, further extends its reach to find resonance in today’s world, allowing every member the chance to find all their possible answers, opening the windows of aspiration wide and flooding their worlds with the creative confidence to take new levels of artistic risk. I know you will want to join me in wishing YMTS Many Happy Returns.


Director's Note It has taken me a really long time to write this in part because it’s just hard to start writing something and also because I couldn’t find the words to adequately express what a privilege it has been to have been part of YMTS’ Journey for as long as I have, what an impact It has had on my life, the lives of others around me and the lives of the young people who join us year on year. YMTS is part of the fabric of my life; it’s knitted in; it feels fundamental! This evening you will hear Janet Robertson (Mentor, Legend and truly inspirational friend) talk about Engagement, Development and Progression and that’s what YMTS has given me…opportunities to try, succeed, sometimes fail, take notes in the dark, speak in public, figure things out a different way, wear a tartan duvet dress, work with others, power through it, take creative risks and feel such pride and gratitude for the chance to do all of this. I know that I am far from the only one to feel this way and that YMTS has touched the lives of so many young people. The dedication of our long list of practitioners who have worked with us through the years, the many technical teams, hugely talented musicians, venue teams, partners and allies who have helped make what we do possible, have all made young people’s lives richer and more creative. This is why this evening is so important to us as a company, not only to celebrate all of the moments we hold dear over the past 10 years but also to look towards the future and all of the young people who will be growing with us in the next 10 years. We want to make it possible for young people to participate in our projects and weekly classes regardless of financial background, providing the opportunities that I have had through YMTS, to everyone! To the young performers here tonight both on stage, back stage and in the orchestra – thank you for being part of this celebration, thank you for being part of the last 10 years and we hope you will continue with us on the next part of our journey… To our amazing audience, enjoy your evening, rejoice at the reunion on stage and remember all the moments that made you gasp, laugh out loud, get to your feet and tear up a little. Thank you for coming, thank you for your support and thank you for being part of the family! To YMTS - Thank you for letting me stay x x x

Amanda Glover Creative Director

Running Order ACT 1 Overture - Tonight West Side Story – Somewhere (Joscelyne Kerr, Niamh Corkey, Katie Forrest & Company) Freckleface Strawberry – Title Song (Juniors Company) Oliver – Where is Love (Jack Kitchen & Duncan Donnachie) Honk Jr Different – Ruraidh Tyrie-Sinclair Warts and All – Joseph Paton & Company Little Shop of Horrors Dentist - David Scott, Ross MacKenzie & Robin MacKenzie Little shop of Horrors – Company  Seussical the Musical – Alone in the Universe (Daniel Hirst & Blair Hollingworth) Oklahoma – I Can’t Say No (Catriona Tollick & Alex Horan) Footloose – Paradise (Sophie Elizabeth & Robin MacKenzie) 13 – A Little More Homework – (Company) Rent I’ll Cover you (reprise) – Mark McLellan Seasons of Love – Company Smokey Joes Cafe Woman – Nikki Johnstone, Alex Horan, Gill Deas, Katie McKinnon & Heather Scott Pearls’ a Singer – Katie McKinnon Stand by Me – Company Interval

ACT 2 Entr’acte - Phantom Overture Sweeney Todd Priest (Hannah Wilosn & Paul Copland) Pretty Women (Fraser Morrison & Paul Copland) Made in Dagenham – Ideal World (Cara Hayes) Billy Elliot – The Letter (Heather Scott) Into the Woods – Agony (Ronan Corkey & Mark McLellan) The Who’s Tommy - Pinball Wizard (Company) New Work/Fringe work RED Chat with Amanda Glover & Katie Forrest Stick, Stock, Stone Dead Chat with Fraser Morrison and Alex Horan Reviews and performances Chat with Mark McLellan, Katie McKinnon, Hannah Wilson & Paul Copland Banned the Belt Chat with Hannah Wilson, Fraser Morrison, Paul Copland & Katie Forrest Les Miserables Stars – Fraser Morrison Castle on a Cloud – Bethany Morrison Heart Full of Love – Katie Forrest & Paul Copland Bring Him Home – Katie Forrest, Sophie Paton & Grace McGill Master of the house – Paul Copland, Hannah Wilson & Company Playout - Consider Yourself

Cast Alex Horan Alice Mair Amy Paterson Andrew Stewart Andy Morris Anna Yardley Beth Aitken Bethany Morrison Blair Hollingworth Bryonie Plimer Cara Hayes Catriona Tollick Catriona Gauld Cerys Paton Daniel Hirst David Scott Duncan Donnachie Emily Kennaway Emma balfour Emma Gaffney Evie Kerr Fraser Morrison Gill Deas Grace McGill Hannah Wilson Harley McLeod Heather Scott Holly kitchen Holly Rafferty Jack Kitchen Jack McLean Jennifer Paton Jessica Begley

Joscelyne Kerr Joseph Paton Katie Forrest Katie Jarvie Kirsten Moyes Lauren Hay Lexi Grieve Lily Barron Louise balfour Lucy Barker Lucy Penman Maisie Kitchen Mark McLellan Millie Anderson Niamh Corkey Nikki Crawford Nikki Johnstone Olivia Morgan Owen Plimer Paul Copland Phoebe Czarnota Rebecca Petford Rhys Rafferty Robin MacKenzie Ronan Corkey Ross MacKenzie Ruaridh Tyrie-Sinclair Scott Binnie Shona Menzies Sophie Cunningham Sophie Paton Sophie Penman Teegan wallace

Creative Team Director Janet Robertson Musical Director Alan Gibson Producer Amanda Glover, Joshua Ford Lighting Design Andy Hotchkiss Sound Design David Grimes Projection Operator Kieran Hotchkiss FIlm Graeme Rennie Photography  Hannah Wilson, Fraser Morrison, Claire Borley, Andy Carr, Lewis Milne & Amanda Glover

Band Violins Aden Mazur Jennifer Cleland Alexandria Grant Viola/violin Joanna Reed Bass Tom Haycock Trumpet David Riddell Trombone Dominic Gallo Keyboard Cameron Findlay

Horn Becky Mercer James Chesney Reeds Mhairi McCall Callum Paterson Claire Bebbington Amie Morrison Piano Alan Gibson Guitar James Chesney Drums Zoë Mclellan

There's a place for us Here at Youth Music Theatre Scotland we believe that the arts and opportunities surrounding the arts should be as open access to young people as possible and do our best to offer bursaries for our projects where we can. All proceeds from tonights gala concert along with all the funds from the sale of prints, which were generously created and donated by local artist Susan McGill will help us create a dedicated fund for bursaries. "Theres a place for us" will help us ensure that there is always at least one full bursary place on each of our projects as well as other bursary options. Whether its a short or long term financial difficulty, be assured, there will always be a place for you on a YMTS project.

Here's to 10 more years...

YMTS 10th Anniversary Prog  
YMTS 10th Anniversary Prog