The UVG are a multi award winning music charity based in Portsmouth who provide free access to music tuition for young people aged 11 – 25. Founded in 2008 by musician and teacher Charlie Fletcher and singer / songwriter Amba Tremain. They were soon joined by vocal coach Sally Salmon and the aim was to create a community of young singers by offering a rare opportunity to bring young people from different areas and backgrounds together. They worked hard to create a unique group with a unique sound. We specialise in group vocals, song writing, recording, instrument tuition and artist development and from small beginnings in 2008 have since providing over 17,500 music making opportunities to 750+ young people and are one of the largest music charities of its kind in South Hampshire and are recognised as a key provider of informal music education and music industry training for young people ; providing outcomes around confidence, well-being, skills development, education and employment. Our singers has performed over 100 times at events including Victorious Festival (largest group on stage 2017) including selling out The Wedgewood Rooms (5 times) and the Pyramids. In January we staged our 10th anniversary concert at the Portsmouth Guildhall with over 100 performers and an audience of 550.
We work in areas where young people have limited access to music making activities so our activities provide them with a platform to express themselves in a positive way. In the process developing skills in literacy, communication, teamwork, and technology, enabling them to become more confident and aspirational young people.
“The UVG don’t just give young people an opportunity to sing, they are an integral part of the local music scene” - Nick Courtney - Promoter
In 2013 an Adult UVG was formed in Havant; not only to provide a route of progression for UVG singers who reach the age of 19 but also to give others the opportunity to experience the joy of group vocals for themselves. The Adult group is fee paying and all profits are put back into the UVG charity ; providing more opportunities for young people to aspire and achieve through participation in music
In 2014 we expanded to offer progression opportunities to some of the emerging talent that was coming out of the groups and have since supported 16 young musicians in writing, recording and releasing their own tracks on The UVG label. This included the release of the ‘Breaking Through’ EP which saw 6 young musicians aged 15 - 18 co-write with local professional musicians including million streaming artist Jerry Williams (who is also a patron of the UVG). To date 8 of our young people have been accepted into leading contemporary music college Guilford ACM and we are known as a major provider of young artists who are making a name for themselves.
In 2017 in recognition of their sustainability they received the Cultural Partnership award at the Shaping Portsmouth conference and in January 2018 also received the Special Achievement Award at The Portsmouth News ‘Guide Awards’.
“The work of UVG over the last decade has had a huge impact on outcomes for young people across our community. Inspiring and nurturing local talent and empowering our youth is perhaps the most powerful tool in growing better and stronger communities for all” - Steve Pitt (Portsmouth City Cllr, Promoter and Artists manager)
Over the years the UVG has enabled hundreds of young people, many of whom would otherwise not had the opportunity, to aspire and achieve through participation in music. We deliver Arts Award up to Gold Level as well as volunteering and work experience and the differences that we have seen are not only musical but also personal and social ; helping them prosper in education, employment and life. We are proud to be known as a zero NEET organisation with 100% of young people aged 16+ who have attended our projects for more than 6 months being in Employment, Training or Education. We have also recruited 3 apprentices and 2 young music leaders from within our groups.
'I was blown away by the 10th anniversary concert itself but absolutely loved the palpable sense of inclusion and diversity; this is proper education for me - relationships, respect and enjoyment, leading to high achievers. Thanks to Charlie Fletcher and Amba Tremain for taking the best bits of themselves and helping hundreds of young people on the road to becoming the best version of themselves. An amazing charity that deserves every bit of support' - Cllr Suzy Horton (Portsmouth City Council)