Arts Award

Arts Award is a nationally recognised, accredited qualification that is offered to young people up to the age of 25. It offers support in a range of activities within the arts to help young people grow and develop skills. More information can be found on the Arts Award website Arts Award Website

The UVG currently work with young people on the Bronze and Silver awards and examples of some of their work can be seen below.

Voice of the Heart – the Karen Carpenter story

reviewed by Victoria Edwards.

A fantastic evening was had by all at the king’s theatre on Sunday
with Carol Gordon wowing the audience with her successful show,
Voice of the heart – the Karen Carpenter story. Having watched the
show, it’s not hard to see why it is such a successful and popular
show even though it’s in its 20th year. The show is owned and
produced by Carol Gordon and her partner Bob Newman.

Carol Gordon

They sing a variety of the Carpenter songs; “Yesterday once more
and Goodbye to love” to name a few. To add to this variety they
sing a medley of Rock ’n’ Roll songs as well. The band consisted
of just 7 members ; John Blackman – Drums, Bob Newman-
Bass/Backing vocals, Andy Saphir – Guitars/Backing vocals, Carolyn
Lawford – Saxophone /Flute/Clarinet/Backing vocals, Rachel Dean
– Backing vocals. The band where conducted by the fantastic Mat
Newton who also played keyboards.

The show had a wide variety of
song choices showing just what Carol and her group can do. The
ound produced was spectacular, lending the perfect backing to
Carol’s voice which has a big, full silky sound to it which if you
closed your eyes you could believe that it was actually Karen herself
on the stage. Rachel Dean who sings backing vocals has been with the
show for 13 years and it was obvious in the way they worked together
on the harmonies and arrangements that they understand each other
musically. The reaction to this by the audience was fantastic, with
everyone singing along to all the songs and showing their appreciation
for each and every song with loud clapping and cheering. My
favourite song was “Close to you” as I felt a real understanding to
the song and this meant a lot to me.

It was a brave decision by Carol and her partner Bob Newman to take
on the show so many years ago, making it into the successful show it
is today. With this huge success I see no reason for it not to go on for
another 10 years and for more generations to experience this fantastic

show. 10/10!

Other reviews…

“The deep, rich tones of Carole’s voice complemented by the rest of you
guys singing and playing magnificently was a joy virtually beyond compare.”
– Audience member Milton Keynes
“The history of The Carpenters is both honoured and celebrated in the
‘Voice Of The Heart’ tribute band currently touring the UK. Vocalist Carole
Gordon has teamed with The Blue Jeans Band to create two action-packed
hours of classic tracks, reminiscing and upbeat instrumentals, as well as
encouraging audience participation with a few ‘sing-along’ tracks.”-
Reporter’s comment
“Carole connects with each song completely and we felt every word that she
was singing, the Carpenters music can be likened to an emotional journey, nd
that is the over-riding feeling from this show. ‘Touch Me When We’re
Dancing’, ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ and ‘Goodbye To Love’ were
easily our personal highlights, not forgetting ‘Superstar’ which Carole
describes as an “audience choice”, she’s right, it just wouldn’t be right if
that track wasn’t included in the set.”- Garry and Helen McWilliams