The Urban Vocal Group (UVG) was founded in 2008 by musician and teacher Charlie Fletcher whose aim was to create a community of young singers; offering a rare opportunity to bring young people from different areas and backgrounds together. With the aid of local singer songwriter Amba Tremain they worked hard to create a unique group with a unique sound. They were joined soon after by vocal coach Sally Salmon who ensures that all our singers are trained in the correct technique to be ‘Sing Safe’. The group became a registered charity in 2013 and in 2014 were awarded funding to expand its provision resulting in the formation of new groups in Portsmouth and Chichester. 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 made are put back into the charity.
Our groups meet weekly in safe, friendly environments for 2 hours of singing, socialising and learning where singers rehearse and perform contemporary arrangements and also receive one to one vocal tuition. We also provide song-writing and recording and members can choose to accredit their involvement via the Arts Award scheme.
The UVG has:
- Provided over 13000 creative opportunities to young people
- Performed 80 times at venues across the South Coast
- Recorded a charity single, 3 track EP and released 6 original compositions
- Had success in local and national music competitions
- Appeared on local BBC radio
- Staged 5 sell-out concerts at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth
Several of our members have gone on to study music at college, join local bands or have embarked on careers as professional musicians. We have employed 2 apprentices and provided 3 music leader roles to group members in addition to work experience and shadowing opportunities. All of our participants have used their UVG experience to develop new skills and have confidence in their abilities musical or otherwise. We believe that participation in music increases the life chances of young people and are proud to be known as the largest, free to access vocal group for young people in the South Coast