The aims and objectives of Tonbridge Young Musicians [tyms] are:
  • to provide enjoyable and educational musical experiences for  young musicians in Tonbridge and the surrounding area

  • to provide regular rehearsals [weekly during school term time], directed by specialist instrumental teachers

  • to provide occasional performing opportunities

  • to provide the opportunity for young instrumentalists to acquire the skills and techniques to make music in an ensemble by playing with others

  • to give players the chance to improve their fluency in sight-reading and to develop their quick-learning skills on their instrument

  • to provide the opportunity for young players to develop their understanding of the key elements of music [including structure, tonality, texture, dynamics] by rehearsing and performing in an ensemble situation

  • to encourage players to develop their skills, ability and understanding in order to progress to more advanced ensembles and orchestras


Players are asked to pay a termly fee which is used to pay the ensemble directors, to hire the rehearsal venue, and to purchase music. The string orchestras - tyms strings  and strings first - are directed by Sally Hitchcock, and the wind and brass ensemble - tyms winds - by Rachel Balcombe.


Sally Hitchcock began learning the cello in Oxford at the age of 9, and went on to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music. Her teachers have included Jeanne Fry, Audrey Scott, Joan Dickson, Derek Simpson, Anna Shuttleworth, Irene Sharpe and Susan Lowe. As a performer, Sally is a busy chamber music and orchestral player, and has played at a variety of venues throughout the south-east and in London. Sally teaches the cello and directs string ensembles in a number of schools and Music Centres in the West Kent area.


Rachel Balcombe is an enthusiastic young musician from Kent who has been involved in ensembles around the area from a very young age. She has recently returned to Kent after graduating from Leeds University with a degree in Music and is pursuing a career in teaching. She is a member of the National Youth Choir and the Cantate Choir, enjoys playing the violin and oboe with the Tonbridge Philharmonic Orchestra and is also an experienced accompanist.