NYCGB and NYJO announce Shakespeare 400 national tour
12 February 2016
The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra have announced a joint nationwide tour of a Shakespeare-inspired programme entitled The Play’s The Thing.
TBC 23 April – broadcast appearance as part of Radio 2 Friday Night Is Music Night
17 July – Cheltenham Music Festival
24 July – Birmingham Town Hall
29 July – Petworth Festival
TBC Aug – Rye Jazz & Blues Festival
22 Oct – Stratford on Avon Music Festival
described the programme, which was originally developed for the 2015 City of London Festival, as 'one of the best and most original programmes I can remember in the City' and 'a clear front-runner among the tributes [to Shakespeare]'.
Featured repertoire includes Duke Ellington’s Such Sweet Thunder Suite and choral settings ranging from Vaughan Williams to Owain Park, David Hamilton and Janet Wheeler.
The programme also includes collaborative items, including Pete Churchill’s Journey’s End (commissioned by the City of London Festival in 2015) and a new work by NYCGB and NYJO directors Ben Parry and Mark Armstrong.
Ben Goldscheider to open the Music Education Expo
10 February 2016
Ben Goldscheider will give a short performance to open this year's Music Education Expo.
The 18-year-old French horn player is currently a category finalist for BBC Young Musician.
Goldscheider has been a pupil of Susan Dent at the Royal College of Music Junior Department since the age of 11, where he receives a full scholarship. He was appointed principal horn of the National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Great Britain aged 13, and became the youngest participant in the London Symphony Orchestra Brass Academy the following year. In 2014 he became principal horn of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, where he was unanimously awarded the John Fletcher Brass Award for his playing and contribution to the orchestra.
He was awarded the Philip Jones Memorial Prize at the 2016 Royal Overseas League Annual Music competition for most outstanding brass player, and was the youngest finalist in the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist of the year competition. He has also won the Cox Memorial Award and audience prize at the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra International Soloist competition, the Guildford Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Award, Marlowe Young Musician of the Year 2013, Toddington Young Musician of the Year 2013 and the Gregynog Young Brass Player of the Year.
The Music Education Expo takes place on 25 and 26 February at Olympia. The event, which takes place in conjunction with the Musical Theatre & Drama Education Show encompasses 50 sessions which include warm-up ideas, practical workshops, informative seminars, panel debates, Q&As and networking opportunities. Registration is free.
Music Education Expo
Barry Ife to stand down as Guildhall School principal
5 February 2016
Professor Barry Ife is to stand down as the principal of Guildhall School of Music & Drama after 12 years in the role.
He will remain in the post until a new principal is appointed, and then will focus on teaching and research.
Ife has worked in higher education for 47 years, and is a specialist in the cultural history of Spain and Spanish America from the 15th to the 18th centuries. He held lectureships at Nottingham University and Birkbeck College before being appointed to the Cervantes Chair of Spanish at King’s College London in 1988. During his tenure of the chair, whose emeritus title he still holds, he became head of the School of Humanities (1989-1996), vice-principal (1996-2003) and acting principal (2003-2004). He managed the validation relationship between King’s and RADA in 2001.
He was a governor of the Royal Academy of Music from 1996 to 2004 and president of the Incorporated Society of Musicians in 2014/15.
Ife is currently chair of the Culture Capital Exchange and the Mendelssohn Boise Foundation, and is a board member of the National Centre for Circus Arts and the Architectural Association. He represents specialist institutions on the Board of Universities UK and chairs the UUK Specialist Institutions Forum.
He received the CBE in the 2000 birthday honours for services to Hispanic studies.
Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Responses to the EBacc consultation
5 February 2016
Following the closure of the Department for Education's consultation on 'Implementing the English Baccalaureate' on Friday, some organisations have published their responses online.
The National Association for Head Teachers
' response to the consultation reads: 'NAHT questions whether those subjects currently identified as part of the EBacc are the
only subjects which are academic, rigorous and demanding, particularly in light of the
extensive reform of both general and vocational qualifications at Key Stage 4. Creative and cultural subjects can be just as academic and challenging.
'This rigid and prescriptive set
of GCSEs which currently form the EBacc is limiting and unrealistic.'
It goes on to suggest that the EBacc plans would lead to an 'inevitable' decline in pupil numbers in some non-Ebacc subjects: 'The decline in available curriculum time for optional subjects and the exclusion of
creative and cultural subjects from the EBacc will lead to a significant reduction in pupils
taking these subjects.
'In order to refute this argument, data provided on the statistical
release shows that in 2014/15 49.6% of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in state-funded
schools were entered for at least one GCSE entry in Arts subjects.
38.6% of pupils in this cohort were entered for the full EBacc, thus the curriculum time
and choice elements were retained in a large proportion of schools allowing many
pupils to take an Arts subject.
'With the lack of curriculum time and choice available, it is inevitable that pupil numbers
in certain subjects will decline.'
The response of the Council for Subject Associations
says: 'Many subjects vital to the economy are absent from the EBacc. These include
the creative subjects and design and technology which form the basis of vital
It also notes that 'the EBacc has already
had a negative impact on the uptake of arts subjects, with the Cultural Learning Alliance
estimating a 13% drop in uptake between 2013-14 and 2014-15.'
The DfE is currently analysing feedback from the consultation.
Students benefit from collaboration between classroom teachers and community music leaders
5 February 2016
The interim results of Youth Music's Exchanging Notes programme show that collaboration between classroom teachers and community music leaders can lead to increased engagement in music and other subjects, following an evaluation of the programme by academics at Birmingham City University's Centre for the Study of Practice and Culture in Education.
Exchanging Notes is a four-year action research programme involving ten new partnerships between schools and music education providers who normally work in out-of-school settings.
The results from the first year of the programme suggest that the multi-agency approach has enhanced the quality and standards of music delivery and improved young students' achievement and engagement in their education, addressing their needs more appropriately.
The approach has had a positive impact on students' self-confidence and behaviour, expanded their musical repertoire and encouraged them to become more creative.
Youth Music CEO Matt Griffiths said: 'We’re really pleased with these early findings from Birmingham City University which appear to show that this new collaborative approach is having a positive effect on pupils’ engagement in education. It’s clear too that the sharing of approaches to learning and practice by teachers and music leaders is of benefit to both and I hope to see some very interesting ways of working collaboratively emerging over the coming years.'
The scheme will continue until July 2018.
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