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Latest News

Memorial Service for Kenneth McKellar held at Paisley Abbey

30 June 2010

A Memorial Service for Scottish tenor Kenneth McKellar was held at Paisley Abbey on 30 June. The service saw a tribute delivered by fellow performer Johnny Beattie.

McKellar, who died from pancreatic cancer in April, regularly performed on national television and radio throughout his career, as well as being a regular recording artist for Decca.

McKellar was also known for his recordings of Scots songs, particularly those of Robert Burns, and he represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1966.

Shipley Arts Festival Composition Competition

25 June 2010

South Korean 25-year-old Sung-Min Ahn has been announced as the winner of the 2010 Shipley Arts Festival Composition Compeition after his winning entry, Dreamland, was selected by the jury from a selection of 85 entries from 23 different countries.

The work will be performed at the closing concert of the Shipley Arts Festival (SAF) on Sunday 4 July at St Andrew's Church, Nuthurst in West Sussex, and will also be published in October by Recital Music. There are also plans for other entries to be performed at the SAF over the coming year, and a number of other entries have also been chosen for publication by Recital Music.

Entries from Czech Jiri Kaderabek and Israel/USA-born Ehud Freedman were highly commended, while British composer Matthew Sheeran's Stained Glass won the Chairman of the Jury award. Swoon, by French/American Philippe Bodin won the Recital Music award.



New partnership for Music Teacher and the Federation of Music Services

23 June 2010

A new partnership between the Federation of Music Services (FMS) and Music Teacher was launched officially on 17 June at the FMS conference in Belfast. The partnership means that any music service employee can now purchase a subscription to Music Teacher with a 50% discount on the cover price for the first year. From September, the magazine will feature a FMS news page; music services employees are invited to email fmseditorial@rhinegold.co.uk with their news stories, however large or small.

In addition, music services will now be able to advertise job vacancies at reduced rates on Rhinegold's market-leading recruitment website. Each music service will receive a 20% discount on the standard rate, with a further 10% off for every ten subscribers generated within the music service. For more information, email fmsrecruitment@rhinegold.co.uk.

It is hoped that the partnership will enable music services to communicate their work to a much larger pool of readers. Details of how to purchase your music service subscription can be found at www.rhinegold.co.uk/fms.

Arts Council England announces extent of in-year cuts to 2011

18 June 2010

Arts Council England (ACE) has announced cuts of 0.5 per cent to all its regularly funded organisations for the year 2010/11. The cuts come in the wake of a total £23million decrease in the Arts Council's funding allocation from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, whose own budget had been brought down by £88m as part of the Government's initial £6.2bn of savings since taking office.

ACE has used £9m of its historic reserves in order to reduce the size of the cuts directly felt by arts organisations, though these new funding arrangements will apply only until the end of the current financial year. Any future planning will inevitably be affected by the Treasury's next spending review, details of which will be announced by chancellor George Osborne in the Autumn and the top priority for which has been announced by the government as a significant reduction in the size of the country's budget deficit. It is widely thought that this will entail significant cuts in the levels of both public borrowing and spending.

The Art's Council's Chair, Dame Liz Forgan, said: 'In-year cuts are always the most difficult to manage, because plans have already been made against an expected level of income. But we have done our best to minimise the effect on our funded organisations and the art they produce so brilliantly.

'Some immediate impact was inevitable, and in the longer term the arts sector will also feel the effect of the cutting back of projects that are key to its long-term sustainability and development. But I am confident that the decisions we have taken are the right ones - for art, for artists and for the audiences we serve.'


Scrapping of Shetland Islands' free music tuition put on hold

18 June 2010

Plans to charge £140 a year for peripatetic music lessons in the Shetland Islands suffered a blow yesterday as local councillors agreed to hold a review into the scheme, which had been due to start in the new school year.

The current scheme of free music tuition had been under threat as councillors tried to cut £10m from the council's overall budget. The council had agreed in February that tuition fees would come into force, estimating that this would bring in revenue of around £130,000.

However, at yesterday's council meeting, Shetland South councillor Rick Nickerson supported a review of the plans, disputing that such revenue could be made. Mr Nickerson said he hoped to return to the council on 25 November with a package that would save more than £130,000 from the music service without removing free tuition from the islands’ schools. Plans for a review were finally supported by eleven votes to eight.

Councillor Betty Fullerton was concerned that after agreeing to consult on closing schools during the same meeting, members were considering going back on a decision to stop free music tuition.

“I am quite angry about this. We have to make savings, and maybe we should charge more. Moray charges £258,” she was quoted as saying.

A petition signed by over 6,000 people in protest at the removal of free music lessons was handed over to the council on Wednesday, after a campaign led by local musicians.


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