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Norwich music teacher wins Natwest Everywoman award

6 January 2012

A music teacher and performer from East Anglia has won the Artemis Award in the Under-25 category of the NatWest Everywoman Awards for female achievement in business.

Samantha Coe, who set up The Wharf Music Academy in Norwich, has, say the award's organisers, 'led the company to commercial success despite having to overcome extraordinary hurdles, not least starting from scratch when vandals destroyed her building'.
Coe, a vocalist and guitar player, performed with the girl band Wildflowers. She was mentored by Gary Barlow's right-hand man, Elliot Kennedy, and toured with Take That as part of their 2007 tour, as well as working with the musicians behind the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. She used her teaching diploma and classically trained background to launch The Wharf Academy in 2009. Employing 'classical techniques with a contemporary approach to appeal to an X-Factor generation', she created a music school for all ages and abilities including those with learning difficulties.

'The award has been the most fantastic pat on the back for me, after what was a terribly difficult 2011,' said Coe. 'Our school was vandalised, flooded and robbed, we lost all equipment and our library, but the most devastating thing was losing the space we created at The Wharf Academy.' With the help of her sister, who has recently joined the business, Coe is now moving the school into a disused church in Norwich.

'The future looks bright,' she added. 'We have won the contract to supply the musical education to The Free School, Norwich, and intend to expand further into primary education as well as building our pupil base at the academy itself. I see the business trading from numerous branches around East Anglia and there's potential for further expansion, but for time being I'm extremely happy incorporating music and education and being an entrepreneur in Norfolk.'

Commenting on this year’s winners, everywoman co-founder Karen Gill MBE said, 'Every year the most incredible stories come to the fore through these inspiring awards. With media headlines predicting global financial strife, the NatWest everywoman Awards offer hope and inspiration to thousands of women who have a seed of an idea that they believe could translate to business success.'

'I can honestly say I never expected to win the award but it really has empowered me both as a musician, an educator and a business woman,' Coe told MT. 'I believe everybody should be able to sing and be involved in a musical education, regardless of age and ability, and this award has given me a platform to promote this. I hope to run more community activities and start a charitable arm of the business.'


Music teachers rewarded in New Year's Honours

6 January 2012

Many musicians, teachers and educators have been rewarded for their services in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.

Philanthropist and Musicians Benevolent Fund Council member Ian Stoutzker, who co-founded Live Music Now, receives an OBE for services to music, as does the Reverend Ronald Corp, Founder and Artistic Director of the New London Orchestra.

Ralph Allwood, who was precentor and director of music at Eton College for 26 years, until his retirement last Summer, receives an MBE for services to choral music.

Trevor Cowlett, a 79-year-old grandfather from Oxford, has spent 50 years singing Christmas carols to fellow villagers, raising £400,000 for charity. He has also arranged hundreds of choir concerts for more than 38 years and taught music to thousands of students from his home. He receives an MBE for services to music in Oxford.

Ealing Youth Orchestra founder John Railton receives an MBE for services to music, as does Charles Rawlinson for charitable services to young people and music.

Trumpeter Clarence Sarkodee-Adoo receives an MBE. He was paralysed after a car accident and has since pioneered the use of the Headspace synthesiser control instrument. An MBE also goes to Philip Moore Bolton, director of music at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution for services to Music in Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, an MBE is awarded to Marilyn Joy Smith, the conductor and musical director of the Glasgow Phoenix Choir, for services to music, and for services to Education and Music, to Valerie Moyes, a teacher at St. Ambrose High School, North Lanarkshire.

Leo Solomon, chairman of Grimsby, Cleethorpes and District Youth Orchestra, gets an MBE. The former teacher has been invited to Buckingham Palace on three occasions already but he has not yet met the Queen and will do so for the first time when he collects his honour. Admitting that his 'knees are knocking' at the prospect, he said: 'I have spent my life involved in music and teaching, but never expected anything like this would happen. I just hope I can get the bow right on the day.'

In South Wales, trumpeter Derek Holvey, conductor of the Four Counties Youth Orchestra, gets an MBE for services to Music in South East Wales, as does Walford John Hutchings, musical director of the Pontnewydd Male Voice Choir for services to Music and to the Community in Torfaen.

Roger John Pope, former head of Student Services at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and a music examiner for Trinity College London receives an MBE for services to higher education.

MBEs were also awarded to Dr Timothy James Thirst, for services to the Stalham Brass Band and to the community in Stalham, Norfolk, and to Mary Webster, for services to Music and Education in Kirkby Overblow and Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Youth Music cuts staff from 45 to 17

6 January 2012

Youth Music is to cut its workforce from 45 to 17 as part of a restructuring. The cuts are being made to bring the organisation in line with the required reduction of central costs as a distributor of Lottery funds. Some staff have already left their jobs and the new structure is expected to be in place by 31 March 2012. The restructuring is expected to bring the organisation’s overheads down to 8% of its budget, thus allowing more money for grants, and follows criticism in the Henley review that the organisation was spending public money on communications and lobbying.

Current director of fundraising Leah Selinger moves to the role of fundraising and new business director and two other senior leadership posts - executive director and operations director - are currently being advertised. The current CEO, Christina Coker OBE, and director of programmes, Nick Howdle, will stay in their posts until the new appointments are made.

During this financial year Youth Music has distributed £6,506,660 in grants, with 117 organisations receiving money.  It will be awarding further grants at the end of March under the new Youth Music Programme. A spokesman told MT: 'Youth Music looks forward to progressing its mission positively in the context of the continually evolving music education landscape and in particular, the National Plan for Music Education.

'Despite what is obviously a difficult time for all at Youth Music, we are encouraged by Arts Council England’s decision to continue delegating Lottery funding to Youth Music from April 2013 through to March 2015, and the recognition of our role in ensuring that all children, however challenging their circumstances, will be able to experience a high quality music education within the framework outlined by the National Plan for Music Education.'


2012 BBC Young Musician semi finals to be held at Royal Welsh College

4 January 2012

More than 400 young performers have taken part in the regional auditions for this year’s BBC Young Musician competition, 25 of whom will go through to the category finals on 5-9 March, with the semi-final on 11 March. Both events will be held at the new Dora Stoutzker Hall at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

Paul Bullock, series editor of BBC Young Musician said he is 'thoroughly looking forward to welcoming a new wave of outstanding young musical talent to Cardiff', adding, 'We’re also delighted to be returning to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where we will enjoy the outstanding new facilities and the excellent acoustics of the Dora Stoutzker Hall which opened earlier this year.'

Five performers per category (strings, wind, brass, percussion and piano) will perform in front of a panel and audience at the category finals, with the five winners going on to the semi-final. From these just three will go through to the BBC Young Musician 2012 Final in May. The performances will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Two.

To launch the week, BBC Young Musician includes an evening of short recitals at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on 4 March as part of Music Nation Cymru, with performances from past winners violinist Jennifer Pike (2002), trombonist Peter Moore (2008) and percussionist Lucy Landymore (BBC Young Musician 2010 Percussion Category Winner).

For the latest news, history of the competition and to see previous performances, visit www.bbc.co.uk/youngmusician

MIA music awards honour top music suppliers of 2011

4 January 2012

Many of the country’s best known music and music education suppliers have taken top awards in the 2011 Music Industries Association (MIA) Music Awards. The awards aim to celebrate the whole industry, 'honouring the best-selling and most reliable and innovative products and retail initiatives in the UK and celebrating the top individuals and organisations within the musical instrument industry'. Organisers say it has been 'a challenging year' and that the awards 'provided a much needed opportunity to acknowledge the professionals and organisations who continue to drive forward creativity and innovation'.

There were 25 categories, 'celebrating and rewarding success in every sector of the industry', and in a departure from previous years retailers were able to nominate themselves. The winners of more than half the categories were decided by online voting, while the remaining categories were judged by panels.

Classical category, sponsored by Classic FM:

  • Best Wind – Windcraft WCL-100 Bb Clarinet – Windcraft Ltd
  • Best Stringed – Yamaha C40 Classical Guitar – Yamaha Music Europe GmbH (UK)
  • Best Keyboard – Yamaha Clavinova CLP-470 Digital Piano – Yamaha Music Europe GmbH (UK)
  • Best Classical Publication – Oxford Service Music for Organ: Manuals and Pedals, Book 1 Compiled and edited by Anne Marsden Thomas – Oxford University Press
  • Best Classical Music Instrument Shop – Dawkes Music

Music Publishing:

  • Best Education Publication – Violin Globetrotters – Ros Stephen – Oxford University Press
  • Best Pop Publication – Adele 21 PVG – Music Sales Ltd


  • Sponsored by Musikmesse Frankfurt: Best Export Initiative – Denis Wick Products Ltd
  • Sponsored by NAMM: Living Legend – Cliff Cooper; Music Maker Award – Playsomething


  • Sponsored by Future Music and Music Radar: The Future Music Music Hardware of the Year – nord stage 2 – Sound Technology Ltd
  • Sponsored by Total Guitar and Music Radar: The Total Guitar Amplifier of the Year – Blackstar HT-1R – Blackstar Amplification Ltd
  • Sponsored by Computer Music and Music Radar: The Computer Music Music Software of the Year – Propellerhead Reason 5 – Sound Technology Ltd
  • Sponsored by Guitar Techniques and Music Radar: The Guitar Techniques Acoustic Guitar of the Year – Vintage VE2000GG Gordon Giltrap Signature Guitar – John Hornby Skewes & Co Ltd
  • Sponsored by Rhythm and Music Radar: The Rhythm Percussion Product of the Year – Natal Bubinga Drums – Marshall Amplification plc
  • Sponsored by Guitarist and Music Radar: The Guitarist Electric Guitar of the Year – James Tyler Variax JTV-69 – Line 6 UK Ltd
  • Sponsored by Music Radar: Music Radar Music Making App of the Year – SampleWiz – Wizdom Music


  • Sponsored by MPA Catalogue of Printed Music: Printed Music Retailer of the Year – Peter McMullin – Blackwell Music, Oxford
  • Sponsored by Musicguard: Best Independent Retailer – Anderton’s Music Co Ltd; Best Multiple Retailer – musicroom
  • Sponsored by sgm-FX: Best Specialist Retailer – Jonathan Myall Music


  • Printed Music Publisher of the Year – Oxford University Press
  • Best Supplier (small) – Guitar XS Ltd
  • Best Supplier (medium) – Barnes and Mullins Ltd
  • Sponsored by Moneyway: Best Supplier (large) – Roland (UK) Ltd


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