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Latest News

National Children's Orchestra announces Access2Orchestra events for May

21 April 2010

Clive Barda

Musicians aged six to 12 who are of Grade 3-8 standard on an orchestral instrument are invited to take part in one of the National Children's Orchestra (NCO)'s Access2Orchestra workshop days. They will run in Newcastle and Shrewsbury on 15 May, Cambridge on 16 May and Plymouth on 23 May, and will offer a chance to experience the thrill of playing in a full symphony orchestra, with tuition from leading orchestral musicians. There is no cost and no need to audition. For more details, including venues and timings, visit the NCO website.


50% discount on tickets for MusicLearningLive!2011 for bookings made by end of May

21 April 2010

Music Education showcase MusicLearningLive!2011 will take place on 3 and 4 May 2011 in Glasgow. The programme is still being finalised but it has been confirmed that young musicians from Sistema Scotland will appear alongside the usual range of talks, workshops and trade exhibits. A 50% early-bird discount is available until 31 May; after that, a 20% discount will be offered until October. To book and for more information, visit the website.


Tories announce plans for nationwide school music competition

16 April 2010

The Conservative party has announced that it will launch School Stars, a music competition for schools, if it wins the election. David Cameron visited a school in Nantwich with Take That front man Gary Barlow to make the announcement. ‘Nothing brings people together like music,’ said Cameron. ‘With School Stars, we’re going to see kids practising together in the corridors, forming bands, getting together in lunch breaks to sing and dance.’ He went on to say that the competition would bring the ‘magic’ of Saturday night talent shows into schools.

‘It will be an annual nationwide competition starting in the autumn term this year,' he continued. 'Then there are local heats and regional heats before a big national final in June 2011.’ He added that commercial music unions BPI and UK Music had given their support, and that the first prize would be ‘something that people would kill for – the chance to record a song with Gary Barlow.’

Amateur pianists wanted to take part in Kemble Chopin e-competition

13 April 2010

Piano manufacturer Kemble has launched a competition for amateur pianists with a prize of a special edition Kemble Chopin upright piano. Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth, the Chopin Piano E-Competition is open to anyone over the age of 18. Entrants must submit videos of themselves performing any of Chopin’s works via a dedicated YouTube channel. The organisers are keen to encourage non-professional pianists to apply; Classic FM magazine editor and competition judge John Evans said, ‘We’re not just looking for technical ability, we’ll be looking for passion and performances that move us.’ Another of the judges, pianist and top prize winner at the International Chopin Competition Kevin Kenner, will give the winner and the runner-up a series of lessons as part of their prizes. Christopher Elton, head of keyboard at the Royal Academy of Music, will also judge. Entries close on 1 August; the Kemble website has the complete rules and regulations.

Tech Music Schools appoints its first principal

12 April 2010

Tech Music Schools (Drumtech, Vocaltech, Guitar-X, Bass Guitar-X and Keyboardtech) has announced the appointment of new principal, Andrew Bates. This new role has been created to optimise teaching and education for students and tutors alike, in response to the current rapid changes in Higher Education.

Andrew Bates possesses what TMS believes to be all of the essential qualities to take its educational programme and teaching methodology to a new level. This will greatly benefit current and prospective students by adding to and supporting the learning approach defined by the contemporary music school.

Mr Bates began his academic career as a lecturer at the University Music College of Scarborough, before being appointed as Head of Higher Education at Leeds College of Music where he later became Deputy Principal and Professor of Music.

'TMS sees a bright future ahead with opportunities expanding for current and prospective students,' according to a statement from director Francis Seriau and his colleagues. 'Andrew Bates brings with him a whole list of contacts which will help to forge new relationships with the right people, opening up a whole list of study options for students. This will include an increase in courses available, new and exciting study pathways and massive scope for every student’s diversity, hence broadening TMS’s working portfolio.'

 ‘I am delighted to be joining TMS and to have the opportunity to play a part in the next stage of itscreative development,' said Mr Bates. 'TMS has an international reputation for providing innovative and high quality contemporary music training and is well placed to build on its success within an increasingly competitive higher education market. I am very much looking forward to taking up my new role in June and working with my new colleagues and students.’


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