New insurance company hits the market
5 June 2009
A new musical instrument insurance provider has joined the market. Newmoon Insurance – set up by the former general manager of Allianz and director of British Reserve, Gareth Jones – provides cover for musicians of all levels and kinds, from beginners to touring professionals.
Several enticements are on offer, including one month’s free cover for instruments bought or repaired at partner retailers: look out for the yellow posters in these shops and ask for a voucher, which can then be registered online at www.newmooninsurance.com. Discounts include 5% for recommending a friend and for getting cover for previously uninsured instruments, and a no-claims reduction for transferring from an existing policy. And Jones’ confidence in Newmoon’s value for money is underlined by a price guarantee: if you can find a cheaper deal for the same or better cover within seven days of the policy start date, they will refund double the difference.
Sistema Scotland celebrates its first birthday
4 June 2009
Sistema Scotland has celebrated the first birthday of its Big Noise Orchestra with the release of a mobile phone ringtone. Only a year ago, the children in the orchestra from Stirling’s Raploch estate had never touched a stringed instrument.
For Vincent Connelly, the father of two boys in the Big Noise Orchestra with another one due to start in nursery school, the project has changed his own perceptions about orchestras: ‘An orchestra in my opinion was people playing music with straight faces in penguin suits, but then I looked at the Venezuelan orchestra on YouTube and it was just incredible. My kids just love the orchestra to death. When my son Vincent went for the double bass I didn’t think it would last, but he just took to it. He recently had to have 12 teeth out at the dentist but he was more concerned about missing two days of the Big Noise.’
George Anderson from the Big Noise says the 200 children involved in the project, who range from nursery to P4 age, have come a long way: ‘Those in the orchestra have made great progress, their ensemble playing is excellent, they’re reading music and playing first finger positions.’
New arts centres open for business
25 May 2009
Two of seven planned world-class arts buildings have opened as part of a £125 million project to develop the east of England as an arts and cultural hub.
The first to open its doors was the UK Centre for Carnival Arts in Luton, the country’s first dedicated home for carnival arts, which also provides community, learning and enterprise facilities.
Also now open is the Hoffman Building in Snape, Suffolk (pictured), providing a new multi-disciplinary art space that will provide ‘a dedicated campus for musicians from around the world to release their full potential and connect to a wider public’.
Other developments are still under construction in Ipswich, Southend, Colchester and Thurrock.
NAYO plans 'bigger and better' festival of youth orchestras
24 May 2009
In announcing the programme for the 30th Festival of British Youth Orchestras in Edinburgh and Glasgow this summer, acting chief executive of the National Association of Youth Orchestras David Marcou outlined plans for a ‘bigger and better’ festival in 2010.
A residential element will be introduced to the festival, to enable a small number of groups to work together to rehearse repertoire and explore other aspects of musicianship. Teachers will also have an opportunity to work together. Marcou added that the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq, recently established by 17-year-old pianist Zuhal Sultan, is also keen to perform at the festival next year.
This year more than 40 concerts will take place between 15 August and 6 September in Edinburgh and Glasgow with international appearances by orchestras from South Korea, China and Argentina.
Sibelius launches Version 6
19 May 2009
The latest version of Sibelius software is now on sale. Sibelius 6 incorporates a number of features that have been developed through collaboration with composers, musicians and educators. Demonstrations of all of these new features are viewable on the Sibelius website.
Sibelius 6 is priced at £595. The educational price is £363 per copy, with additional discounts when purchasing bundled multi-seat licenses. Current Sibelius customers may take advantage of upgrade options of £143 per copy, or £99 per copy for current customers who are educators and students.
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