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Latest News

Royal Academy of Music to hold forum on music for disadvantaged young people

15 October 2009

Following the recent visit to the UK by the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, there will be an open forum entitled Forging links and creating pathways for the disadvantaged young musician at the Royal Academy of Music in London, on Saturday 14 November at 3.30pm. All are welcome; email for further information.

Carol-writing competition 'The Christmas Factor' launched

6 October 2009

Ecclesiastical Insurance and have launched The Christmas Factor, a competition to compose a new carol in the Christian tradition on the theme of the Nativity. The competition aims to renew public interest in carolling, following a survey that revealed a degree of hostility it. According to the YouGov survey, 29% of the British public do not want carol singers to come to their homes; a further 19% said they would not answer the door and 3% would ask them to leave. It is hoped that The Christmas Factor will cast carols in a new light, by encouraging entrants to weave in contemporary themes. The winner will have their carol performed in ‘the largest doorstep carol-singing event of all time’, and will also receive £1,000. Entries – in any musical style but not longer than four minutes – can be made via the ChurchAds website. Winners will be announced in December; a closing date is yet to be published.

Greenwich Borough Choir calls for new young members

6 October 2009

Young singers, MCs and beatboxers from Greenwich, London are invited to come and sing alongside professional singers from choir Sense of Sound (SOS) as part of Greenwich Borough Choir (GBC), a new contemporary choir from the Sing Up Greenwich initiative. SOS has reached the finals of competitions including BBC Radio 3’s Choir of the Year and BBC One’s Last Choir Standing. GBC will be run by SOS’s Artistic Director Juliet Russell, who says of the project that ‘it is full of talented individuals who work together to create something that sounds amazing. We don’t use instruments so the voice might become a beat or a bass line as well as a beautiful melody.’ GBC is looking for new members between the ages of 12 and 19 who have a passion for music. Email or call 020 7229 6633 for details.

New ESTA course and National Conference

5 October 2009

The European String Teachers Association (ESTA) course in Creative and Effective String Teaching takes place on three days this academic year, starting 31 October. This course is aimed at novice string teachers with one or two years’ experience and aims to provide a platform for discussion and problem-solving.  

The Introductory Day will be held on 31 October, led by Dr Fiona Pacey in Leeds and Philippa Bunting in London; a day on Instrument Specific Work takes place on 16 February, also forming one day of the Stringwise course; and the final day, revisiting and consolidating previous work, will be held in the summer term.  

The cost of the three-day course is £180. Closing date for applications is 9 October. Application forms may be downloaded from the ESTA website.

The ESTA National Conference takes place at the Yehudi Menuhin School on 8 November. Highlights are an ABRSM seminar taking delegates through its latest publications - Spectrum for Violin and the new Time Pieces for cello and double bass; an electric violin workshop presented by Steve Bingham; and a cello and dalcroze masterclass with Anita Strevens.

The cost of attending is £30 for ESTA members, £45 for non-members, £15 for ESTA student members and £25 for student non-members. Closing date for applications is 21 October. For further details and an application form contact Philip Aird.

New chief executive announced for ABRSM

23 September 2009

Guy Perricone has been appointed as Chief Executive of the ABRSM as of 1 January 2010. He succeeds Richard Morris, who will be retiring from the post on31 December 2009 after 17 years’ service.

Perricone is currently the Managing Dire ctor of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, an internationally renowned showcase for the contemporary arts, with a programme which includes exhibitions, cinema, music, talks and lectures, education and supporting creative businesses. He has wide musical interests as a listener and both his son and daughter are progressing through ABRSM grades. Perricone brings to the ABRSM significant experience in arts leadership as well as considerable business management, financial and legal expertise.

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