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New scholarship for guitarists

18 August 2009

The newly-established Julian Bream Trust (Registered Charity Number 1130890) has announced the creation of scholarships which will be made available to exceptionally gifted students of either classical guitar or lute at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), the Royal College of Music (RCM) and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD). 

Each Julian Bream Trust Scholarship (JBTS) will be awarded on the basis of musical merit and will cover the full cost of tuition fees at the rate set by the relevant institution for Home/European Union students.  The selection of JBT scholars will be carried out by each of the above institutions in accordance with its normal auditioning procedures and criteria. Applicants may be of any nationality, but must be under 20 for undergraduate and under 26 for postgraduate programmes. Junior Awards will also be made at the RAM and the RCM for students at the Junior Departments.

Violin and Cellobabies Training Day

4 August 2009

The European String Teachers Association (ESTA) hosts a Violin and Cellobabies Training Day on 12 October.   Hosted by the Glasgow branch of ESTA, this day is open to new Cellobabies and Violinbabies teachers in Scotland and the North of England. Kay Tucker, the vision behind the scheme, will take teachers through how to make best use of the teaching materials.

There will be demonstrations with young beginners and video material of Tucker teaching more developed students. The day will end with an opportunity for questions and discussion. Tucker will also be introducing her new Violababies books for the first time. Cellobabies and Violinbabies resources will be available to view and buy on the day.  

The course takes place at Jordanhill Church Hall, Glasgow. Fees are £45 for ESTA members and £60 for non-members. For more information, contact Pat Field on 0141 589 0049,

Sound Sense offers free insurance package

29 July 2009

Sound Sense, the UK professional association for community musicians, is now offering its members free public liability insurance. Following negotiations with insurance broker Hencilla Canworth Ltd, the organisation's individual earning members are now insured for £5m of public liability cover for all their workshop and teaching activities as part of the membership package.

The policy covers members for their legal liability for damages including claimant legal costs for accidental injury to any person or accidental loss or damage to third party property while undertaking any activity connected with the organisation or participation in community music activities. The cover is worldwide excluding the United States of America and Canada, provided that the member is usually resident within the UK.

‘More and more organisations are requiring that musicians who teach or run workshops carry their own public liability insurance,’ says Sound Sense chair and community musician Catherine Pestano, ‘so being able to include it free is a great new benefit of Sound Sense membership: I know it will save me money!’

Other benefits of membership include access to criminal records checks, free national advertising, exclusive information on jobs and funding, an exclusive email helpline, and a free subscription to Sounding Board, the UK journal of community music.


Live Music Now celebrates 25 years

28 July 2009

Heather Darcy

Live Music Now Scotland celebrates its 25th anniversary this month with a range of special events.  Over the years, musicians working on behalf of the organisation have performed live music in a variety of venues throughout Scotland from community halls, residential homes and hospices to prisons and special schools.   The network also gives young musicians an opportunity to develop their performance skills.  

When director Carol Main established the LMN Scottish office in 1984, she was working one afternoon a week and had six musicians on her list.  25 years on, she works full-time and the organisation has grown substantially with 60 young musicians, giving around 350 performances a year.  

The celebratory events this month include a series of free public concerts at the National Museum of Scotland over three weeks during Edinburgh’s Fringe festival, performances in Fife at the Aberdour Festival and the launch of a major project for adults with disabilities.  The Edinburgh Fringe concerts are also linked to community performances for elderly people with dementia at the Royal Victoria Hospital in the capital.  

Commenting on the achievements of the past 25 years, Carol Main said: ‘Our work in Scotland continues to focus on ensuring that all members of society, whatever their circumstances, have access to the joy and pleasure of live music. At the same time, in supporting the developing skills of outstanding young musicians, Live Music Now gives invaluable experience for their  future professional careers in orchestras, ensembles, concert halls, broadcasting and educational establishments throughout the country.’  

ESTA chair honoured for work with young bass players

24 July 2009

Cathy Elliott with young pupils
Cathy Elliott with young pupils

The chair of the European String Teachers' Association (ESTA)'s UK branch, Cathy Elliott, has received the International Society of Bassists'(ISB) Special Recognition Award s Young Bassists Ambassador 2009.

Every two years the ISB presents Special Recognisiton Awards in a number of categories. The recipients are chosen by a select panel that first narrows an extensive list of nominees in each category down to five finalists and then  makes its final selections. The society recognises people who have contributed 'their extraordinary skills and knowlege' to projects and other positive works that further its ideals.

Both Rodney Slatford and Caroline Emery from the UK have previously received the award.

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