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Latest News

NYJC takes off in new areas

15 June 2009

The National Youth Jazz Collective (NYJC) will shortly be launching its jazz pathway in five new regions. London, Cambridge, Cornwall, the North East and Birmingham are the latest regions to benefit from NYJC’s programme of almost 400 workshops and public performances, as well as more than 20 days of professional development seminars and workshops for regional jazz musicians and teachers. Meanwhile, the National Youth Jazz Summer School continues, with the next week-long residential course taking place in August 2010.

NYJC student activities are open to young musicians aged 18 and under. Regional programmes are open to all levels of ability from beginners to advanced, while places on the the summer school are offered to 30 young jazz musicians selected from the round of regional auditions. Professional development sessions are designed to support the needs of both music teachers working with young jazz musicians, and jazz musicians wanting to be more involved in teaching.  

New TV programme for musical youngsters

15 June 2009

A new six-part series for Children’s BBC (CBBC) will challenge children to create pop tracks based on well-known pieces of classical music.  

Clash, which begins on 7 July, aims to give young viewers an insight into the creation of music. Radio 1 DJs Bobby Friction and Nihal will join forces with musically-talented children to revamp two classical pieces into pop tracks with the aim of appealing to people who don’t normally enjoy classical music. During the course of the series the children will face a series of ‘musical challenges’ and seek advice from professionals as they create their arrangement.  

Speaking to MT, series producer Hugh Lawton said: 'Primarily this is an entertainment show, not an educational show, and so it's not didactic at all – our objective has been simply to create something that kids will enjoy watching. But there is a clear message that comes out of the show: making music is great and you don't have to be restrictive about genre.’    

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 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.

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