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London Councils axes £3m of grants to London arts organisations

7 January 2011

London Councils is to axe £3m of funding to arts organisations across the capital, in a move which affects many organisations which provide cultural opportunities for children.

Sound Connections, which works to increase opportunities for young Londoners to be involved with high-quality music and music-making, is to have its grant of £313,736 withdrawn in June this year – funding which had been scheduled to continue until the end of August 2012. The loss relates to around 25% of the organisation’s turnover.

Philip Flood, director of Sound Connections, told MT: ‘Due to the early withdrawal of this investment music activities for young people will be cut short, with some community music organisations losing a significant proportion of their work… We are currently exploring other ways to continue to support those organisations who provide very vital and transforming opportunities for young Londoners.’

Meanwhile the London Symphony Orchestra’s Discovery programme may lose its £122,748 grant ahead of time, money which had been earmarked for its Fusion Orchestra and digital technology groups. These projects would have reached 1,200 10-18 year olds from five of London’s poorest boroughs; it is not yet clear whether Discovery will be able to continue with these projects unaffected.

Many of the other organisations losing funding also provide music education as part of a broader portfolio of arts and community work, such as the Barnardo’s Heshima Family Support Centre in Norwood and the Arts Depot Trust, which provides cultural opportunities for children and young people at Pupil Referral Units in London.


BBC Young Composers competition 2011 announced

6 January 2011

Young composers will have the opportunity to see their work performed as part of the 13th BBC Proms Young Composers competition, which launches on 13 January.

Open to 12-18 year olds, the competition’s winners will have their work performed by BBC groups and are also granted a commission for one of the BBC’s chamber groups. The winners of the 2010 competition had their works performed by the Aurora Orchestra at a Proms concert held at the Royal College of Music (RCM).

Entries for the competition must be received before 27 May, and this year’s Inspire day, when the winning entries will be performed at the RCM, is 6 August.

The BBC is also calling for young composers to sign up for its series of Composer Labs, which will be held on dates between February and April 2011. These will take place in London (6 February), Exeter (13 February), Cardiff (26 February), Glasgow (3 April) and Manchester (10 April), and provide an opportunity for budding talents to meet professional composers, musicians and industry figures as well as to share ideas and experiences with their peers.


Music lecturer dead as boat capsizes on freezing river Thames

4 January 2011

Music lecturer Keith Lowde is one of two men feared dead after the small boat in which he and five others were travelling capsized on the river Thames on Sunday evening.  He was using the boat to ferry his wife and four guests to shore from his house on Pharoahs Island, Surrey, when the small vessel was turned over in freezing conditions.

Mr Lowde, 66, and an unnamed man in his 70s, were not able to reach the shore and are thought to have been taken downstream by the river’s strong currents. Police and environment agency staff conducted a search of the river, including use of a helicopter and specialist divers, and have so far recovered one body.

The four occupants who were able to reach shore were treated in hospital for minor injuries before being sent home.

Mr Lowde lectured in Music Business at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford, and previously worked for the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society, the Copyright Hotline, and actors’ union Equity. He was considered an expert on international copyright law.

A website post on the Daily Mail’s website, claimed to be from a former student of Mr Lowde’s, read: ‘He was a truly lovely guy, really friendly, very intelligent and knowledgeable about his subject, and someone who really loved what he was doing… Hands down, he was the best teacher I had through my entire 20 years of education in this country.’


Music educators feature in New Year's Honours list

4 January 2011

Howard Goodall, the national ambassador for singing, has been awarded the CBE
Howard Goodall, the national ambassador for singing, has been awarded the CBE

The work of several music educators has been acknowledged in the New Year’s Honours list.

Howard Goodall, the national ambassador for singing, has been awarded the CBE for services to music education while John Wallace, principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dance, was also awarded the CBE for his services to dance, music and drama education in Scotland.

Professor Wallace said of the award: 'I am genuinely delighted with this honour, it came out of the blue.'

Nicholas Chisholm, who recently retired from his position as headmaster of the Menuhin School, was awarded the MBE for services to music education, while Graham Smallbone, chair of governors of the Purcell School, was also awarded the MBE for voluntary service to music education.

Pamela and Simon Majaro, joint trustees of the Cavatina Music Trust, were both awarded the MBE for their voluntary service to the trust, which runs chamber music concerts in schools with the aim of raising awareness of chamber music. The trust was founded in 1998 and as well as running its own concerts also provides subsidised tickets to chamber music concerts for 18-25 year olds, sponsors music competitions, and grants bursaries to young musicians in exceptional circumstances.

Other musicians honoured include composers Colin Matthews, awarded the OBE, and Eileen Betty Roe-Bishop, awarded the MBE. Sarah Aaronson, piano accordionist and the founder of the London International Orchestra, was awarded the OBE, while the founder of Ireland’s Apex Jazz Band, George Chambers, was awarded the MBE for services to jazz music in Northern Ireland.





ABRSM to offer new dates for exams missed during snow

22 December 2010

ABRSM is making additional exam dates available at selected centres in January for candidates who were unable to take their exams during the recent period of severe weather and widespread snowfall. ABRSM will offer refunds to candidates who cannot attend a rescheduled date. For more details see ABRSM’s website: http://www.abrsm.org/?page=newsArticles/item.html&id=704

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