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Julian Lloyd Webber in conversation on the life and legacy of Elgar in Worcestershire on 13 March

10 February 2010

An insight into Sir Edward Elgar’s life, work and legacy will be presented on Saturday 13 March when Julian Lloyd Webber, president of the Elgar Society, wil join society chairman Steven Halls for an afternoon of conversation at the Elgar Birthplace Museum in Lower Broadheath, Worcestershire. Starting at 2.30pm, the afternoon is entitled ‘In Conversation with Julian Lloyd Webber’. Entry is by ticket only, priced at £10. All net proceeds will go to the museum. Contact Ernie Kay, branch events secretary: ekmalv@tiscali.co.uk or 01684 567917.


£200,000 windfall for UK choirs from BBC Performing Arts Fund and Making Music

10 February 2010

The BBC Performing Arts Fund, in association with Making Music, has awarded over £200,000 to choirs and singing groups from around the UK through its Choral Ambition scheme.
From the 350 applications that were received, 98 choirs – with a total of almost 6,000 choir members between them – will receive funding, which will go towards 14 commissions of new music and 84 projects including training for choirs and choir leaders; workshops open to the public to help choirs attract new members and engage with their communities; support to tackle ambitious new repertoires and support to put on large scale events.
For example, Vox Rocks, a choir based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, will use the grant to support its campaign to engage boys in singing in harmony, using specially-arranged rock numbers which are on their wavelength rather than traditional choral music. Once hooked, they move on to other styles. ‘We are thrilled to have the grant from the BBC,’ said spokesperson Francesca Lasman. ‘We have already booked the ACM gospel choir for a workshop in February half term!’
According to Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of Making Music, the winners of the Choral Ambition awards, many of them Making Music members, came up with a diverse and interesting range of projects. ‘As a result of this programme we expect to see the world of choral singing expanding even further, with hundreds of new singers, better trained choirs, and a range of new musical opportunities.’

New chamber ensemble Reedplay to launch on 8 February with a concert at London's Purcell Room

2 February 2010

New works by Tim Watts, Paul Foster and Jeffery Wilson will be given world premieres on 8 February at the launch concert of new clarinet, saxophone and piano trio Reedplay. Watts, the group's pianist, has named his work after the new group. Paul Foster's work, a Scherzo for alto saxophone, bass clarinet and piano, won Reedplay's inaugural composition competition, organised in partnership with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Jeffery Wilson, the group's saxophonist, will perform his Iconic Sonata for tenor saxophone and piano.

Reedplay was formed with a mission to 'bridge the worlds of Baroque and Jazz, breathe fresh life into the classics and air both neglected masterpieces and new works'. The concert wil be at the Purcell Room at 7.45pm. Tickets are £12, £6 concessions. Box Office: 0844 875 0073


New dates for Fundamentals of Music Technology course

29 January 2010

MusicLeader Yorkshire has announced new dates in March for Epiphany Music’s ‘Fundamentals of Music Technology’ course, aimed at teachers with limited experience of music technology. Topics covered will include using microphones; making sound recordings; using MIDI; and putting music technology into practice in classroom or workshop settings. All sessions will be supported by course notes and software will be distributed to participants on USB sticks. The dates are 4, 11, 18 and 25 March; sessions will take place at Sheffield South City Learning Centre from 10am to 4pm. Fees are £60 for MusicLeader members and £120 for non-members. Call 01422 321 823 to apply or email yorkshire@musicleader.net.


ESTA announces 2010 professional development dates

28 January 2010

The European String Teachers Association (ESTA) has announced its latest round of professional development opportunities and other events, as follows:    

  • ESTA Pedagogy Course Part 2, on 16 February at Hornsey School for Girls, London  
  • Spring National Conference (ESTA Wider Opportunities Day), on 25 April at Birmingham Conservatoire  
  • International Conference, from 30 April to 4 May in Bruges, Belgium  
  • AGM and Centre Rep Meeting, 16 May in London (venue TBA)  
  • Nutshell Fund Day, on 20 June (venue TBA)  
  • ESTA Pedagogy Course Part 3, on 29 May at 1901 Arts Club, Waterloo, London  
  • Summer School, on 15-19 August at Dean Close School, Cheltenham  
  • Autumn National Conference, 7 November 2010 (venue TBA)  

The Spring National Conference will be presented by Claire Noakes and Ruth Openshaw and will feature workshops celebrating the achievements of Solihull’s Wider Opportunities schemes. Session 1 (Year 4 Wider Opportunities String Scheme) will give delegates a chance to see a Year 4 Wider Opportunities class perform and demonstrate skills they have acquired over the last two terms. Session 2 (Developing the Holistic Musician) will be a practical, hands-on workshop applying the principles of Dalcroze to Wider Opportunities. Session 3 (Developing Successful and Sustainable Wider Opportunities Schemes in Schools) will discuss ways to ensure the programme’s survival beyond the 2011 spending review.

For further information on any of the events, contact Philip Aird (admin@estastrings.org.uk, 0845 241 2198).

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