BBC Targets Primary Schools
23 May 2014
A new BBC initiative is to be launched over the next academic year in primary schools across the country. BBC Learning and the BBC performing groups aim to introduce a generation of children to a range of classical music through ten different works.
Following the project’s launch on 6 October there will be a week of free nationwide cinema screenings for schools of a film introducing the ten pieces, which have been specially selected for their ‘potential to inspire creativity’. The BBC is providing resources so that for several weeks after launch, children can create their own responses to the music though composition, dance and art.
The BBC will be working with music services and hubs across the UK. These organisations will run workshops and activities with schools to help children to develop their creative responses. The project will culminate with a celebration of the children’s work in July 2015.
Schools can sign up to take part in this project via the Ten Pieces website. The ten pieces of classical music will be announced this summer.
Jobs at risk in Isle of Wight and Cornwall
23 May 2014
Local government cost-cutting measures are leading to threatened redundancies in music services in both the Isle of Wight and Cornwall.
Recent comments by Isle of Wight councillor Steve Priest to the effect that he would be ‘looking for musicians in the area to teach our children as volunteers’, at a time when nearly 100 teaching jobs were under threat, led to widespread outrage, culminating in a rally and open air concert on 26 April. The MU, which has been an active voice in opposition to cuts in the area, has since reported that there is better news, claiming that ‘Councillors who had previously considered forcing music teachers into self-employment recognised the pitfalls this approach would have created.’ However, there is still no concrete proposal from the council on how it will proceed on reduced funding.
In Cornwall, the 70 teachers employed by the Music Tuition Service are to lose their jobs. The Music Tuition Service – one of three strands of the wider music service, alongside the music hub and the music therapy service – has overspent by £450,000 over the past two years. A ‘brokerage’ model has been put forward by Cornwall council, in which music teachers would no longer be directly employed, but would operate from a pool administered by the council. Various unions have questioned the council’s conduct in the matter, and we will be reporting fully on the status of these disputes in our July issue.
What's next for Music Mark?
23 May 2014
Following its first full year of operation, the board of trustees of the UK Association for Music Education (Music Mark) has completed an organisational review.
Amongst its new targets are plans to increase the number of music service members; to develop more pro-active advocacy with government and opposition members, and their departments; and to prioritise its support for music service members (including their roles within hubs) and with members who work with schools.
The board of trustees also remodelled the role of Jem Shuttleworth, currently acting CEO, as the new general manager of Music Mark, effective from the beginning of last month.
Andrew Litton plays Oscar Peterson at Rhinegold LIVE
22 May 2014
Rhinegold LIVE’s second concert of the season will feature world-renowned conductor Andrew Litton performing at the piano at Conway Hall, London on 2 June 2014.
The concert’s programme features transcriptions of Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, spanning four decades of Peterson’s legacy. The evening will also be a launch for Andrew Litton’s new CD, ‘A Tribute to Oscar Peterson’.
The concert will be preceded by a complimentary drinks reception and followed by an informal Q&A, conducted by International Piano contributor and classical music writer Jeremy Nicholas.
Drinks reception: 6.15pm
Concert begins: 7.00pm
To register for your free ticket to this concert, click here. Each ticket includes a complimentary drink at the reception.
NCEM Young Composers 2014
21 May 2014
The National Centre for Early Music has announced the winners of its 2014 Young Composers award. 16-year-old Freya Ireland won the under 18s category, with Kerensa Briggs (23) and Hugo Bell (22) awarded joint first prize in the 19-25 category.
The award, presented in partnership with BBC Radio 3 and The Tallis Scholars, was judged in York over a day of workshops, culminating in an evening concert. The concert performance was streamed live and can be viewed here until the beginning of August 2014.
Entrants to the competition were invited to compose a three to four minute work, setting Lamentations from the book of Jeremiah for an a cappella SSATB choir. Freya Ireland’s Lamentations, Kerensa Briggs’ Lamentations of Jeremiah: Jerusalem, return to the Lord thy God and Hugo Bell’s The Lamentations of Jeremiah will be premièred by The Tallis Scholars on Friday 24 October at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Oxford in a public concert promoted by Music at Oxford , and recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show at 2.00pm on Sunday 2 November 2014.
Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM said: ‘We were absolutely overwhelmed this year in terms of both the very high standard and quantity of responses to the Award. Live-streaming the finalists’ concert enabled us to share this wealth of new talent with an even wider audience throughout the UK and gave the young composers an immediately broader platform for the premier of their compositions. As the National Centre for Early Music, we are delighted that our partnership with BBC Radio 3, The Tallis Scholars and Music at Oxford extends the geographical reach of this Award across the UK. We look forward to all three performances in Oxford this October.'
Peter Phillips, Director of The Tallis Scholars added: ‘We were thrilled that nearly 80 young composers wanted to take up the challenge of setting the Lamentations text. I was looking for music which I could interpret with The Tallis Scholars on a big occasion and so high was the standard that in the older age category we decided to give a joint prize. I can’t wait for the concert and broadcast we shall give in October.’
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