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Teaching Materials 2015

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Latest News

BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition

23 January 2015

The BBC has announced the opening of the BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition. Now in its seventeenth year, this annual competition is a cornerstone of the BBC Proms’ ongoing Inspire Scheme, which offers a platform to young composers to develop their skills, share their ideas with like-minded composers and get their music heard. In 2014 Inspire worked with over 550 young musicians, commissioned nine new works and performed and broadcast the music of 17 young composers.  

The competition is open to students aged 12 to 18 years. Entries will be judged by a panel of music professionals, including composers Fraser Trainer, Judith Weir, and Anna Meredith. The winning pieces will be performed by professional musicians for the Proms Plus Inspire concert and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3; the winners will then be commissioned by the BBC  for a further work.  

The deadline for entries is 21 May

Music education hubs await grant confirmation

25 November 2015

Today's comprehensive spending review will confirm the level of funding given to music education hubs.

George Osborne will give his autumn statement at 12.30pm, in which he will set the level of government spending from April 2015 onwards.

While the budget for schools is protected, the amount which these hubs will receive is yet unknown.

However, Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT, suggested that more government funding is needed to ensure that high standards in schools are maintained.

He said: 'Schools face rapidly rising costs with nothing extra provided by the government to cover them. We fear this will have an adverse effect on standards […] Put simply, all schools need teachers and if you cut budgets, you cut staff. Children and young people will get less support, a narrower curriculum and a poorer deal.

'It’s time the government stopped seeing education as a cost; it’s an investment, whether for early years, schools, or post-16 education. In the end, the country gets out what it is prepared to put in.'

The BBC's Brian Wheeler has suggested that cuts to arts funding are likely, with the National Lottery expected to make up the shortfall.

University of Huddersfield receives Queen's Anniversary Prize

19 November 2015

The University of Huddersfield is to receive the Queen's Anniversary Prize for 'world-leading work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience'. 

The prizes are awarded biannually to higher education institutions which have made significant contributions to the intellectual, economic and cultural life of the nation and to society and individuals in Britain and overseas.

Winners receive a specially-cast medal naming the institution, a certificate signed by the Queen and the entitlement to display the logo of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize Scheme for the ensuing four years.

The university's application for the prize was based around the important role its contemporary music work plays in forging connections with local, national and international communities.

The supporting document stated: 'Wide-ranging impacts in culture, education and commercial applications have grown from investment in world-class facilities and staff, strategic partnerships with festivals and industry bodies, and pioneering international collaborations.

'New music inspired by the University’s leadership in this area has reached new audiences, developed generations of creative artists, and contributed to the vitality of cultural life in the UK and internationally, as well as to the social and economic well-being of the region. The University’s name has become synonymous with excellence in contemporary music-making, and its leaders are committed both to sustaining this distinctive legacy and to setting future trends.'

The application also drew attention to how the university's contemporary music projects forged international links and collaborations, attracting students and staff from overseas, and providing opportunities for young and emerging artists and scholars, and highlighted its role in founding and hosting the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework identified the university's research in music as 'internationally excellent' and 'world-leading'. Research into new music is coordinated by CeReNeM, a community of world-leading artists and scholars directed by Professor Liza Lim which brings interdisciplinary perspectives to research in contemporary composition, performance, music technology, improvisation and sonic media.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Cryan said he was delighted by the award.  'There is no doubt that contemporary music research and performance is one of the jewels in our crown at the University of Huddersfield and the hard work that went into producing our submission for the Queen‘s Anniversary Prize has been amply rewarded.'

The prize will be presented on 25 February 2016 at Buckingham Palace. 

University of Huddersfield: Music

Pipe Up sessions for Key Stage 2 pupils

19 November 2015

Key Stage 2 pupils can find out about the inner workings of the organ in Pipe Up sessions at the Royal Festival Hall.

They will learn about stops, bellows, pedals and pipes as they work together to build a DIY organ kit.

The workshop will cover the science and engineering behind the instrument - with links to the Science of Sound curriculum - and will pupils' develop teamwork, leadership and problem-solving skills.

Pupils will take part in a 90-minute workshop and will visit the Royal Festival Hall in order to learn about the acoustics inside before enjoying an interactive recital.

The sessions take place on 12 January and 1 March 2016. The workshop and Royal Festival Hall visit will cost £230 for two classes.

Pipe Up schools

Churches to bless ChoralEvensong.org

17 November 2015

ChoralEvensong.org will be blessed by the Churches of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales on 22 November.

The blessing will involve the Deans of Westminster Abbey (England), Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (Ireland), St. David’s Cathedral (Wales), St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh (Scotland), and the Canon of Westminster Cathedral (since the website also includes Roman Catholic Vespers services).

Many other churches and cathedrals will also be taking part; some will light a candle in front of a laptop with the new website running, while others will say a specially written prayer.

Created by Dr Guy Hayward (a former choral scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge), the website will offer a location search to Choral Evensong services across Britain and Ireland.

Choral Evensong takes place in more than 350 churches and cathedrals across Britain each Sunday, but the numbers attending these services have been in decline over the past 50 years. 

The blessing is intended to show that anybody is welcome to the services.

Hayward hopes that the website will encourage more people to attend services. 'Choral Evensong offers everyone a free moment of inspiration, a chance to reflect on beauty in the gap between a day’s work and dinner. It is the most accessible service, because the music is so uplifting and there is little liturgy. In London alone, every day of the week at 5pm, one can enter Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral free of charge and listen to world-class music for 45 minutes.

'We really hope this website will make Choral Evensong accessible for more people.'

The Very Rev Philip Buckler, Dean of Lincoln Cathedral, said: 'I am delighted that the "gift" of Choral Evensong is now to be made more widely known. For it is also a gift freely offered to all who care to join in that worship and find inspiration in the great tradition of English Church Music which continues to flourish from generation to generation.'

ChoralEvensong.org is supported by Hampstead Church Music Trust and endorsed by the Royal School of Church Music.


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