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Guildhall School unveils latest selection of Creative Entrepreneurs

9 September 2015

© BasPhoto / Shutterstock.com

The Guildhall School of Music and Drama has revealed the latest members of its Creative Entrepreneurs scheme.

Seven Guildhall School alumni will be supported through the scheme to set up their own businesses or social enterprises.

They will take part in an intensive 12-month programme of training and support led by social enterprise Cause4 and delivered in partnership with the Guildhall School.
This is the third year of the scheme, which has incubated a total of 18 new businesses so far.

Successes from the past two years have included Song in the City, a charity that programmes classical concerts around inventive and challenging themes; Drum Works, a music education programme that confronts disengagement within schools; and Bach to Baby, a concert series for babies, toddlers and their parents.

This year’s successful alumni are Anna Pool (Workshopera), Fernando Machado (Lambrego), Jekaterina Sarigina (The Now Girls), Vincent Bruggeman (Lyribox), Ruth Mariner (Gestalt Arts), Theresa Goble (Vox Integra) and Andrea Berbegal (Unison Music Management).

They will receive training in vision development, business planning, marketing, sales and funding, and individual support will include the provision of mentoring, coaching and business plan development.

The growing ventures will inhabit a dedicated space in the Cause4 offices in London’s Liverpool Street. The aim of the scheme is to enable the entrepreneurs to develop sustainable businesses and secure seed funding by the end of the year.
Applications were assessed on the basis of the strength of the business concept, its readiness for development, the artistic quality of the venture and the anticipated contribution to the Guildhall School and its community.
The Creative Entrepreneurs programme has been devised by Professor Helena Gaunt, vice principal (research and academic development) at the Guildhall School, in partnership with Cause4.

Michelle Wright, chief executive of Cause4, is an alumna and fellow of the Guildhall School.  
Gaunt said: ‘This year’s cohort promises to be the strongest yet. We are demonstrating some excellent results from the businesses we have incubated in the last two years, and Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs is fully embedded at the Guildhall, and set to expand.

‘There is no question that there is more for us to do to support performing artists in making their own careers in the contemporary cultural landscape, and this includes building yet stronger links between creative ideas, audience/customer needs, and sustainable business.’

Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation awards £630K in grants

8 September 2015

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has awarded 21 new grants worth over £630,000 to encourage young talent.

The grants aim to enhance arts education and to widen participation and engagement for those with challenging backgrounds or limited access to the arts through mentoring, training and hands-on experience.

The grants awarded include:
  • £50,000 to Little Kids Rock to further its music tuition programme across state schools in the US. Established as a charity in 2001, Little Kids Rock provides musical instruments, free tuition and performance opportunities to disadvantaged school children aged 5-18 across the US. It currently reaches approximately 200,000 students in state schools in 30 cities. 
  • £45,000 over three years to St George’s Bristol to fund its young composer’s academy. 90 music students aged 15-18 from across the south west will participate in a three year immersive, practical programme of workshops and masterclasses. The academy will focus on music composition of all genres, with opportunities to work with professional composers and musicians. There will be an opportunity for compositions to be performed at St George’s and ultimately to gain a professional, paid commission in year three as ‘St George’s Composer in Residence’.
  • £30,000 over three years to Future Talent’s career advice, performance and mentoring programme for 36 talented musicians from low income backgrounds from Yorkshire, north west, north east, east and west Midlands. 
  • £25,000 to English Schools Orchestra’s composing, improvising and performance project led by ESO musicians and music students from Goldsmiths, University of London. 30 A-Level, GCSE and vocational course music students from the Lewisham borough will receive professional music guidance and experience to those who would not otherwise have the opportunity for specialist teaching.
  • £16,800 to fund ten bursaries over two years at the National Youth Jazz Collective intensive summer school for talented young jazz musicians from low income families. 45 musicians aged 8-18 will participate in the week-long intensive residential course, working with renowned professional musicians and composers.
  • £16,485 to support the Hackney Empire Young Artists Company in learning all aspects of producing their own piece of musical theatre and gaining the skills and confidence to develop as professional artists. The project will take place over a period of one year in weekly evening sessions and intense weeks in the spring/summer holidays, culminating in a production at Hackney Empire and a tour to Edinburgh Festival in summer 2016.
  • £15,441 to DJ School UK for a collaborative project with West Yorkshire Playhouse and Yorkshire Dance. Taking place over four terms of weekly workshops, the project provides professional tuition and combines art forms of dance, DJing, music production, rapping, beatboxing and singing to produce original performance pieces and compositions at the end of each term. Each term up to 40 participants, aged 11-19, will be selected from diverse communities across Yorkshire, based on demonstrable talent, ability to adapt their skills in response to others and enthusiasm.
  • £10,000 to Stalham Brass Band towards brass band music tuition and instrument loan for young people in Norfolk.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said: ‘The creative industry in the UK is thriving, but to retain this vibrancy we need to support the talented young people of all backgrounds who are looking to take their first steps towards a career in the arts. I have been lucky enough to enjoy a successful career doing something that I love and am delighted that my foundation can support young creatives of the future.’ 

Lloyd Webber established the Foundation in 1992 to promote arts, culture and heritage. Since the active grant giving programme launched in 2010, it has awarded almost £11m to more than 250 recipients. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation

MU and Co-operatives UK launch guide to forming music teacher co-operatives

8 September 2015

The Musicians’ Union (MU) and Co-operatives UK were in Parliament on 7 September to launch an initiative aimed at creating more music teacher co-operatives.

The 'Altogether Now’ guide explains what a co-operative is and how it works, explores some of the key issues and challenges, and provides guidance on how teachers can create their own co-operatives.

Co-operatives allow groups of teachers, who could be facing redundancy from Local Authority music services, to continue teaching together in an environment that aims to value every contribution and to encourage the sharing of expertise. 

They can also empower teachers to have greater control over their working lives and help to create a sense of purpose and unity, as an alternative to working in isolation and competition.

The MU has supported the formation of new music teacher co-operatives in places including Milton Keynes, Denbighshire, the Isle of Wight and Wiltshire, and these have joined the longer established co-operatives in Swindon, Newcastle and North East Lincolnshire.

Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK, writes in his foreword: 'Co-operatives work. From high-street retailers and credit unions, to community-owned pubs, the co-operative sector is thriving. By giving ownership and control to the people closest to an organisation, co-ops can harness innovation, boost productivity and give people a stake in the work they love.'

The document was written by David Barnard (MU member and founder of Swindon Music Co-op), and commissioned by the MU along with template legal documents put together by Anthony Collins Solicitors (specialists in co-operative law). It is based on Are You Ready for a Brand New Beat (written by Geof Cox in 1995 in collaboration with Bob Wearn) which outlined the formation of the UK's first music teachers' co-operative.

Margaret Fingerhut to receive fellowship from Birmingham City University

4 September 2015

Pianist Margaret Fingerhut is to be awarded an honorary fellowship from Birmingham City University.

She will be presented with the award at a graduation ceremony this afternoon at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.

Birmingham City University is the parent organisation of Birmingham Conservatoire. Work is currently under way on a new home for the conservatoire on the university’s city centre campus.

Fingerhut, 60, has enjoyed a career spanning 40 years and has been a visiting tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire since 2007. She has also given masterclasses in the US, Canada and China.

She said: ‘It is a real thrill to be recognised like this by the university. I have always loved teaching at Birmingham Conservatoire and am proud to be part of the faculty, particularly at this exciting time in its history.’


BBC Music announces Ten Pieces Secondary film presenters

3 September 2015

Presenter Vikki Stone
Presenter Vikki Stone

Presenter Lemn Sissay
Presenter Lemn SissayDominique Brewster

BBC Music has announced the presenters for its Ten Pieces Secondary film, which will be shown across the UK free of charge in October. The hour-long film will feature specially shot performances of the ten pieces featuring the BBC Philharmonic and members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, conducted by Alpesh Chauhan.

The presenters are:
  • TV presenter and journalist James May: Bach, orch. Stokowski – Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565 / Soloist: Wayne Marshall
  • Singer Pixie Lott: Bernstein – ‘Mambo‘ from West Side Story
  • Actor Bobby Lockwood and TV presenter and actor Naomi Wilkinson: Bizet – ‘Habanera‘ and ‘Toreador Song‘ from Carmen Suite
  • Comedian and rapper Doc Brown: Anna Clyne – Night Ferry
  • TV presenter and former footballer Dion Dublin: Haydn – Trumpet Concerto (third movement) / Soloist: Alison Balsom
  • Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo and composer Gabriel Prokofiev: Gabriel Prokofiev – Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra (fifth movement) / Soloist: DJ Mr Switch
  • Poet and Broadcaster Lemn Sissay: Shostakovich – Symphony No. 10 (second movement)
  • TV presenter Molly Rainford: Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending / Soloist: Nicola Benedetti
  • Comedian Vikki Stone: Verdi – ‘Dies Irae’ from Requiem / featuring the Hallé Choir
  • Actor Christopher Eccleston: Wagner – ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ from Die Walküre
The trailer for the film can be found here.

Teachers will once again have access to a range of online resources to explore the works in their own lessons, encouraging pupils to respond to the music through composition, dance or art.

The initiative follows in the footsteps of Ten Pieces Primary, which has engaged more than half of UK primary schools (over 11,000 in total) since its launch in autumn 2014. The resources for Ten Pieces Primary will be available throughout 2015/16, with schools encouraged to continue their involvement.

From 28 September – 10 October, Radio 3 will present a Ten Pieces season. Each of the pieces will be played on Breakfast, while Afternoon on 3, CD Review, In Tune and Essential Classics will also feature the chosen works.

Ten Pieces Secondary film presenter Vikki Stone said: ‘I grew up with classical music in my bones, so I am thrilled to part of this wonderful project. It’s important to keep the spirit of classical music alive, as without its influence, we’d have none of the modern music we listen to today.’

Schools can book free cinema tickets now for the nationwide screenings. 

BBC Ten Pieces

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