Spitalfields Music Chief Executive Abigail Pogson joins Sage Gateshead as Managing Director
16 December 2014
After seven years as Chief Executive of Spitalfields Music Abigail Pogson has been appointed as Managing Director of Sage Gateshead. She will leave Spitalfields Music in May 2015 and the trustees will start recruitment for her successor in the New Year.
Abigail Pogson commented:“It has been a privilege to lead Spitalfields Music for the past seven years and a joy to work with such brilliant partners, artists, educators, donors, team and trustees in the service of our audiences and participants. It was always going to be something pretty special to tempt me away from East London and Sage Gateshead is very special indeed. Its founding mission is very close to my heart. So I’m greatly looking forward to this next phase of my working life. And I’ll take to it my Spitalfields Music memories of a hugely inspiring organisation in such an incredible part of London. I am delighted that my last festival will be Spitalfields Music’s first ever festival made entirely by young people – our Takeover Spring Festival in March 2015.”
Sir Alan Moses, Chair of Spitalfields Music said:“Although sad news for me personally and for Spitalfields Music generally it is a well-deserved triumph for Abigail. The enormous energy and strength which she has devoted with such spectacular results for us will be of great service to the Sage. They will be as fortunate as we have been.”
This announcement comes on the penultimate day of Spitalfields Music's Winter Festival 2014 which has seen record audiences numbers. Over the past five years, festival ticket sales have increased by 35% and local first time attenders have been encouraged to attend through a free ticket scheme funded by regular buyers.During Abigail Pogson’s tenure as Chief Executive the charity has expanded its groundbreaking Learning & Participation programme. A recognised innovator within the arts sector it has won five national awards and, as well as serving East London, is in demand around the UK and in Europe.
In 2014-15 Spitalfields Music toured its flagship project Musical Rumpus (a series of multi-sensory operas for 0-2½ year olds) across the UK and internationally, and has recently developed Sound Explorers - interactive, narrative based music concerts for 5-7 year olds. In March 2015 the organisation will present its first public Takeover Spring Festival in which pupils from Tower Hamlets’ primary schools curate and produce their own in-school music festival.
Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival
15 December 2014
Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival returns for two weeks over half term with a wide-ranging programme to stimulate creativity. Over half of the 2015 programme will be free of charge, offering all families and schools access to literature, music, theatre, poetry, dance, interactive installations and workshops.
· A presentation by Russell Brand and Chris Riddell, about their children’s book The Pied Piper of Hamelin
· The London premiere of Brundibár, a renowned children's opera by Hans Krása, performed by Mahogany Opera Group
· A free family concert, with the Young Orchestra for London, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle
· A rare concert featuring the 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker
· Southbank Sinfonia with Music and the Deaf offering a truly immersive and tactile experience for both hearing and deaf children
· Back by popular demand, The Big Sleepover on the iconic Royal Festival Hall stage
· Interactive performance pieces
· A new early years soft play village and a programme for babies and under-threes
· Readings and events with award-winning children’s authors and illustrators
· A new Southbank Centre commission by Hip Hop spoken word artist Maxwell Golden
· Immersive opera, theatre and site-wide installations to celebrate Alice In Wonderland’s 150th anniversary
Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, said: ‘We believe that by giving young people the chance to shape the culture they grow up with, and share their ideas with their friends, schools and families, their creativity will be given a platform that can influence all of us’.
Guardian Children’s Books will be giving children the chance to interview authors, upload podcasts and guest edit the site, extending the reach of the festival beyond London and Southbank Centre. http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site
For ticket or price information contact:
Southbank Centre Ticket Office –
Southbank Centre, Monday 9 – Sunday 22 February 2015
RNCM sets up bursary in memory of Jane Anthony
12 December 2014
Jane Anthony, Founder Director of Leeds Lieder+ died on Thursday 8 November 2014 after a short illness.
Jane was born and brought up in Headingley, Leeds. She left to study singing at the Royal Academy of Music, London and the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (RNCM) before returning home to Leeds to sing and teach.
For many years she was a busy and successful professional soprano, appearing in opera, oratorio and recitals, and frequently as a member of the chorus of Opera North. Jane was also a senior lecturer at Leeds College of Music, where she was a gifted and much-loved singing teacher, coach and opera director. Jane founded Leeds Lieder+ in 2004, and saw the biennial festival enjoy its fifth successful year in 2013.
David Hoult, chairman of Leeds Lieder+ said: ‘Jane will be sorely missed for her energy and drive which brought the idea of a Lieder Festival in Leeds to fruition, and has seen it blossom into a major event in the musical life of the city and beyond ... Our thoughts are with her family and friends to whom we offer sincere condolences’.
Jane was also artistic director and founder of Young Opera Venture (YOV). She firmly believed that everyone has the right to experience great art and that the effect can be inspirational and life changing. YOV supports young singers and makes opera accessible to audiences across the north of England.
Dame Felicity Lott, honorary patron of Young Opera Venture and closely associated with Leeds Lieder Festival, remembers Jane as ‘an inspirational lady, full of ideas about how to communicate her love of music and her enthusiasm for song and opera’. The founding principles of Jane’s work with both Leeds Lieder+ and YOV remain at the heart of everything both companies strive to achieve. Their continued success will be Jane’s legacy.
A bursary has been set up in Jane’s name to assist a young singer in his/her course at the RNCM.
RSCM ADVERTISES TRAINING POSTS FOR CLERGY AND CONGREGATIONS
11 December 2014
The new posts will complement the RSCM’s existing services and training for singers, choir
directors and church organists. The educational charity is also re-organising the management of
its volunteers in England.
In partnership with Praxis, the liturgical resources group, the new Head of Ministerial
Training will devise and lead new training programmes for ministers. “Those who train
ordinands and lay worship leaders have, in recent years, found it increasingly difficult to shoe-
horn the study of liturgy and music into their packed timetables,” says Rosemary Field, the
RSCM’s Head of Education. “It leaves a potential gap in the knowledge, understanding and skills
of many curates, lay readers and lay assistants. This is a gap which the RSCM is attempting to
close.” Already the RSCM has started to address the need with a new course called “Strengthen
for Service” which has been well-received by those who have participated in it.
The needs of churches with congregational and instrumental traditions are also being addressed
with a part-time Head of Congregational and Instrumental Music. The successful
candidate will devise and deliver training programmes and courses, including provision for
churches will little or no musical resources. This includes the RSCM’s current new course for
such churches – “Lift up your voice”. These two appointments are the first of a series of
specialist appointments which will also include the disciplines of organ and choral training.
Two part-time Regional Co-ordinators are also being sought in England, following on from a
four-year period of mixed-portfolio work by a team of Regional Music Advisers. These posts,
which are similar to the provision in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, will provide management and support for the hundreds of volunteers throughout England who devise and run a wide range of
events, workshops and training for RSCM awards.
“Back in 1927, our founder Sir Sydney Nicholson identified two principal needs for flourishing
church music; not only strong music leaders but also clergy and ministers who understood the
value of music in worship, and how to enable it in others,” said Rosemary Field. “We already
provide a range of support for musicians; we’re now seeking to redress the balance as far as
congregations and ministers are concerned.” More information about the vacancies including job
descriptions and how to apply may be found on the RSCM’s website at www.rscm.com/jobs.
Government 'lets children down' in music
10 December 2014
Leading figures in the music industry say the Government has broken its promise to give every child in Britain the opportunity to learn a musical instrument.
Julian Lloyd Webber, Sting, Alison Balsom and the heads of the Royal College of Music and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are among the signatories to a letter to the Telegraph demanding that all children have the chance of learning to play an instrument. They want Ofsted rules to be changed so that a school cannot be rated 'good' or 'outstanding' unless it offers good or outstanding music provision.
The Government unveiled its National Plan for Music in 2011, claiming it would ‘enable every child to have the chance to learn to play a musical instrument for at least a term, ideally a year’.
However, the funding model has become a postcode lottery, and access to instruments is ‘simply out of reach’ for a great number of children, according to James Rhodes, concert pianist and lead signatory to the letter published in the Telegraph on 23rd November.
Mr. Rhodes visited schools for a recent Channel 4 series, Don't Stop The Music, and found children using dustbin lids and yoghurt pots in place of real instruments. He said headteachers feel under pressure to meet targets for English and maths, and music lessons often become the lowest priority
‘I don't think anyone would say music doesn't deserve to be studied. But if you are a headteacher in a school where you know you will live or die by ticking Ofsted boxes on literacy and numeracy, that is all you're going to focus on’.
‘We have not moved on from the idea that music is a privilege and a luxury if you have the time and the budget. But learning to play an instrument gives you self-esteem, discipline, confidence. In what other field ... when there's an app for everything, and everything is instant, do you have the chance for slow, incremental, messy improvement?’.
Julian Lloyd Webber initially lent his name to the National Plan for Music but said it had failed to deliver.
‘The biggest frustration of all to me is the idea that it's an 'either/or' situation. It's not a case of, 'If my child learns to play the cello they are not going to learn their maths as well'. In fact, it's the reverse. Having access to music is a help, not a hindrance. It takes discipline to learn an instrument - it is a complex thing to do.’
he Department of Education declined to supply any information on how many schools have met its 2011 target.
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