A brand new young mixed-ability orchestra
1 December 2014
As part of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s The London Residency 2015, Southbank Centre and Barbican Guildhall in collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra will join forces for an education project that brings together a brand new young mixed-ability (Grade 3 and above) orchestra, the Young Orchestra for London. The project culminates in two landmark performances by the Young Orchestra for London – one on the Barbican Concert Hall Stage (12 Feb) and one on Southbank Centre's Clore Ballroom (15 Feb), both led by Sir Simon Rattle.
Following an open recruitment day at Southbank Centre, online application to the orchestra is now open and will close at noon on Friday 5 December. All applicants will be required to attend a selection workshop in December and by the end of the year 100 young people aged 11 – 21 from across the 33 boroughs in London will have been selected to take part.
From 11 January 2015 the Young Orchestra for London gets together for a series of repertoire rehearsals and workshops, where the young players can learn about general musicianship skills and the repertoire that is being performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker during the residency. Sessions are creatively overseen by Rachel Leach and full orchestral rehearsals will be led by conductors Ben Gernon and Duncan Ward with musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra supporting some of the sessions. Sectionals will take place with the support from members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, who will also be available for online Q&A sessions with the young musicians.
In February 2015 the project culminates in two performances at the Barbican and Southbank Centre which will see the Young Orchestra for London conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. The programmes include Sibelius Finlandia and a movement from Malcolm Arnold's Little Suite No.2, plus a newly commissioned piece entitled Zero at the Bone for a ‘Giant Orchestra’ by composer Stephen Montague which is specifically designed for Southbank Centre’s annual Imagine Children's Festival. This piece will involve youngsters outside the Young Orchestra for London joining in, too, and will also feature parts for non-instrumental players.
Further information on how to apply for the Young Orchestra for London as well as an online application form can be found on both the Barbican’s and Southbank Centre’s websites:
NYOW players in concert with professionals
28 November 2014
Members of BBC National Orchestra of Wales and National Youth Orchestra of Wales performed side-by-side in Cardiff this October, in a Halloween Spooktacular, a family concert which was part of the two orchestras’ continuing relationship.
International Sistema Teachers’ Conference Report
26 November 2014
The first International Sistema Teachers’ Conference, hosted by Sistema Scotland provided a unique immersive experience shaped by teachers for teachers. Musicians from Sistema Scotland connected with colleagues from Sistema Sweden, Superar Austria, Sistema Italia, Sing Out with Strings (Ireland) and In Harmony Liverpool (England) to devise the programme.
Education study favours traditional teaching styles
25 November 2014
Schools need to put more effort into evaluating what makes effective teaching, and ensure that discredited practices are rooted out from classrooms, according to a new study published by the Sutton Trust and Durham University.
Boris Johnson launches music pledges
24 November 2014
In his latest communication to the education sector, Johnson says:
“Music isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’,
an essential part of every child’s education. From the ages of 5 to 14, all children are entitled to
play instruments, compose and listen to music in school, every week. The fact
that the National Curriculum guarantees children ten years of unbroken musical
learning in our schools is something to be enormously proud of.
The language of music, with its subtlety, depth and fascinating
notation, is as rich as any spoken language on the planet. To reach the level
of physical mastery that playing an instrument demands is as mind-boggling as
the achievements of Pelé or the Williams sisters. And for a team of people to unite in making
music – communicating
with confidence, emotion and artistry to others –
is one of the most powerful forms of community I can
He considers it to be the job of headteachers, with the help of music education hubs, to ensure that every child, not just those that can pay for tuition, has the opportunity and encouragement to progress in music through to GCSE level and beyond. London’s schools are estimated to spend £600m on class music teaching each year. Music hubs spend a further £33m on instrumental teaching, music centres, ensembles and support for schools.
Over the next 18 months, the Mayor’s Music Fund and City Hall are investing £1.8m in students and teachers. Across the music industry many more millions are being spent on our young musicians. He goes on to say: ”We invest so much because music is important for our economy. London needs creative people and music is one of our most successful exports. The creative industries generate £21bn for London’s economy each year and hardly any music graduates are out of work. But music also has a bigger purpose, personally and socially. It’s unique in challenging human beings to draw upon a huge range of intellectual skills and use them, in that moment, to turn the mundane into the beautiful - to create emotion. It’s time to get serious about music, so I’ve made five pledges to help London’s schools. And I’m asking headteachers, as well as music hubs, parents and the music industry to join me by making their own pledges.”
Pledges for teachers include:
• Go to specialist music CPD events every year
• Go to the Music Education Expo (March 2015 at the Barbican)
• Take students to hear a live music performance
Visit www.london.gov.uk/musicpledge find out more and to take part.
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