Nominations open for Music Teacher Awards for Excellence
29 July 2015
Nominations are now open for the 2016 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence.
There are 13 categories in total, two of which are new for 2016. Nominations are being accepted for all categories except the Music Teacher Magazine Editor’s Award and the Music Education Council Major Award.
The 13 award categories include: Best Musical Initiative, sponsored by the Royal Marines Band Service; Best Music Education Product; Excellence in Primary/Early Years Music; the Musicians’ Union Inspiration Award; and Best School Music Department, sponsored by the MMA.
The new categories this year are the Music Education Council Major Award and the award for Best Musical Theatre/Drama Education Resource.
Nominations are being invited from teachers, students, parents and music professionals.
Organisations, individuals and companies wishing to nominate a product, service or individual should complete the form online at www.musicteacherawards.co.uk.
The judges will use the information provided in the nominations, combined with their own research, to make their decisions. The deadline for nominations is 23 October 2015.
Launched in 2013, the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence celebrate outstanding achievements in the UK’s music education sector.
At last year’s awards, Richard Morris, the consultant and chairman of the Yehudi Menuhin School, who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year’s awards will be presented on 25 February 2016 at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Kensington, London.
Guy Fletcher receives honorary degree from London College of Music
27 July 2015
Songwriter Guy Fletcher has received an honorary degree from the London College of Music, part of the University of West London.
The graduation ceremony took place at Wembley Stadium on 23 July.
Working with lyricist Doug Flett, Fletcher has had a long list of international successes including three songs recorded by Elvis Presley and 11 tracks with Cliff Richard.
His ballad Fallen Angel is currently in the Broadway hit show Jersey Boys.
For more than a decade, he was the chairman of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. He was awarded an OBE for services to British music in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2005.
Fletcher said, ‘I am lucky to have enjoyed a career working with incredibly talented people, and am delighted to receive this honour from the University of West London. I look forward to continuing to represent the rights of composers and creators of music.’
The University of West London’s eight schools confer honorary degrees to recognise business success, contributions to civic and cultural life and long-term support for the university’s work.
RPS grants to benefit young musicians
24 July 2015, Katy Wright
Trumpeter Imogen Hancock
Composer Michael Taplin
The Royal Philharmonic Society has announced a number of new grants and commissions for young performers and composers. A total of £65k will be awarded to musicians at the start of professional careers for 2015/16.
Six composers have been awarded the RPS composition prize, each receiving a cash prize and a major commission. Desmond Clarke, Michael Taplin and Patrick John Jones will write for the Philharmonia’s Music of Today series and will join the Philharmonia’s Young Composers Academy, while Hunter Coblenz will write a new work for the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. Ninfea Crutwell-Reade has been commissioned for a chamber piece for the 2016 Presteigne Festival, and Dani Howard has also received a RPS commission.
RPS executive director Rosemary Johnson said: ‘The need to support young musicians is becoming more acute; year-on-year, we have seen an increase in the number of young musicians who apply for RPS grants, and our available funds are sadly unable to keep pace. For example, whilst we are delighted to have been able to make awards totaling more than £20,000 towards instrument purchase, there was a further £74,000 of requests – all deserving serious consideration – that we were sadly not able to meet. This suggests that across the country, there are significant numbers of music students whose musical development is being slowed, and in some cases, irreparably harmed, by an inability to purchase the simple tools of the trade, with serious implications for music now and in the future.’
Malcolm Arnold Festival makes music social with ‘gesture of friendship’
23 July 2015
Music educator Paul Harris is spearheading a project to encourage people to perform and share their favourite music as part of this year’s Malcolm Arnold Festival.
On 18 October, the festival will invite musicians – amateur and professional – to play a favourite piece of music to their friends and share the footage on social media, including a dedicated Facebook page.
The project has been inspired by Arnold’s description of music as ‘a gesture of friendship’.
Harris is artistic director of the Malcolm Arnold Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. He is also a composer, workshop leader and adjudicator.
The project has been backed by musicians including Nicola Benedetti, who commented: ‘This will offer a wonderful opportunity for a show of musical unity. I wish everyone a wonderful day enjoying the pleasures of classical music.’
Musicians who would like to be involved should visit www.agestureoffriendship.com.
The Malcolm Arnold Festival is an annual celebration of Arnold’s music in his hometown of Northampton. This year’s festival takes place on 17 and 18 October.
BIMM prepares for first summer school at Manchester branch
22 July 2015
The British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) will hold its first summer school in Manchester next week.
The Manchester Performance Summer School, which takes place on 27-31 July, will focus on indie music and will follow the established BIMM summer school format, running daily from 10am to 4pm for five days.
Mornings will be given over to technique and rehearsals, while in the afternoons the different instrumental groups will come together and form practice bands to flesh out the songs they have learned.
Special guests will include Republica vocalist Saffron; Charlie Laffer, guitarist for Maverick Sabre; multi-instrumentalist Tim Muddiman, bassist for Gary Numan; and Jason Bowld, drummer with Killing Joke.
Kieron Pepper, head of performance at BIMM in Brighton, said: ‘I’m so excited to be bringing the BIMM Summer School to Manchester this year, with some world-class guests and five days spent working on styles, technique and performance with budding musicians from the local area and beyond.’
BIMM began life in 2001 as the Brighton Institute for Modern Music. It has since expanded to open branches in Berlin, Bristol, Dublin, London and most recently Manchester, in 2013.
As well as summer schools, the institute offers full-time further and higher education courses in guitar, drums, bass, songwriting, vocals, music production, music business, event management, live sound and tour management, and music teacher training.
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