LSO On Track to perform in Trafalgar Square
30 April 2015, Katy Wright
Young musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra's On Track programme will perform in Trafalgar Square in a high-profile concert on 17 May.
Those participating in the On Track scheme will join members of the LSO and musicians from the Guildhall School for performances of Shostakovich's Jazz Suites (arranged by Gareth Glyn).
LSO On Track is an initiative in which young instrumentalists from East London receive coaching from LSO musicians. The scheme is a partnership with the music services of 10 London boroughs: Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest.
The all-Shostakovich programme also includes the composer's Festive Overture and Symphony No 1, with Valery Gergiev conducting the LSO. Violinist Nicola Benedetti will perform movements from Shostakovich's first violin concerto.
Munira Mirza, deputy mayor for education and culture, said: 'I am delighted to welcome the LSO to Trafalgar Square for what has become a much-loved event in London’s musical calendar. This year promises to be another unforgettable event with the LSO playing with their talented young musicians and guest soloist Nicola Benedetti, a young talent herself and Ambassador to the Mayor’s Music Fund. I am deeply committed to championing music and music education and I look forward to the LSO and their aspiring young musicians sharing this free concert with Londoners.'
The performance will begin at 6.30, but it is recommended to arrive at least an hour early. For further details, click here.
Education software provider FFT rolls out new dashboard system
30 April 2015
Secondary school teachers can track the performance of their pupils online thanks to a new system from education software provider FFT.
FFT Aspire was launched at the beginning of this academic year and has since been phased in across the country, with the rollout completed last month.
The technology uses a set of interactive dashboards to help schools evaluate pupil performance, identify strengths and weaknesses and set targets for the future. Dashboards are currently available from KS1 to KS4, with KS5 to follow later this year.
FFT’s data was previously available to only to one specialist per school and the information was not easily accessible to individual subject teachers.
The new dashboard system allows subject leaders to easily pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, helping them to predict future GCSE results and prepare for Ofsted inspections.
Teachers can access data on pupil progress and subject performance, as well as comparing the progress of their pupils to others across the country.
Paul Charman, managing director of FFT, said: ‘Our new subject dashboard means that subject leaders can really drill down and identify both underperforming children and pupil groups, as well as those doing well, all at the touch of a button.
‘Schools can use data to identify weaknesses in order to help the following year’s cohort get better grades as part of their department’s long-term improvement plan.’
Founded in 2001, FFT provides data to around 70 per cent of UK state schools. Teachers who are interested in using the new technology should contact their local education authority.
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Manchester’s RNCM names Henning Kraggerud as international chair in violin
29 April 2015
Norwegian musician Henning Kraggerud has been appointed as international chair in violin at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester.
Born in 1973 in Oslo, Kraggerud is primarily a violinist and violist but also has a blossoming career as a composer. He performs regularly with many of the world’s top orchestras, as both soloist and leader.
He is also co-artistic director of the Risør Festival of Chamber Music, artistic director of the Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra and a professor at the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Oslo.
Kraggerud, whose grandfather was born in Manchester, said: ‘When the RNCM asked me to be their international chair in violin, I felt very honoured.
‘I have, on several occasions, given masterclasses and most recently led an orchestral day there, and I find the atmosphere of this college absolutely splendid.’
Chris Hoyle, head of the school of strings at the RNCM, added: ‘I have observed Henning Kraggerud working with our students on several occasions: his vibrant artistry and boundless energy are a real source of inspiration.
‘Henning clearly has a passion for education and for sharing his love of music. I am thrilled that he will continue to inspire our students in his role as international chair in violin.’
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