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Rhinegold Charity Fund rewards Pro Corda

25 March 2014

The Rhinegold Charity Fund, which each year offers £10,000 of advertising spend across Rhinegold Publishing’s wide range of classical music and education publications, websites and services, will benefit Pro Corda Trust for the 2014/15 financial year.

The fund – which will be released on 1 April 2014 – also provides Pro Corda with marketing, design and account management support from the Rhinegold Publishing team.

Pro Corda, which was shortlisted earlier this year for the 2014 Best Classical Music Education Initiative Award at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence, is a music and educational charity established in 1969 to provide education in the ‘art, philosophy and theory of music’ to young people across the UK.

Following applications from a large number of worthy charities, Pro Corda was selected as the recipient of the fund by Rhinegold’s Board of Directors and newly-appointed Chairman of the Rhinegold Charity Fund, Stephen Turvey.

Stephen Turvey, said ‘I am delighted to have been involved in selecting the recipient of the 2014/15 Rhinegold Charity Fund. Pro Corda’s far-reaching work in the classroom and school halls – it helps over 1500 children per annum – and particularly its work with special educational needs (SEN) children are to be commended. I am confident that this award will help them to build on their impressive achievements to date and make a difference to many more young lives through nurturing live music performance.’

Pro Corda’s CEO and Artistic Director, Andrew Quartermain says, ‘Pro Corda is delighted to receive this award. This will allow us to treble our advertising output for the next year and in particular bring to the fore our national music programme for special educational needs. We are most grateful to Rhinegold for this opportunity.’

Entries for the 2015/16 Charity Fund will open in Autumn 2014. All charities within the music industry are encouraged to apply; full details will be available from www.rhinegold.co.uk/fund.


Birmingham Conservatoire to relocate in 2017

25 March 2014

Birmingham City University has announced a new £40 million home for the Birmingham Conservatoire.

The move has been prompted following the Compulsory Purchase of its current home, Paradise Circus as part of a civic redevelopment project. The new purpose-built premises will stand alongside Millennium Point, a short distance from New Street and Moor Street train stations and close to Birmingham City University’s city centre campus, the ThinkTank Museum and the Birmingham Ormiston Academy.

The new facility, due to open by summer 2017, will incorporate two major performance spaces,  including a concert hall, in addition to the private rehearsal and practice rooms, recording studios and the like.

The university’s vice-chancellor, professor Cliff Allan, said: ‘Birmingham City Council’s redevelopment of Paradise Circus meant that a new home was needed for our world-famous Birmingham Conservatoire. Over the past few months the University has been in close negotiation with Birmingham City Council to reach an appropriate agreement.  Subject to confirmation of the Compulsory Purchase Order of Paradise Circus by the Secretary of State, construction is expected to commence in summer 2014. I am delighted that an agreement has been reached which will enable Birmingham Conservatoire to relocate to this new, state-of-the-art building by summer 2017.

UCAS Condemned for Selling Students' Data

18 March 2014

Data campaigners have condemned the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) for its ‘underhand’ use of students’ data for commercial advertisers.   

UCAS received more than £12m last year in return for sending targeted advertising to subscribers. The service sells the access via its commercial arm, Ucas Media. Vodafone, O2, Microsoft and the private university accommodation provider Pure Student Living are among those who have marketed through UCAS, which offers access to over a million student email addresses and a market worth a claimed £15bn a year.   

Meanwhile, the UCAS offshoot Ucas Progress, set up two years ago to serve pupils from aged 13 looking for post-16 courses, is also collecting data. Children who sign up for Ucas Progress via their schools are encouraged by the company to agree to receive marketing by email from ‘carefully selected third parties’. 

 Emma Carr, deputy director of the privacy lobby group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘UCAS is perfectly within the law to sell on this information, but the way they are doing so, as is the situation with most data gathering organisations, is underhand. It goes far beyond what students would expect them to do with their data. Students should be explicitly asked for their permission before UCAS can sell their information on and UCAS should be open and transparent about who it is selling the data on to.’ 

University applicants are given the option of refusing mailings when they register with UCAS. However, the application form does not distinguish between commercial mailings and information from universities and potential employers. 

A UCAS spokesperson said: ‘UCAS and Ucas Media comply strictly with all applicable laws and regulations, in the way in which we handle personal data. Ucas Media has strict guidelines for the different groups that we may cover, based on the age sensitivities of our audiences. For example, Ucas Media does not accept political, alcohol or tobacco related products for marketing.’ 

UCAS's accounts say ‘the majority’ of Ucas Media's profits are gift aided to the parent company, which is a charity as well as a company. It argues that the contribution keeps down applicant fees, currently £23 per candidate.

London Children Smash World Samba Record

8 March 2014

Over 1,600 children, aged 7 to 16, from 27 London schools, have broken the world record for the largest samba band.   

The performance was the culmination of a 10-week intensive samba course with Inspire-works facilitators in preparation for the attempt. Teaching material was specially written in consultation with Trinity College London, and the children obtained a “Discover” Arts Award for taking part.   

The event, part of a partnership between the Royal Albert Hall, Street Child World Cup and Inspire-Works, will be broadcast on Blue Peter later in the month.   

 The official World Record now stands at 1638.

European Youth Summer Music in 22nd Year

8 March 2014

The 22nd European Youth Summer Music (EYSM) takes place from 3-9 August at Ardingly College in West Sussex. Run for 11-21s from all over Europe, EYSM is an orchestral course run entirely by its conductors, tutors, parents and volunteers as a charity, yet has support from trusts and companies, as well as personal donations and membership subscriptions.   

As well as working on orchestral repertoire, participants can work with the Two Composers in Residence to create their own short piece for an orchestra or chamber group. In 'Options' they can do two sessions of Chamber Music each day, or fill those sessions with Jazz, Improvisation, Big Band, World Music, Chamber Choir, Solo Vocal and more.  Everything that is concert-ready is professionally recorded.    

EYSM welcomes enquiries from 11-21s at eysm.enquiries@gmail.com   It also has a junior arm and welcomes enquiries from 8-11s at liz.eysm@gmail.com. Bursaries are available.



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