Friday Afternoons seeks young songwriter
19 August 2014
The 2014 Britten Young Songwriter Competition is on the hunt for a new song which is based on traditional folk influences, from anywhere in the world.
Aldeburgh Music’s international singing project, Friday Afternoons, was launched three years ago in celebration of the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten. The website was initially set up to help engage Suffolk school children in singing, providing them with twelve songs that were written for children by Benjamin Britten. Friday Afternoons quickly spread to become an international project, with thousands of schools and choirs downloading the songs and resources to learn the music for the annual grand finale event.
This year Aldeburgh Music commissioned nine new, fun songs which are all inspired by traditional folk texts. Musicians aged 18 or under are now invited to take part in the Young Songwriter Competition to set music to a traditional folk text from anywhere in the world. Winners from the competition’s two categories (13 or younger, and 14-18) will have their song recorded and published on the Friday Afternoons website, and performed at Snape Maltings concert hall as part of the national Friday Afternoons culmination event.
Entries for the competition must be received by Wednesday 10 September. For more information, visit the Friday Afternoons website.
Double Gold for Cantate
14 August 2014
Mixed voice youth choir Cantate has returned from the World Choir Games in Latvia as a double gold medal winner.
Cantate, now in its twentieth year, is particularly remarkable as it currently runs three choirs that are open to anyone to join, without audition. Its repertoire spans classical, pop and world music genres, and the choirs perform regularly across the UK as well as abroad. All members are given percussion and rhythm workshops as part of their musical education, and their bursary fund means that no student is turned away on financial grounds.
The World Choir Games is the world’s largest choir competition. It takes place every two years, each time on a different continent. This year the Games was held in Riga, Latvia, with 29 categories open to amateur choirs of any genre or line-up. Cantate has taken part in previous Games, winning a gold medal in Austria 2008.
Cantate has been led by Nicholas Shaw and Graham Instrall since 2010, who head an inspirational team of pianists, directors and singing teachers. The choir is proud to have the active support of three honorary patrons: Baroness Genista McIntosh, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe and composer Mark-Anthony Turnage.
Music For Youth festival round-up
14 August 2014
This year’s Music For Youth National Festival celebrated its tenth year in Birmingham this summer. Nearly 11,000 young people and over 1,000 teachers came together to perform to many more thousands of friends, family and music lovers.
During the week around 300 music ensembles took to the various festival stages, which this year were expanded to include a ‘fringe’ festival on satellite stages around the city. In addition to the wide range of musical styles being performed, the festival also included a number of workshops and master classes which were presented by arts organisations from across the UK.
Two new developments this year were daily ‘Ten past two…performances by the pros’, and an Interactive Zone where people could try out the huge collection of instruments on show.
Music groups interested in taking part in the new MFY season can enter regional events from Monday 13 October, via the Music For Youth website.
Braille Music Awards
13 August 2014
The Gardner’s Trust Braille Music Literacy Award has been held annually since 1992, and is designed to encourage young musicians to use braille music.
The tests are held by the Royal National Institute of the Blind’s music advisory service, and sponsored by the Gardner’s Trust for the Blind. Open to musicians under the age of 19, the competition comprises two parts: performing a piece from memory, and reading the piece out loud, listing all the symbols used.
This year there were four winners of the award: Gelerah Tabatabaei from Mora Primary School, Brent, Luca Gatta and Zoe Dixon from New College, Worcester and Noah Mcneill from QEHS, Hexham.
Nominations now open for MT Awards 2015
4 August 2014
Now in their third year, the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence are accepting nominations for 10 award categories.
Eleven awards will be presented at a gala evening at The Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London, on the first night of next year’s Music Education Expo (12 March 2015). Nominations for ten of the awards will be accepted until Friday 24 October 2014, and all sections of the public are welcome to put forward those they want to see celebrated!
This year’s awards will be judged by an experienced panel of judges, chaired by Music Teacher editor Tom Lydon. The panel will include Professor David Saint (principal, Birmingham Conservatoire); Lucy Johnstone-McCarthy (head of music, Baden-Powell and St Peter’s C of E Junior School); Paul McManus (chief executive, Music Industries Association), and Judith Webster (chief executive, Music For Youth).
2014 winners include Vivienne Price, In Harmony Opera North, Singing Playgrounds from Ex Cathedra, Baden-Powell and St Peter’s Junior School and Drake Music Scotland.
Two new categories have been added this year: the Musicians’ Union Inspiration Award, sponsored by the Musicians’ Union, and the Best Music Education Product Award. The full list of awards features:
· Best Musical Initiative Award, sponsored by the Royal Marines Band Service
· Best Print Resource Award, sponsored by Rhinegold Publishing Ltd
· Best Digital/Technological Resource Award
· Best SEN Resource Award
· Excellence in Primary/Early Years Music Award
· Best School Music Department Award, sponsored by the MMA (Music Masters
· Musicians’ Union Inspiration Award, sponsored by the Musicians’ Union – NEW
· Best Music Education Product Award – NEW
· Best Classical Music Education Initiative Award, sponsored by Classic FM
· Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Black Cat Music and MusicPracticeRooms.com
And finally, for which nominations are not accepted:
· Music Teacher Magazine Editor’s Award, sponsored by Higgledy Piggledy Jazz
For more information about each award category, and to make a nomination, visit the Music Education Expo website.
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