Llangollen Eisteddfod to become year-round education centre
17 July 2009
A new plan has been launched to turn the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod into a year-round resource for music education, writes Glyn Mon Hughes. The new venture between the Eisteddfod, held annually in July at the North Wales town, and Wales Arts International, part of the Arts Council of Wales, will see a nine-month pilot project put in place, with the aim of improving choral directing nationally.
'The intention is to move to a greater year-round presence, undertaking more outreach activities,' said Mervyn Cousins, executive director of the Eisteddfod. 'We're in constant touch with our contacts round the world who provide their talents for us on six days each year, but we felt that we weren't really maximising those contacts, and the new poject will help us do that. I certainly hope it will lead to other similar projects in other areas, particularly in the field of education. We feel strongly that by employing these internationally recognised experts we will enable them to act as a conduit for development in Wales.
'While there are many excellent choral irectors in Wales, we are often told that people would like to spend time improving their training techniques or thinking about expanding their repertoire,' added Cousins. 'Now they can do that with some of th best directors from around the world.'
Three days of mentoring from choral directors in Wales are planned, together with a preliminary day at Llangollen in the autumn. with Mervyn Cousins and Peter Broadbent. A two-day event with a range of international music directors is planned for the spring.
Schools department plans a year of music
17 July 2009
The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, has announced plans for a national year celebrating music, starting this September.
To coincide with Shine Week, which celebrated young people's talents in everything from sewing to singing, Balls outlined the plan for a national campaign 'to give every child the chance to get more from music', which will run throughout the 2009/10 academic year and offer 'unprecedented opportunities for children and young people across the country to participate in a range of music-related activities'. In addition to performance, these will include activities such as learning to manage a music production or write lyrics.
The campaign is intended to provide a spotlight for the work schools are already doing as well as to inspire new activity, leadership and commitment to music education. Letters have been sent to schools and potential stakeholders outlining the plans and the Department for Children, Schools and Families will be running a series of briefings during August to discuss engagement opportunities.
Schools performances and workshops at Glyndebourne
16 July 2009
Glyndebourne will once again be offering its Performances For Schools programme this autumn, presenting Cosi fan Tutte and Falstaff for schools and colleges. Aimed at young people of all ages from primary school to university, this initiative gives 3500 students the opportunity to experience professional opera.
Cosi fan tutte takes place on 20 October at 11am and Falstaff takes place on 23 October at 3pm. Booking forms can be downloaded from the Glyndebourne website.
In addition, Glyndebourne is offering two schools workshops for teachers to complement the performances. These sessions will be led by a team of workshop leaders from Glyndebourne and will help teachers to prepare students attending a performance, covering a range of skills suitable for practical work and introducing resources which support these skills. Cosi fan tutte is covered on 15 September and Falstaff on 16 September. The cost for each workshop is £40. Availability is strictly limited; email email@example.com to register your interest.
Spitalfields seeks budding animateurs
15 July 2009
Spitalfields Music will be recruiting up to six apprentices to its Music Animateur Apprentice Scheme this academic year.
The Music Animateur Apprentice Scheme aims to equip those at the beginning of their careers with the skills necessary to lead effective and successful workshops. Apprentices will assist on at least two projects, develop skills in workshop leading and facilitating and attend regular seminar sessions. Each apprentice will receive a training bursary for their involvement.
Application packs can be downloaded here or requested by calling 020 7377 0287. Closing date for applications is 16 September. Auditions and interviews will take place on 2 October.
15 July 2009
The Britten Sinfonia has been encouraging local children to get involved with music by exploring the sounds of the fens. Fen Soundscapes has been running since March, when children and teenagers visited the fen to record natural sounds. They then worked with professional composers and musicians from Britten Sinfonia to write music inspired by what they heard and saw. They have put together a soundscape, having learned how to use professional equipment, as well as how to direct a professional musician and how to set up an audio installation. The soundscape includes recordings of birdsong and other fenland animals, rustling leaves and whistling reeds.
The compositions will be showcased at a launch event on 21 July at 5.30 at the St Thomas a Becket Church in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire. The event is free but tickets must be booked in advance by calling 01480 388248.
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