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Latest News

TV show seeks primary school in need of music support

30 January 2014

Jamie Oliver's TV production company Fresh One is calling for headteachers and teachers who struggle to find enough resources for ther music provision to get in touch about a 'pioneering music scheme'. 
The call from the company reads: 'We are looking to offer music tuition to a whole year group (possibly both Years 4 and 5) and provide tuition, support and instruments to the students and teachers free of charge. Backed up by substantial evidence that playing an instrument can enrich the lives of children and their communities, raise their academic attainment and attendance, as well as increase their confidence and aspiration levels, the project will be sustained and have a continuing legacy.
'We are keen to speak to a school that would really benefit from this project. We'd love to help where instrument resources are scarce and teacher availability/confidence is also part of the challenge. Can we halp you include music as part of a holistic curriculum?'
Interested parties should get in touch with Vivienne Perry on 0203 375 5159 or at 

Sistema Secures EU Funding for Exchange Programme

29 January 2014

The Culture Programme of the European Union has committed to funding of €200,000 for an exchange programme between Sistema-inspired initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic.


Sistema-inspired Music Education and Exchange with Canada (SMEEC) will see 2,000 young musicians and tutors working and performing together during 2014 and 2015 in England, Italy and Canada.


Young musicians aged from nine to 16 will jointly rehearse and give concerts with the choirs and orchestras of similar programmes in other countries. There will be up to 50 concerts, including two large scale international ensemble concerts. There are also plans to commission a new work for children’s ensembles.

In addition to providing learning, performing and travelling opportunities for disadvantaged young musicians, it is hoped that the exchange programme will provide opportunities for teachers to share knowledge, research and best practice.

SMEEC is coordinated by Sistema England working with Sistema Italia in Italy, The Leading Note Foundation and Sistema Toronto in Canada, and European Mozart Ways and Go-operate in Austria.

Richard Hallam of Sistema England said: ‘The high profile and scale of these performances will inspire the young musicians and their peers, and will help to raise the expectations of the children involved, and their families, teachers and communities.’

David Visentin, executive and artistic director of Sistema Toronto added: ‘SMEEC will also provide opportunities for media exposure and additional funding through consolidating and building on the success of the individual projects, thus securing a sustainable legacy.’

Menuhin Competition announces programme for 2014

17 January 2014

The programme for the 2014 Menuhin Competition has been announced. Founded by Yehudi Menuhin in 1983, the competition is for violinists under the age of 22. This year’s competition takes place in Austin, Texas from 21 February to 2 March.


The Menuhin Competition has learning as its ethos, and despite being at its heart a competitive event, it aims to promote musical and cultural exchange between contestants. All selected candidates are invited to remain for the duration of the competition and continue to take advantage of concerts, masterclasses, events and friendships with other musicians, even if they have not progressed to the next round.


Texas will be home turf for many candidates as Americans comprise the biggest single country represented, with 40% of selected competitors coming from the US. Asia is also well represented, with the bulk of remaining competitors coming from Korea, China and Japan. The youngest competitor will be 11-year-old American Yesong Sophie Lee, who says:  ‘I am thrilled to meet famous violinists from all over the world and meet new friends. I feel very honoured to play in the most famous competition in the world. I will enjoy once in a lifetime experience.’

All rounds, concerts and masterclasses are open to the public.

Choir of the Year 2014 open for entries

17 January 2014

The sixteenth biennial Choir of the Year competition is open to all amateur choirs across the UK, of any age and of any musical style. Auditions will be held across the country from March to June.   

Any amateur choir consisting of 8-100 singers can take part and registration is now open at Following the Auditions, the top sixteen choirs will go through to the Category Finals at London’s Royal Festival Hall on 19 October and from there, six Grand Finalists will compete for the title Choir of the Year 2014 at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on 7 December, broadcast on BBC Radio and TV. 

Ken Burton, judge for Choir of the Year 2014, and recent judge for BBC’s The Choir: Sing while you Work’ said: ‘The UK has a world-class choral tradition which continues to grow and evolve and it’s fantastic that there has been an explosion of new choirs in recent years. Choir of the Year brings together established choirs and new groups seeking a challenge, and provides a platform to celebrate the wealth and diversity of singing talent in communities across the UK.  

‘The Auditions are a great day of singing for choirs and audiences alike. As judges we aim to give positive and constructive feedback which builds confidence and would encourage any choir to give it a go!’

Yamaha showcases education system in London

17 January 2014

The Yamaha European Junior Original Concert, now in its 7th year in Europe and 43rd year globally, will be held at London’s Shaw Theatre on 8 February.

The event is a showcase for the Yamaha music school system, which has as its founding concept the aim of enabling pupils 'to freely express one's own feelings through music'. The scheme has had considerable worldwide success. Since the opening of the first Yamaha Music School in 1954 in Japan, more than 600,000 students have received lessons from over 20,000 teachers at more than 6,000 different locations around the world.

The London concert will feature 19 young performers between the ages of 6 and 14 from throughout Europe - including 8 from the UK - all of whom will perform their own original compositions.

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