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NASUWT becomes major UK sponsor of Youth Music Theatre UK

6 April 2010

Youth Music Theatre UK (YMT) has announced that it is to receive a major sponsorship package from teachers’ union NASUWT. YMT has been developing its relationship with the NASUWT for 3 years, starting with localised sponsorship in Scotland and the development of teachers’ resources. The sponsorship has now grown into an organisation-wide initiative that makes NASUWT the largest UK supporter of YMT.

The sponsorship was formally launched at the NASUWT annual conference on 2 April. General Secretary Chris Keates said, ‘NASUWT, the UK’s largest teachers’ union, is extremely committed to causes which benefit, support and celebrate the talents of young people. We have been developing a relationship with YMT over a number of years. YMT is an extremely valuable resource for teachers and schools providing the highest quality productions and development opportunities. We are very proud to be the main sponsor of YMT.’

The NASUWT’s support will underpin the summer programme, which includes new productions of A Beggar’s Opera, Peter Pan, A Winter’s Tale and The Savage by David Almond. Artists working with the company this summer and offering their expertise to the young performers include composers Harvey Brough (formerly of Harvey and the Wallbangers) and Howard Goodall.

YMT’s programme of work includes intensive residential courses for talented young performers, a broad-based training programme for young professionals and a growing outreach programme that encourages involvement by young people from a wide range of backgrounds. As part of the conference first day, YMT will be presenting a short excerpt from their recent production-in-development According to Brian Haw..., an exploration of the politics behind the Iraq war inspired by the man who has now demonstrated outside Parliament for eight years.

Jon Bromwich, Executive Producer of YMT, said, ‘We are delighted to have the support of the NASUWT. Bringing the arts, and especially new work, to young people is at the heart of our mission. It’s fantastic to see how they respond and grow when offered this sort of opportunity.' As well as the involvement of their pupils, union members will also be able to participate in YMT's activities either through working as pastoral staff or volunteering. To celebrate the launch of the initiative, YMT unveiled their new website: www.youthmusictheatre.org

ISM survey reveals typical fees charged for music lessons

1 April 2010

TWENTY-EIGHT pounds per hour is the mid-point of the range of fees charged by private music teachers, according to research by the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM). In a survey carried out by statisticians at the University of Reading in February 2010, almost 1,100 instrumental and singing teachers were asked what they had charged for private lessons in September 2009.
Most respondents said that they charged between £24 and £34 per hour and the mid-point was £28 per hour - meaning half of the respondents charged more than this and half charged less. Teachers who had taught for more than 15 years tended to charge more than those with less experience.
Teaching fees were highest in London, the South-East, Southern England and East Anglia.
ISM Chief Executive, Deborah Annetts, said:
'This is the only extensive survey of prices charged for music lessons in the UK and we're delighted that so many of our members responded to make it so authoritative. An important part of our role as a professional network is to keep musicians informed about fees and we hope these results will prove valuable information for all music teachers.'
The full results of the survey have been published on the ISM's website, www.ism.org. Further results from the survey about fees charged by visiting music teachers in schools will follow in late April.

Singers wanted for Kings Place performance

26 March 2010

Contemporary Music-making for Amateurs (CoMA)  is looking for singers for a COMA Voices performance at King's Place, near King's Cross, London. Partipants will join CoMA London Ensemble in a concert of Irish and American pieces commissioned by CoMA. They will be singing Stephen Montague's Chorale for the Cauldrons of Hell, written in 2005 from his experience of visiting the Auschwitz/Birkenau concentration camps in the seventies. It is a powerful and emotional piece. There will be three rehearsals: Saturday 17 April 14:00 to 17:00 and Tuesday 20 April 20:00 to 21:30 at St Leonard's Church, Shoreditch and at 17:00 on Thursday 22 April before the concert at 19:45.

There will be no cost to participate in this event, though singers will be expected to be members of CoMA (£20 per year, £10 concessions).

To book a place, contact Mick Kahn, Co-ordinator of CoMA Voices at coma-voices@downham.org.uk or 020 7249 5139.

Newham aims to make every child a musician

24 March 2010

The London Borough of Newham is to provide two years' free music lessons and an instrument for all pupils entering Year 5 in September 2010. The scheme, called 'Every Child a Musician', will initially reach nearly 4,000 pupils from 67 schools in Newham. Unusually, they will be allowed to keep their instruments at the end of the two-year period. Newham, where two-thirds of the London Olympics and Paralympics will take place, is also the only London borough to be piloting free school meals for all primary school pupils, in order to encourage youngsters to eat more healthily. It is investing £1.5m to launch 'Every Child a Musician', which will include teaching the children to read music and to play an instrument. Up to now, Newham parents have had to pay part of the cost of their children's instrumental lessons, currently priced at £42 per term for a half-hour lesson in a group of three or four. Instruments can be hired for £12 per term.

The new scheme is about opening access to music and breaking down barriers, something young people from more affluent backgrounds take for granted, said Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham. 'Music should be about access for all, not just those who can afford it. It has the power to enrich, uplift and even transform people's lives. However, for children from poorer backgrounds, this can be impossible. For many nationally the price of instruments and tuition is prohibitive and provision in schools can be limited and patchy. That is not the case in Newham.

'For centuries London's East End has been one of the poorest areas in Europe,' Sir Robin added. 'We all have to get more real about balancing east and west London and offering our residents the same opportunities as anywhere else in the capital. Nothing less will do. We are using the excitement of the Olympic games to boost the aspirations of young people locally. This scheme has been inspired by the Simon Bolivar Orchestra who set the Royal Albert Hall alight during the BBC Proms a few years ago.'

Every Child a Musician is supported by cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, the government's participation director Richard Hallam, and Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House and chair of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Board. 'We would love to have some Newham pupils from this scheme go on to perform on the stages of the biggest abnnd best concert halls one day. All pupils from whatever background deserve the same success. Talent is all - but it needs to be nurtured and developed.'

Brass quintet serenades RWCMD construction workers

24 March 2010

Royal Welsh College brass band quintet Castle Brass are the first performers to play in what will be the college’s new Concert Hall. The quirky lunchtime concert entertained Willmott Dixon builders while they worked to ensure the building is completed for early 2011.

‘Being the first ensemble to play on the Royal Welsh College's new concert hall stage was a privilege for us as a brass quintet,’ said band member Gareth Robinson. ‘Castle Brass has been together for 18 months and this has been one of our most exciting gigs yet. Playing in front of a group of builders in the outdoors was a very different but enjoyable experience for us too! We were proud to represent the college by performing at this new venue and hope we get the chance to do so again soon.’ Fellow Castle Brass player Sion Tansley added, ’It was great to play at the heart of the building and even at this early stage we can imagine what it will be like to perform there when it's finished.’

‘It was fantastic for the construction team on site to have a taste of the work that goes on within the college and we all enjoyed the performance,’ said Alan Pitman, Operations Manager for Willmott Dixon. ‘Work has been developing well on site and we have already made significant progress on the concert hall. The groundwork is finished and we have completed the exterior drum of the concert hall and theatre. We are now progressing with internal works where the acting and movement studios will be located.'

 The new facilities, which will also include four Acting and Movement Studios, the 160-seat Courtyard Theatre and an exhibition gallery, as well as the 450-seat Concert Hall, will open in January 2011.

www.rwcmd.ac.uk


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