Arts Council England Selects Wandsworth

To be a music education hub

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Wandsworth has hit all the right notes in its bid to give future stars of the music world some of the best training opportunities available in the UK.

The council has been chosen by Arts Council England to play a key role in ensuring every child has the opportunity to experience a high quality music education.

Some of the nation’s top musical acts – such as Adele, The xx and Hot Chip – were educated at schools in the borough, and Wandsworth Schools’ Music Service will use its new status as a musical hub to continue developing this rich vein of musical talent.

The initiative will see schools, professional music organisations, higher and further education institutions and other Arts Council funded organisations come together to create joined up music education provision for children and young people.

Meetings are currently being scheduled between the borough’s music education leaders and the Arts Council to develop future plans and help enhance the hub network, which is formed of 122 areas nationwide.

The overall aim is to give every child aged five to 18 the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument, to progress to the next level, and play with other children as part of an ensemble or choir.

Wandsworth Schools’ Music Service was selected by Arts Council England to become a hub after it demonstrated new approaches to partnership working and showed it was drawing together and maximising resources for music education for the benefit of children.

In March, this year, the flagship event of Wandsworth’s musical calendar saw more than 1,000 Wandsworth school children take to the stage of the Royal Festival Hall for the grand Brighter Sounds Concert.

And soon, budding musicians will be given more opportunities to follow in the footsteps of rising stars like Battersea’s Jaz Ellington, who wowed audiences on BBC One show The Voice.  Through council partnerships with the Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians and Thomas’s Schools Foundation, scholarship programmes for talented young musicians are being established.

The partnership with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, which is funded by the Mayor’s fund, is creating opportunities for the borough’s string players to perform with the world class orchestra at venues such as the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The latest project between Wandsworth Schools' Music and the Thomas's Schools Foundation has been inspired by hit TV show Glee.

Young performers from five schools in SW11 have formed Battersea Glee Club – and will be performing alongside other musicians at the Spring into Summer Concert at Battersea Arts Centre this Wednesday, May 30.

In July, the music service will be embarking on its first foreign expedition when dynamic young ensemble Wandsworth Pops Orchestra tours Holland as part of a cross-borough orchestra of 75 young people.

The council’s cabinet member for education and children’s services, Councillor Kathy Tracey, said: “Some of the country’s favourite musical acts were educated or honed their craft in Wandsworth and so it is fantastic that we have been recognised for helping develop talent in this field.

“Each week the music service teaches more than 2,500 children to play instruments, sing and perform together in bands and ensembles.  Children and young people deserve to be given every opportunity to learn about subjects they are passionate about – and I will be excited to see what new opportunities we will be able to offer them through being a music education hub.

“We are already proud of Wandsworth children’s musical achievement and winning this hub status is a tribute to their talent and dedication.”

To find out more about Wandsworth Schools’ Music Service call 020 8871 8703, email musicservices@wandsworth.gov.uk or visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/info/200086/schools_and_colleges/965/wandsworth_schools_music_service

 

May 30, 2012