The CYM Saturday Centre year ended with a concert that highlighted the range of musical styles that students have access to – Brass Ensemble, Tango Band, String Quartet, Piano Trio, Chamber Choir, Saxophone Ensemble and Jazz. Also during the concert Ellen Wilkinson was presented with the first Orlando Crichlow Memorial Award for her outstanding progress as a new student.
Before the next CYM Saturday on 20th September the LSSO will be performing at the Aberystwyth Festival (31st July & 2nd August) and at Birmingham Town Hall (4th August). The LYWB and CYM Dance Band will be performing in Zeist and Noordvijk in the Netherlands before returning for a concert in St Alfege Church in Greenwich on the 26th July.
The CYM Junior and Intermediate Holiday Course runs from Monday 28th July to Friday 1st August at St Saviour’s & St Olafe’s School (New Kent Road) and some places are still available. Call 020 7928 3844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Courses are included for harps, stagecraft (singers) and jazz as well as the junior ensemble and the intermediate orchestra.
The London Youth Wind Band (LYWB) and CYM Dance Band will be visiting the Netherlands at the end of the month, perfoming in Zeist and Noordvijk. They will also play live on radio in Amsterdam. The tour ends with a concert at St Alfege Church, Greenwich, on Saturday 26th July at 7.30pm.
Many will be aware of the current concerns about the Government’s consultation suggesting the possible withdrawal of Local Authority funding for music education. The Incorporated Society of Musicans “Protect Music Education” campaign asked for organisations and individuals to respond to the Department for Education by 19th June. The following has been sent to the DfE:Dear Ms Barbour, Savings to the Education Services Grant 2015-16. The Centre for Young Musicians, now a Division of the Guildhall School, is a Centre for Advanced Training within the government’s prestigious Music and Dance Scheme. The CYM has given London’s talented school children access to high quality, sustainable, weekly instrumental and vocal training for over forty years. Although the maintained sector has seen many changes in this time through a sequence of political interventions (Local Authority, Grant Maintained, CTCs, Academies, Free Schools) it nevertheless remains the fact that the vast majority of our students come from the “state sector”. We have an enviable record on social inclusion, ethnic diversity and in a near 50/50% ratio of boys to girls. 430 students study an integrated, yet diverse and broad music curriculum Saturday by Saturday, whilst in the school holidays we run the internationally renowned London Schools Symphony Orchestra – a real ambassador for London’s youth abroad, the London Youth Wind Band and additional courses for junior and intermediate students. We see how music not only allows students to express themselves artistically but also helps them develop social and cognitive skills that are of value throughout their lives, whatever profession they choose to pursue. Many CYM alumni now working as professional musicians would not have achieved their goal without the support of Music Services and Local Authorities. This is particularly true of those who come from areas of social deprivation or who were members of low income families. Any further cuts to funding streams for music education would inevitably see fewer talented young musicians being able to climb the ladder to a successful career in music. The National Plan for Music Education published in 2011 showed the commitment of government to take music education seriously. The introduction signed by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, and the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaisey, could not be clearer in articulating how important it is that high quality music education is available to as many children as possible and must “not become the preserve of those children whose families can afford to pay for music tuition”. OfSTED too has recently emphasised the importance of music and the arts in school. The economic argument for the protection of music education funding is also incontrovertible. Research form UK Music and PRS for Music values the music industry at between £3.5 and £3.8 billion. The National Plan also confirms government’s view that “we would not have scaled the heights of artistic greatness in the first place without our pre-eminence in music education.” The key to ensuring the quality and sustainability of musical opportunities for children is to ensure the continuation of national, local, school and parental funding for Music Education Hubs. At a time when national funding for Music Education Hubs is reducing from a high of £82.5 million in 2010-11 to just £58 million in 2014-15 it makes no sense whatsoever to additionally remove local authority funding and to risk good music education becoming the preserve of the few. Those Music Services which have already been subjected to a reduction in local authority funding have suffered devastating results. Further reduction in spending on Music Services by those Local Authorities that still fund their Music Service will have a direct and disproportionate impact on the delivery of the National Plan for Music Education and on our aspiration to deliver world class music education for all. The CYM is witness to the fact that generations of musical children have demonstrated that talent emerges from all social backgrounds. On behalf of parents/carers, students and staff at the CYM, together with all our HUB partners in the capital, I urge government to “back” its own National Plan for Music, a document widely respected in the profession, by issuing a statement in support of local authorities funding Music Education Hubs and Music Services. Yours sincerely, Stephen Dagg, Director, CYM.