Great Art and Culture for Everyone is the title of Arts Council England’s (ACE) 10 year vision, published in 2013. But since then thinking has started shifting and the formerly prevalent view that excellent arts is made by professional arts organisations and cascaded down to us mere mortals who – dammit! - in some areas simply refuse to engage with it is now increasingly discredited.
Conducting; standing at the front waving your hands trying to control the music, without actually making any noise, is a strange activity. Although the reality of conducting is far more subtle, you are really nothing more than a glorified traffic cop signalling when to ‘go’, ‘stop’, and controlling the speed of the traffic.
As a young musician and member of ensembles and orchestras there are certain things which I enjoy and others which I don’t and can put me off continuing to go to them
Choral Festival Voices Now returns to London's Roundhouse this July, bringing with it everything from Beatboxing to Baka Rainforest singing, along with performances from amateur choirs from across the UK.
Zelkova Quartet won the 2017 St Martin's Chamber Music Competition with a fantastic rendition of string quartets by Haydn and Debussy. They are now available to hire by Making Music member groups for a fixed affordable fee (find out how to book them).
Chris Swain, Musical Director of the Wycliffe Choral Society in Gloucestershire, has just returned from a summer choir tour to Riga: “Everyone absolutely loved Riga and Latvia,” he said. “It’s hard to think how anything could have been improved on this trip – it was superb in every way! The response to the whole tour has been entirely positive."
Chris went on an Inspection visit ahead of his tour which made all the difference.
Professional music organisations seem more likely to network amongst themselves and to talk to a similar musical ensemble, music education centre or concert venue in a different city, than they are to take note of the musical activity on their own doorstep.
All of them are likely to work for or with under-18s. But non-professional adult musicians are merely seen as audiences, never as a full part of the music ecology.
148 registered events took place all over the UK on Wednesday 21 June for Make Music Day, the worldwide celebration of music. In addition, we discovered a few events via Facebook and Twitter that hadn’t even registered on the website, so the actual number will be even higher.
Our new plan is clear: we want to welcome all kinds of music groups to become part of the Making Music community. But what exactly is the wonderful range of musical genres being performed in towns, cities and neighbourhoods up and down the UK? Where do these groups practice and perform? How do they learn their music, what challenges are they facing and who do they go to for help and support?
These are questions we don’t currently have answers to, but that we think are worth asking because…