What a great evening we had when Peter Yarde Martin (composer) and Jenni Pinnock (mentor) ventured to Honingham for a Thursday evening practice session!
We have had a few enquiries recently about the new data protection regulations –GDPR– due to take effect from May 2018. It is good to know that groups are thinking about this.
Most people like to know that any data someone holds on them is safe, and used in a fair way. If you are running a music group it is reasonable that anyone you work with would expect the same of the data you hold on them.
So considering how you collect and use data is a good thing to be doing in general - and GDPR is an excellent opportunity to review your practices.
Dorothy Wilson, Chair of Making Music, presented Clare Edwards with the Lady Hilary Groves Prize for 2017 at a concert this Saturday.
Awarded to one individual in the UK each year, the Prize is presented for outstanding contribution to music in the community.
In June 2017, the Scottish Government began writing a Culture Strategy for Scotland, which is due to be completed in 2018, and will ‘position culture as having intrinsic value and contributing both directly and indirectly to the health, wealth and success of our nation’.
At the launch in Glasgow, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop emphasised that the process will be “part of an ongoing debate around the role that culture has in all our futures. We are keen to take the conversation to as many people as possible”.
A chance to be heard
St Sepulchre’s, a church in the City of London, was in the headlines this summer. Known as the National Musicians' Church, it houses the Musicians’ Chapel with the grave of Sir Henry Wood, founder of the BBC Proms who started his musical career at the church, and keeps the Musicians’ Book of Remembrance. Annual services are held to commemorate British musicians.
I am on the train from Glasgow to Manchester, on my way back from my first meeting with Merchant Sinfonia for the Adopt a Composer project. The hills are surfing in and out of view, crested by turbines. I am listening to Kaija Saariaho’s Verblendungen, and it syncs up uncannily with hundreds of slowly-rotating white blades.
Suddenly I am obsessed with wind turbines: Scotland is blazing ahead with renewable energy and there is both a beauty and a practicality to the machines, just like much of Scottish culture as I have experienced it.
I've rounded off the past year with an absolute treat of a concert with KEMS Concert Band. We've experimented with new instrumental effects that can be played on wind instruments, I've devised workshops and games that have introduced the band to new ways of counting time (tricky at first, but doable in the end!) and we've had a lot of fun along the way.
Tuesday 7 November saw the much-anticipated first meeting with our Adopt a Composer Gaynor Barradell. I, for one, had been looking forward to it since hearing about the partnership and it was clear the band was collectively excited, too - at 7:15pm sharp, there was a full-strength band ready to rehearse!
Petra and I met with Gaynor and it was clear she shared our enthusiasm, but also our nerves: the sight of 50 eager musicians is quite daunting!
Much about place-making is intangible. You, the groups making and presenting music in your local communities, week in, week out, and your fellow citizens organising amateur dramatics, painting classes, adult ballet, Scout groups, and much more - you are the often hidden but indispensable ingredient in a successful place.
Your locality would not be an attractive place to live, work and visit if you didn’t populate it with interesting activities for everyone and thus with opportunities for people to come together and rub shoulders with others from their community.
The online consultation by Surrey County Council closed on 1 October, receiving an astonishing number of over 1500 online and 220 offline submissions.
Officers will be reporting the results of the consultation and laying out the options they are considering to councillors at the meeting of the Communities Select Committee of Surrey County Council on Tuesday 7 November at 10am in Kingston.