On top of four weeks of courses spanning the whole gamut of musical experience, and over 90 events in August, the staff at Dartington International Summer School and Festival of Music are also planning a wedding.
Monday 20 March saw 36 delegates representing music education hubs, schools, music services, professional orchestras, and independent youth ensembles come together for a day in Birmingham.
Bear with me if you’re not from a young people’s group because the discussions, I think, were relevant to all Making Music members.
This month I joined over 250 arts professionals at the bi-annual Family Arts Conference in Bristol to discuss and learn more about how we can make the arts accessible for families. Although the majority of people in the room represented professional arts organisations who often had their own venue, there were still many inspiring thoughts to take away from the day that could apply to Making Music members.
Did you know there are many wonderful music festivals across Europe that your choir could take part in?
From Barcelona and Paris to Luxembourg, and Salzburg, there’s a huge range of countries to choose from and these festivals offer incredible one-off experiences you wouldn’t get on other music tours.
Make Music Day is an international celebration of music held annually on 21 June. Currently held in 120 countries and 750 cities, we (and 30+ other organisations) hope to finally bring it to the UK on a large scale – with your help!
It's a fantastic opportunity to celebrate your musical activity, showcase it to potential new members and audiences and make new connections in your community.
You'll find full details on how you can get involved on the Make Music Day UK website, but here are some quick examples of what you could do:
The Choir with No Name work with people who have experienced homelessness, providing welcoming, safe and creative environments for their members to enjoy, and they are asking groups to put on an All Together Now! concert or gig to support their work this Spring.
The London Medical Orchestra have had the very great pleasure of working with Martin Humphries under the ‘Adopt a Composer’ project, run by Making Music and supported by the PRS for Music Foundation.
The scheme pairs up a composer with an amateur music group who then work together to produce a new work to be performed by the group.
Do you worry about the financial health of your music group? You are not alone if you do - it is the single biggest challenge our groups face. Nearly all groups who don’t renew their membership with us don’t renew because they have disbanded, and that usually comes down to money.
All you want to do every Wednesday is turn up and have a good old sing or play through some nice music, and then go home and forget about it for another week.
Occasionally, you accept, a concert is quite a nice thing to work towards, as long as you will be able to shine and therefore feel confident enough to invite family and friends to come along and pay £10.
Voices Now’s survey of singing groups in the UK is well under way and has gained a lot of traction, from choir organisations to academic researchers. Over 2,500 choirs have answered the survey so far, but we know we are only scratching the surface!