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FMS Annual Conference 2011

The FMS Conference on the 17th and 18th June was a packed event – packed with delegates and packed with content. During the two days young musicians from across the North West injected extra energy, passion and inspiration amongst the speeches and practical sessions and reminded delegates of the impact and importance of their work in changing lives and in ensuring our musical future.

Marcus Du Sautoy started the conference with an examination of the ‘art of sounding mathematics’ and later Dick Hallam (National Music Education Grant Director) gave an update from the DfE. This was followed by a choice of 10 workshops and masterclasses covering a wide, and highly topical, range of subjects all aiming to help make sure that Music Services are ‘Fit to Face the Future – Fit to Shape the Future’. Sessions were provided by: Bates Wells and Braithwaite; Laura Drane; Gigajam; Music For Youth; Voices Foundation; Yamaha. Expertise was drawn from the Membership and a number of Heads of Services contributed greatly to the creation and delivery of many of the workshops and masterclasses.

The FMS Music Education Hub Toolkit was launched at the conference and a delegates could attend a masterclass on hub modelling. Throughout the conference delegates had access to an exciting range of highly relevant trade exhibitors.

Day two, was the FMS Conference ‘Partnership Day’ and Music Services were joined by delegates from other organisations. Gavin Stride’s speech on partnerships took a personal view on the benefits and challenges of creating and working in partnerships. Susanna Eastburn and Laura Gander-Howe from Arts Council England discussed Bridge delivery organisations and the relationships between Music Services and Arts Council organisations.

The issue of transition was discussed by Adrian Chappell who updated the conference on the work of Musical Bridges and delineated a clear role for Music Services in supporting transition. Mark Phillips (HMI National Advisor for Music) gave the latest information from Ofsted and presented information about how a widening of the inspection remit will impact on Music Services.

A partnership showcase from Claire Lovett at Spitalfields Music and from Chris Finn of Curious Minds (the North West Arts Council Bridge) provided direct information and context for partnership projects. The final conference sessions gave delegates a choice of ‘Rising with the Tide Training’ with Andy Hind or participating in a facilitated discussion of ‘Ensuring Quality’. The conference also featured 3 ‘In Conversation’ sessions sponsored by ABRSM and covering pedagogy, partnerships and using music in work with young people at risk. Once again most of these sessions had key input in their creation and delivery from the Membership.

I hope that the conference images and presentations will help give a flavour of the 2011 Conference ‘Fit to Face the Future - Fit to Shape the Future’.

Where do we go from here?

In the Spring edition of Aspirations, Virginia Haworth-Galt, FMS Chief Executive, explains some of the priorities that the National Executive has been debating since the Henley Review and the Government’s response (Music Education in England) were published in early February 2011.

Shropshire’s “Young Musician of the year” Concerto Competition

On Wednesday evening 6 April at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, Shropshire Music Service, with BBC Radio Shropshire, held a sell out concert featuring Shropshire’s finest young musicians. Four young musicians performed four very different concertos accompanied by Shropshire Sinfonia and conducted by Robert Wysome.


Pictured are the four finalists, left to right, Holly Scutt (violin) aged 16 studying at Shrewsbury High School  James Carter (trombone) aged 17 studying at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, Rosie Powell Davies (cello) aged 18 studying at Shrewsbury High School and Freya Little (bassoon) aged 17 studying Shrewsbury High School.


The winner, Rosie Powell Davies, is in her final year at Shrewsbury High School, studying music as one of her A levels.  She has been offered a place to read Music at New College, Oxford in September.  She began learning the piano at the age of 6 and, a year later, started studying the cello with John Fairbank, achieving cello grade 8 distinction, aged 14, and the Sheila C Freeman prize awarded by the ABRSM.  Studying with Susie Allan she gained piano grade 8 distinction, aged 15.  Rosie currently leads the Shropshire Youth Cello Ensemble and the cello sections of Shrewsbury High School Orchestra and Senior String Ensemble.  During 2010-11 she has been performing with the CBSO Youth Orchestra in the Symphony Hall, Birmingham.  She has also performed regularly in Europe with an international youth orchestra, BISYOC.  Last year, Rosie was selected to play for cello and piano master-classes with Julian Lloyd Webber and Vanessa Latouche.  In April 2010, she reached the finals of both the Shropshire Concerto Competition (playing the Kabalevsky Cello Concerto) and the Gregynog Young Musician Competition.  Her cello is from the Dresden School, dated around 1885.


The adjudicator, Professor George Caird, praised all four finalists for their remarkable performances, claiming the decision was like a photo finish, with nothing between them in terms of the quality and maturity of their performances.


Alan Atkin (Manager - Shropshire Music Service) said, “This is a marvellous opportunity to showcase the outstanding talent of young musicians in Shropshire.”


Keith Havercroft (Music Adviser, Shropshire Council) praised the work of the peripatetic teaching staff at Shropshire Music Service for their continued outstanding contribution to the lives and learning of all young musicians in Shropshire.


BBC Radio Shropshire recorded the Concerto Competition and it will be broadcast at 7pm on Wednesday 13 April

To see more photographs of the finalists, learn more about the Concerto Competition and the work of the Music Service in Shropshire join Shropshire Music Service on Facebook, or contact Shropshire Music Service on 01743 874145

Music Grant 2011-12

To view allocations to local authorities and a copy of the allocation letter, and to download a claim form, click here

North Yorkshire Music Service pupil features in new BBC2 documentary

Harrogate Music Centre pupil, Vahan Salorian features in a new 3 part documentary Goldie’s Band – By Royal Appointment’ which starts on Saturday 26th March at 9.00pm on BBC 2.
Goldie, the drum and bass pioneer, DJ, artist and former ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ contestant has been travelling the length and breadth of the country in the search for raw musical talent. The aim of the project was to find talented youngsters coping with often challenging personal circumstances and to highlight the organisations that supported them. 12 youngsters were selected for the programme bringing together a diverse range of instruments and musical genres.
Vahan was nominated for the project by Jane Donald and Anne Heaton from the North Yorkshire County Music Service and his journey began back in June in his home town of Barnoldswick, where he met Goldie and jazz saxophonist Soweto Kinch. He then attended 2 residential courses with 11 other musicians, where they were mentored by a team of industry experts including composer Guy Chambers and singer songwriters Cerys Matthews and Ms Dynamite. Vahan was also given the opportunity to have flute lessons with Sir James Galway and to spend a day with the film and television composer Debbie Wiseman OBE.
The project ended in spectacular fashion culminating in a performance by all 12 youngsters in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace in front of Prince Harry and an audience of special guests.
Vahan’s first instrument is flute and he has become increasingly interested in composition. He also plays violin, trombone and keyboard. He receives instrumental tuition in school from the North Yorkshire County Music Service as well as attending Harrogate Music Centre where he plays in Harrogate & Skipton Schools’ Symphony Orchestra. He is also a member of the North Yorkshire Schools’ County Orchestra where he has twice won the Young Composer’s competition.