North Yorkshire County Council’s Music Service brought together hundreds of young musicians from the county’s schools last week for a celebration performance of their work throughout the year.
They took to the stage at Leeds Town Hall, the only venue with a stage big enough, to perform a wide range of pieces from big band jazz to Classical ensembles and Japanese Taiko drumming.
The concert was compered by Tim Lihoreau, creative director of Classic FM and host of the station’s breakfast show. It is a showcase of the all the work that takes place in schools and in North Yorkshire’s six Music Centres through the county council’s music service.
The county council took the lead last year in a £1.7 million three-year Arts Council funding initiative to create a music education hub. This is one of a series of concerts and workshops put on by the North Yorkshire Music Hub and represents the work of the Music Service across the county.
The hub combines the high quality work already delivered by the county council Music Service with the work of schools, communities and other local, regional and national partners, to reinvigorate music education across the county. The role of the hubs is to ensure that every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to sing and learn a musical instrument as well as perform in an ensemble or choir and take their talent further.
The Leeds concert opened with a performance of Taiko Japanese drumming by Hutton Rudby primary school, near Yarm and also featured pieces by the Music Centres’ junior and senior ensembles.
In addition over 200 children from four primary schools – St Cuthbert’s Church of England primary, Pateley Bridge; Fountains Earth Church of England primary, Lofthouse; Dacre Braithwaite primary, Summerbridge and Barlby primary near Selby – joined together on stage to perform pieces written for them by Stephen Price, head of the Harrogate music centre, that they have been rehearsing since September .
The concert finished with a rendition of’ Land of Hope and Glory’ with all 450 children on stage.
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Tim Lihoreau said he felt privileged to support such a “fantastic event”: “ Music has the power to change lives and providing opportunities for young people to perform in great venues from an early age has a profound impact on their education, self-esteem and sense of personal achievement. The work of music centres up and down the country plays a pivotal role in a child’s musical experiences, helping to build friendships across the age barriers and to cement a lifelong love for music of all genres.”
In North Yorkshire instrumental education over the next three years is focused in four areas:
- The Wider Opportunities scheme which provides free class instrumental tuition and the provision of musical instruments to schools;
- One-to-one or small group tuition for those who want to develop their playing further;
- A wide range of ensembles outside of school, including for early years, either in one of the six county music centres, or in after-school ‘academies’ with smaller ensembles for gifted and talented pupils;
- Singing – develop singing in primary schools so that it becomes a regular part of everyday school life. This includes working with the Voices Foundation to deliver continuing professional development to staff and creating opportunities for large group singing and showcase events, also involving secondary schools.
Ian Bangay, head of the county council’s music service said:
The concert was the culmination of months of hard work and demonstrated what a wealth of talent, creativity and enthusiasm young people have for music across the county. The aim of the North Yorkshire Music Service, as part of the North Yorkshire Music Hub, is to develop the skills of young people in music and promote the enjoyment of making music . We believe that music-making should be open to every child as a life-enriching activity.