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Singing Picnics 2023

Singing Picnics are back again this summer with dates, venues and registration now available. Surrey Arts has been hosting these informal singing events for primary schools across Surrey for the last few years giving young people the chance to sing and have fun together outdoors. 

Vocal Strategy Manager, Nancy Giulio-Terry says “I’m delighted to announce the dates and venues for our 2023 Singing Picnics, including a return to many of our old favourite venues and as well as exciting new locations. We’re all looking forward to some singing in the sunshine!”

Singing Picnics are a fun-filled and informal way for KS2 children (yrs 3-5) from your school to enjoy singing with others in a beautiful outdoor setting with other schools from your area. Children play singing games, perform songs to each other, sing together, and enjoy a picnic lunch followed by more singing games.  

Singing Picnics provide opportunities to: 

  • Perform a song to others in an informal setting 
  • Listen to the performances of others 
  • Sing a group song learned by call and response on the day 
  • Engage in singing games led by vocal tutors 
  • Engage in healthy outdoor activities. 

Children from schools prepare one song to share at the picnic and are taught other songs and singing games on the day by professional vocal leaders. 

The 2023 Singing Picnics will be held on  

Wednesday 28 June 2023 (Runnymede/Spelthorne) 

Thursday 29 June 2023 (Mole Valley) 

Tuesday 4 July 2023 (Woking) 

Thursday 6 July 2023 (Redhill/Reigate) 

Tuesday 11 July 2023 (Lingfield) 

The application deadline is Friday17 March 2023 and places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Surrey Music Hub seeking to appoint an Independent Chair

Surrey Music Hub (the Music Hub for Surrey) is seeking to appoint an Independent Chair.

This is a voluntary position with an allowance of up to £3,000 for expenses.

You will be passionate about ensuring that all children and young people can access high quality music education opportunities that meet their needs. This role offers an opportunity for the right individual to make a difference to the lives of the children and young people of Surrey through music.                                             

You will chair the Hub’s Advisory Board, working alongside the Music Hub lead organisation, Surrey Arts, and partners to ensure and maintain the effective delivery of the new National Plan for Music Education (NPME) both in and out of school settings.   

The Independent Chair will need to have significant experience and expertise in partnership working and strategic thinking, business and budget monitoring and management. The chair will commit to developing a thorough knowledge and understanding of the needs of, and challenges for, children and young people, issues affecting Local Authorities and schools, Arts Council England/Department for Education policy relating to Music Education Hubs and the breadth of music providers working in Surrey. Experience in music/music education is not required as we are seeking to broaden the range of experience and skills to help drive our future development forward.        

The chair role will run for a term of 3 years with an opportunity to be reappointed.

Surrey Arts, the Arts Service for Surrey County Council, is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and would especially welcome applications from the ‘global majority’, the LGBTQ+ community and people who are disabled.

For further queries please contact Sarah Lee, Head of Service, Surrey Arts sarah.lee@surreycc.gov.uk 

Commitment: Four board meetings plus preparation per year; at least one meeting per year will be in-person.  Other meetings as advised. 

Application is by letter and C.V. sent to sarah.lee@surreycc.gov.uk   

For more information or an informal chat please email sarah.lee@surreycc.gov.uk

Deadline for applications: 12th February 2023

Interviews: 28th February 2023


Context, Vision, Mission, Approach and Values

Context – Surrey Music Hub is a partnership led by Surrey Arts.  It serves the local authority area of Surrey County Council with a total school population of 158,000 children, in 392 state maintained, academy and free schools (221 state maintained, 165 academy, 6 free schools including 8 pupil referral units), through music making and the arts and cultural offer. The lead partner in Surrey Music Hub is Surrey Arts, which is part of Surrey County Council (SCC) Cultural Services.  The Hub is overseen by the Surrey Music Hub Steering Board, which is made up of partners and local stakeholders and is currently chaired by the Head of Surrey Arts.   

Vision – “Changing lives through world class arts”  Surrey Music Hub’s aim is to work in partnership to ensure that children and young people from all backgrounds receive music education that is high quality, wide ranging, sustainable and accessible to all and that there are clear routes for progression.   

Mission – “Work in partnership to ensure that everyone in our community has access to high quality and engaging arts and cultural opportunities”.   

Approach – We: advocate, celebrate, deliver, create, innovate, commission, educate, invest, nurture, support, connect, develop.  

Our Values  Surrey Arts is an ambitious and forward-thinking organisation that places young people at the centre of our work. We are committed to developing Surrey Arts as a genuinely inclusive organisation, fostering a culture of belonging where all are respected and valued and one that meets the needs of the whole diverse community of Surrey. Equality, diversity and inclusion is central to our organisation and we are committed to its development at all levels of the organisation as outlined in our EDI strategy.      

Surrey Music Hub is committed to delivering ‘The Power of Music to Change Lives’, the Government’s National Plan for Music Education, for all children and young people throughout Surrey.  Surrey Music Hub performs all the current Core and Extension roles as set out by Arts Council England. These roles underpin all planning and musical activity that we offer.   

Core roles of Surrey Music Hub: 

  1. Ensure that every child aged 5 to 18 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through whole class ensemble teaching programmes. 
  1. Provide opportunities to play in ensembles and to perform from an early stage. 
  1. Ensure that clear progression routes are available and affordable to all young people. 
  1. Develop a singing strategy to ensure that every pupil is singing regularly, and that choirs and other vocal ensembles are available in the area. 
Extension roles of Surrey Music Hub: 

Offer Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to school staff, particularly in supporting schools to deliver music in the curriculum. Provide an instrument loan service, with discounts or free provision for those on low incomes. Provide access to large scale and/or high-quality music experiences for pupils, working with professional musicians and/or venues. This may include undertaking work to publicise the opportunities available to schools, parents/carers and students. 

  1. Offer Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to school staff, particularly in supporting schools to deliver music in the curriculum. 
  2. Provide an instrument loan service, with discounts or free provision for those on low incomes. 
  3. Provide access to large scale and/or high-quality music experiences for pupils, working with professional musicians and/or venues. This may include undertaking work to publicise the opportunities available to schools, parents/carers and students. 

Successful bid creates exciting music opportunities for displaced children in Surrey

Surrey Arts has been successful in securing just under £100k of funding from Youth Music, for a 2-year programme of activity for displaced young people across Surrey. Youth Music is a national music charity that invest in music-making projects for young people and along with generous additional match funding from partners, Alliance for Better Care (NHS), Big Leaf Foundation and Arts Partnership Surrey, the funding will enable Surrey Arts to expand its current delivery programmes ensuring we are able to build on this worthwhile and much needed provision.  

The project, which is fully funded for the next 2 years will be called I Speak Music:Next generation with the aim to improve participants’ musical skills, improve participants’ wellbeing and develop participants’ engagement within their host communities. The programme will include a range of activities including music lessons and both online and  face to face music ensembles for children who have asylum-seeker or refugee status. 

Project lead Jim Pinchen said ‘We are absolutely delighted that Youth Music have awarded Surrey Arts with this grant. The funding will allow us to expand our music programmes for children who are living in Surrey after being internationally displaced due of war, persecution and/or climate change.’

Sarah Lee, Service Manager for Surrey Art said “We are so proud of our work with displaced communities across Surrey, and this funding will have a huge impact in helping us to build a programme that reaches more young people and is lasting. We are hugely grateful to Youth Music and our local partners for their support and for providing funding”.

National Youth Music Award Win for Surrey Arts Teacher

Surrey Arts inclusion music teacher Raghad Haddad has won the Inspirational Music Leader Award at the Youth Music Awards 2022. Raghad received her award last night in TroxyLondon in recognition of her work for Surrey Arts as a diverse leader of refugee background, supporting vulnerable children in Surrey.

Raghad Haddad is a viola player from Yabroud, a small town in the mountains north of Damascus. Since being granted asylum in the UK in 2018 she has performed at numerous charity events in London and Brighton and recently performed with Damon Albarn, The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians.  

On behalf of Surrey Arts Raghad has worked on multiple projects supporting vulnerable children including SEND and refugee children and has been the executive producer of a major international music project involving the United Nations and 120 participants from around the world.

After finding out she was had won the award, Raghad said “I was speechless when they announced my name as the winner of the Inspirational Music Leader at the Youth Music Award 2022 this week! It’s such an honour to have received this award and I’m so grateful to my colleagues at Surrey Arts for the support they have given me since I arrived in the UK from Syria.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity, not only to rebuild my own life but also the privilege to help others affected by war, poverty, climate change and discrimination. Sadly, the need to support displaced communities is not getting smaller and I look forward to supporting more of your transformational projects in the months and years ahead.”

Kavyan Hajirostami has also been nominated for the Young Leader Award for their work with Big Leaf. Big Leaf support Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) across Surrey and work closely with Surrey Arts on a range of music and arts projects. You can find more information about Big Leaf here https://www.bigleaffoundation.org.uk/

Inclusion Manager Jim Pinchen said “I first met Raghad when she arrived in the UK from Syria 5 years ago and Kavyan through the I Speak Music Orchestra in 2019 shortly after his arrival from Iran.  Between them they have used their musical expertise, language and generosity to support hundreds of our most vulnerable children. This recognition on a national stage is well deserved”.  Surrey Arts Head of Service, Sarah Lee said “Surrey Arts is delighted to have played a part in supporting the development of these astounding music leaders. We would like to thank Youth Music for their continued support and for our most recent funding application success which will allow us to develop more project to support displaced communities and professional across the county”