Surrey Arts is delighted to announce the return of beloved composer, conductor and educator, Lin Marsh as our special guest Music Director for the 2024 Primary Music Festival concerts!
The 2023 concerts were very popular with over 80 schools taking part and nearly 3000 children singing in front of sell out venues. Places went quickly in 2023 so schools are encouraged to get their applications in early to secure their spot.
Vocal Strategy Manager, Nancy Gillio-Terry says ‘In 2024, schools can look forward to a programme packed with favourites from the world of music theatre and film, as well as Lin’s own catalogue of much-loved songs.’
Susan Mee from the The Weald CofE School in Dorking commented ‘My choir is fairly new to the Primary School Music Festival experience, as we took part in it for the first time last year, but it is the highlight of our singing calendar! My overall experience can only be described as ‘wonderful!’ There are so many positives to list: the repertoire, which was inspirational, fun and engaging; the atmosphere, which was joyful – I was moved to tears by the delight on the children’s faces and the incredible sound they made and the buzz and obvious enjoyment from the audience was amazing . . . . I love that the event makes singing accessible to all. We all loved it!’
Information and our 2024 concert dates are now available.
Primary schools across Surrey are invited to take part for FREE in Create & Sing inspired by Mozart’s opera The Magic FluteCreate & Sing is an accessible approach that combines singing and drama to build pupils’ self-expression, creative collaboration, performance confidence, voice, movement, and memory skills. It is part of the award-winning ROH National Schools Programme.
You can get your school involved by attending the Surrey CPD day: a full day of certified, in-person training with ROH professionals. No familiarity with opera is needed. Suitable for class teachers and Music Leads. 4 October, 9am – 3pm at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Cobham. Find out more and book your FREE place
Surrey Arts are pleased to announce the appointment of Charlotte Miller as the new independent chair of Surrey Music Hub.
Surrey Music Hub is a network of music organisations and schools working together to bring more musical opportunities to more young people in Surrey, both in schools and in the wider community.
The lead partner of the network is Surrey Arts. Head of Service, Sarah Lee said ‘We are delighted to welcome Charlotte to the Music Hub board and look forward to drawing from her experience of working in the health and music sectors.’
Charlotte brings a wealth of experience having studied at Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Centre, London and obtained a Masters in Music Therapy. She has also worked as a music therapist in NHS hospitals, schools and care homes delivering a variety of music, health and educational intergenerational programmes. In 2017 Charlotte founded IMM, Intergenerational Music Making and since its formation she has led and shaped with her IMM team many local and national initiatives.
Charlotte commented “I am thrilled to be appointed as the new Chair of Surrey Arts Hub 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. I am extremely passionate about the work Surrey Arts carries out in ensuring that all children and young people can access high quality music education opportunities that meet their needs.”
Charlotte believes strongly in the power of intergenerational music to bridge the gap between generations, addressing issues such as loneliness, isolation, those living with dementia, mental health issues and championing black and ethnically diverse groups. IMM strives to bring individuals, communities and professionals together and through music IMM continues to strive for change and to maximise the health and social benefits for young and old alike.
The appointment of the independent chair will ensure stronger governance for the hub and strategic oversight for the delivery of the National Plan for Music Education.
Surrey Music Hub, lead by Surrey Arts, and in partnership with Big Leaf Surrey were runners up in the Outstanding Music Initiative category at the Music and Drama Education Awards in February for the Music Connects project.
Music Connects, which received a Highly Commended Certificate, is a songwriting project which started in 2020 and is designed to bring together displaced young people living in Surrey, local young people and musicians in order to share life stories, make new music and build friendships and understanding.
Sarah Lee, Surrey Arts Head of Service said ‘We are delighted that the judges recognised the impact of our project and the potential for future development‘
Project Lead Jim Pinchen added ‘I’m so delighted that the talents and courage of young people have been recognised at this prestigious national event. Special thanks to our incredible music tutors and our colleagues at Big Leaf Foundation for making this project such a huge success!”
Music Connects delivered two residential music workshops, the first taking place at the Surrey Outdoor Learning Centre in October 2021, and the second taking place over a weekend at Jamie’s Farm in the hills of Herefordshire in May 2022. Following this the participants then performed their new song “I Will Find My Way” to a live audience on Sunday 26 June 2022 at London’s iconic Union Chapel.
The project was also supported with funding from Youth Music.
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”.