Sunday, 7 January 2018

Record of Wessex Youth Orchestra Leaders

(Post made at 1402 UK time on 07 Jan 2018 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests).


James di Capite (Leader) and Patrick Curlett (soloist and former Leader) in 2006

This is a record of the list of Wessex Youth Orchestra (WYO) leaders to the best of my knowledge.  Any corrections/omissions/additions gratefully received. (This is some of the content which I had added to the previous CWYM website which was closed down, along with the previous CWYM Facebook page, by sudden order of the Bournemouth and Poole College in December 2016. This content - part of the WYO's history - doesn't seem to appear anywhere now so I am reproducing it here).

2017-2018 Helena Bartlett
2016-2017 Helena Bartlett
2015-2016 Helena Bartlett
2014-2015 Helena Bartlett
2013-2014 Eszter Sitku
2012-2013 Nathalie Green-Buckley

Friday, 5 January 2018

Bournemouth and Poole College's Centre for Wessex Young Musicians Facebook page still claims it is a charity ...if so, since when?

(Post made at 1900 UK time on 05 Jan 2018 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests). 



Further to my previous post, the Facebook page still claims that the CWYM is a charity.  The normal rule is that organisations with income exceeding £5,000 and claiming to be charities need to be registered ...

Update 1630 UK time on 10 Jan 2018: the page now seems to have been corrected, and says "Orchestra in Poole, Dorset". This particular Facebook page seems to have been set up almost a year ago (the first visible post is dated 7 Feb 2017 - how long has the false claim been made that CWYM (or by implication SWYM) is a charity? And why did the College think this was appropriate/acceptable? During my time on the SWYM Committee the question as to whether SWYM could become a charity was discussed on several occasions, and each time the College representatives replied that SWYM could not be a charity because it was part of the College.  (Indeed this appears to be correct from paragraph 1 of the SWYM Constitution -unless this was changed at the 2017 AGM which is possible but unlikely -which says

The society shall be called the Society for Wessex Young Musicians and shall be affiliated to and form part of Bournemouth and Poole College of Further Education (“The College”).)

So whoever set up the claim in the CWYM Facebook page that it was a charity should have known that this not right.)

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Bournemouth and Poole College's Wessex Youth Orchestra spent just under £2,000 on extra players for two concerts

(Post made at 1412 UK time on 02 Jan 2018 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests). 




On 3 December 2016, as still then Chairman of the Society for Wessex Young Musicians (SWYM), I was very surprised to be asked to sign cheques totalling just over £3,000.  This included just under £2,000 for extra players for the WYO's concerts of 16 November 2016 (the Music for Youth Schools' Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, 16 extra players) and 4 December 2016 at the Lighthouse (at least 8 extra players).

I have no objections to extra players in principle e.g. to fill in missing parts (e.g. harp), or in situations where the musicians concerned were ex WYO members. The latter help provide extra continuity, and can usefully - because they often know the WYO children well - be part of the accompanying adults team on tours.

But the numbers involved seemed a) much higher than usual, b) the majority had no connection with the WYO, and c) had not been cleared with the SWYM Committee in advance. Expenditure had instead been approved for the WYO to receive sectional rehearsals led by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra players. I have always felt this was very valuable because all WYO players benefit from such tuition, and it also enhances the link with our excellent local professional orchestra.

The Bournemouth and Poole College's Centre for Wessex Young Musicians Facebook page claims it is a charity - I don't believe it is one

(Post made at 0855 UK time on 02 Jan 2018 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests). 

The Centre for Wessex Young Musicians (CWYM)'s Facebook page, set up by the Bournemouth and Poole College early in 2017, is at https://www.facebook.com/cwymwyo/.

This states that it is a "Charity in Poole, Dorset" (click on the image to see it in larger detail).


Why? And for how long has this claim (false in my view) been made?

To the best of my knowledge, CWYM has never been a charity, and neither has SWYM (the Society for Wessex Young Musicians).

Friday, 29 December 2017

Some great festive music, bringing back some very fond memories

(Post made at 1950 UK time on 29 Dec 2017 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests). 

Over the last few days I have really enjoyed listening to some wonderful festive music, some of which also brought back very fond memories! 

I remember really enjoying playing flute in a performance of Vivaldi's Gloria (featured in the first video below), and also Bach's Brandenberg No 1 (featured as one of the pieces in the 2nd video below) aged 11 with my school orchestra! (See note * below) 

I and another first former (year 7 in modern parlance), both about grade 3 or 4 standard, played what we could of these works, and the two sixth formers (year 12 or 13) played it all. We were both in awe of their skill, and wanted to play like them, and it was a great privilege to be in the group of performers and to be able to hear all the wonderful playing and singing going on around us.  




Thursday, 28 December 2017

Just a few reasons why music (and particularly group music) is so important in education

(Post made at 1220 UK time on 28 Dec 2017 in a personal capacity.  Please see here for important background and disclosure of interests). 


In today's world in which very many children have a very short attention span and very often call out/take a sip from a water bottle, taking part in a group musical activity (such as a choir or a wind/brass/string/percussion band, or an orchestra, or even "just" a series of call and response musical games in a class setting) offers many life skills that will stand them in very good stead in their future working and family life.  Here are just a few that come to mind: