Saturday, 31 December 2016

In praise of Prokofiev, and in particular his Cinderella ballet music

I love the music of many composers, from Bach/Scarlatti to modern day composers like John Williams, and of course many different styles of music too.

But a particular favourite is Prokofiev:



Concert and other key CWYM dates for the rest of 2016-2017

CWYM parents/SWYM members: a reminder of some key dates for your diaries!

Sat 7 Jan 2017: term starts again
(Fri 13 Jan 2017: SWYM Committee meeting, agenda copy to come, similarly for future meetings.)
(Fri 24 Feb 2017: SWYM Committee meeting)
Sun 12 Mar 2017: Wessex Junior Fanfare/Wessex Youth Fanfare/Wessex Starter Strings and Wessex Middle Strings end of term concert at 3 pm (venue TBC). End of term for these ensembles.
Sat 25 Mar 2017: Wessex Youth Orchestra Gala Concert, 7.30 pm at the Lighthouse Poole.  End of term for the WYO.

Sat 22 Apr 2017: term starts again
(Fri 26 May 2017: SWYM Committee meeting)
Sat 1 Jul 2017: TBC Summer Concert - all ensembles. End of term.

(Fri 8 Sep 2017: SWYM Committee meeting)
Sat 11 Nov 2017: SWYM AGM 9.30 am.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all SWYM members and any other visitors to this blog a very happy Christmas and all best wishes for the New Year! (PS CWYM classes start again on Saturday 7 January 2017. Other important dates for your diary are Sunday 12 March for Fanfares/Strings concert [afternoon with morning rehearsals], Sat 25 March WYO Gala Concert).


After 6 1/2 years, the existing Centre for Wessex Young Musicians Facebook page is no more :(

(I am again making this in my capacity as Chairman of SWYM, the Society for Wessex Young Musicians.  Please see the Welcome post for disclosure and other important background.Again I make clear that this is my personal view, and I am not speaking on behalf of the SWYM Committee.)

(Post added at 0948 UK time on 24 Dec 2016).



As mentioned on the CWYM Facebook page in a post on 8 December 2016, the Bournemouth and Poole College instructed me on 8 December that the Facebook page (which I created in August 2010, and have operated since then, first as sole editor, then for the past year and a half together with two other editors including CWYM Director Susanna Riddell) be closed as soon as possible, until such time as a replacement site is produced directly under College control and reflecting all their latest policies.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Key Question 1: does the Centre Director control SWYM or do its members? (Part 2)

(This continues from the first substantive post in this blog, see here for part 1. I am making this in my capacity as Chairman of SWYM, the Society for Wessex Young Musicians.  Please see the Welcome post for disclosure and other important background.Again I make clear that this is my personal view, and I am not speaking on behalf of the SWYM Committee. The Chairperson of an organisation has extra responsibility to the organisation's members to speak out if actions are being taken that appear to be against what they have voted for.)
(Post added at 1421 UK time on 17 Dec 2016).

Meeting with the College on 16 December 2016

At her request, I attended a 50 minute meeting with Jacqui Kitcher (Director of Learning, Creative Industries) at the College yesterday.  The meeting was cordial and productive.

I have sent a detailed report of the meeting in an email to fellow SWYM Committee members, but from the point of view of SWYM members the key points are:

Friday, 9 December 2016

Key Question 1: does the Centre Director control SWYM or do its members? (Part 1)

(This is the first substantive post in this blog. I am making this in my capacity as Chairman of SWYM, the Society for Wessex Young Musicians.  Please see the Welcome post for disclosure and other important background.) (Comment added 1136 UK time on 11 Dec 2016: I have been asked to make clear that this is my personal view, and I am not speaking on behalf of the SWYM Committee. I am very happy to do this: as mentioned below, the Chairperson of an organisation has extra responsibility to the organisation's members to speak out if actions are being taken that appear to be against what they have voted for.)

The main reason for launching this blog is to try to resolve important questions of governance and culture within SWYM that have arisen in the last 3 months, but unfortunately have so far failed to be resolved internally. All Committee members are involved in governance matters, but as SWYM Chairman, I have a particular duty to try to ensure that as a body we operate in accordance with our Constitution, and to keep SWYM members informed about any significant issues that arise.

I shall try to keep things as far as possible to matters of fact. I stress that there is no disagreement about the musical aspects of the Centre, merely questions of governance/culture and what the boundaries are between what CWYM/College staff do and what SWYM is entitled to do.

The first key issue is that the director of the Centre for Wessex Young Musicians (CWYM) and the Wessex Youth Orchestra (WYO), Susanna Riddell, has claimed on several occasions that she (and she alone) has overall control of the Society.  For example in an email to the Committee dated 4 November 2016 (the bold emphasis is mine):

SWYM (Society for Wessex Young Musicians) Constitution

This is the current (as of December 2016) SWYM (Society for Wessex Young Musicians) Constitution, as last amended at an AGM held in November 2010:

1.                 NAME
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”).
2.                 OBJECTS
To promote the art of music in the County of Dorset through support of the activities of the Centre for Wessex Young Musicians (herein afterwards referred to as the Centre’) organised by The College, and other music activities by College students by:
a)     encouraging the musical education and training of young people.
b)    assisting through its activities the raising of funds for the above Centre to purchase music, equipment and instruments, provide bursaries and carry out the objectives.
c)     organising events in association with the College and promoting co-operation and fellowship amongst musicians and all persons interested in music.
d)    assisting with promotion and organisation of concerts, including those for charitable purposes, as may be arranged in agreement with the Head of Department of Social and Community Studies.
e)     when possible and necessary providing bursaries to individuals against set criteria in order that those individuals may attend the Centre.

Welcome / Disclosure of Interests / Terms of use


Welcome
Welcome to my blog, in which I aim to write about music and in particular about matters that may be of interest to any members of the Society for Wessex Young Musicians (SWYM, of which I am currently Chairman - since November 2012), and to anyone interested in the Centre for Wessex Young Musicians (CWYM) which is part of the Bournemouth and Poole College ("The College"). Parents of CWYM pupils are automatically members of SWYM. (Update 16 Apr 2017, important: please see the comments added below this post by me on 13 Mar and 16 Apr 2017. In particular, I resigned both as Chairman and from the SWYM Committee on 4 Feb 2017, although I remain a member of SWYM. Update 15 Sep 2017: similarly please see any further comments posted).

The Centre for Wessex Young Musicians includes several ensembles, of which the Wessex Youth Orchestra (founded by Don Riddell MBE in 1971) is the most well known.  The others are the Wessex Junior Fanfare, the Wessex Youth Fanfare, the Wessex Starter Strings and the Wessex Middle Strings.

Disclosure of interests
As well as being Chairman of SWYM, I am also a parent of a pupil at the Centre, and my wife Jane conducts the Wessex Starter and Middle Strings. I don't think the accuracy of what I am likely to post in this blog (which I intend to be mainly about questions of fact) is going to be affected by these interests, but I am declaring them so that readers/visitors to my blog can take them into account when forming their own views about what I say.  If you think that what I say should be significantly discounted because of an actual or potential conflict of interest, then please do comment on this to draw this to other readers' attention and I will attempt to address your concerns.

Terms of use
I am a passionate believer in free speech, but as is common practice, I reserve the right to remove any comments that I perceive to be defamatory, or against the law, or spam/significantly off topic. (Visitors are of course entitled to write what they like - again within the law - on their own blogs).

Subject to the above, comments are very welcome, particularly from SWYM members, but also from anyone else having an interest in governance/good operating culture, or in music/the topics discussed generally.