Saturday, 6 May 2017

BPCollege/WYO "Key Facts" document for schools gets the facts wrong and omits key information ...

(Paragraph added 0440 UK time 12 May 2017: This post is made on a personal basis, as a member - and until early February 2017 Chairman -of SWYM because of my significant concerns about some aspects of the running of the otherwise excellent Wessex Youth Orchestra, and about recent aspects of the governance of SWYM. Please see for important background and disclosure of interests)

No wonder the College and WYO Director wanted to avoid the WYO rehearsal schedules being published.
It seems that a document was recently sent by the Bournemouth and Poole College to schools, entitled  "Centre for Wessex Young Musicians - Key Facts", with sub heading "Communication and Cooperation between the CWYM/WYO and local schools".

Unfortunately, this document gives a materially incorrect picture of what has happened in recent terms (the only ones I have details for, because the rehearsal schedules were kept secret).

The full document (which is undated [why?], but seems to have been sent within the last few weeks) can be seen at the following links:

("Key Facts" page 1 and page 2).

I have annotated the relevant parts from page 1 here:

False claim no 1:

"there will only ever be one red rehearsal per concert programme".

This is not what has happened recently.: there were 2 [Update 12 May 2017, strictly speaking 3, although one is shorter at 1.5 hours] red (compulsory) rehearsals for the March 2017 concert programme, as you can see from this annotated copy of last term's rehearsal schedule (which I have to point out is copyright Bournemouth & Poole College):

False claim no 2:

The "Key Facts" document incorrectly states that regarding absences from rehearsals, "the one stipulation placed upon the members is that they should inform the WYO Director with as much notice as possible  - so as to allow the rehearsal to be planned accordingly".

This fails to mention the  requirement that members need to attend at least 70% of the schedule. With 6 extra rehearsals during the spring term, that means in practice members *HAD* to attend at least one extra rehearsal even if they had attended all the regular ones.  (Please see the bottom part of the rehearsal schedule screenshot above: I have just added the arrow, it is the WYO Director who put the requirement in red, to emphasise it to WYO children, yet makes no mention of this in the document sent to schools).

False claim no 3:

"Red rehearsals never take place on a weekday evening."

As you can see in the screenshot of page 1 from the Autumn 2016 rehearsal schedule, a red (compulsory) rehearsal did take place on Tuesday 15 Nov 2016.  (Again I have to point out that the rehearsal schedule is copyright Bournemouth and Poole College. I have annotated it by adding the red arrow).

(You can see the rehearsal schedules for the last 2 terms in full here).

There are other things wrong with the College/WYO's "Key Facts" document, but the evidence above is sufficient to demonstrate that the document cannot be relied upon to give an accurate picture to schools or anyone else.

(Postscript added 1218 UK time 6 May 2017): the claim that there is only ever 1 red rehearsal per concert programme was not only false with regard to the 25 March 2017 concert, but also for the 16 Nov 2016 (Schools Prom) concert (red rehearsals on 2 dates: Sat 12  and Tues 15 Nov 2016), and for the 4 Dec 2016 concert (which actually had 3 red rehearsals: a double amount 0915-1530 on Sat 3 Dec and a full 3 hour red rehearsal on the morning of Sun 4 Dec 2016).

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