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Author Archives: alexknight

  1. New Outreach programme set to bring music and inspiration to over 1,000 school children

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    Chetham’s launches new Outreach programme, bringing music and inspiration to more than 1,000 primary school children across Greater Manchester. The project has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Huawei.

    Every year, Chetham’s dedicated Outreach team inspire and engage over 10,000 participants both on and off-site, bringing the specialist expertise of the UK’s leading music school to a wide-ranging audience. The goal of Chetham’s OOutreach is to widen access to music and promote the positive impact of music on overall health and wellbeing.

    Studies show that music listening and music making can have a profound effect on health and well-being with a report published by Youth Music in 2019 finding that 85% of young people aged between 7 to 17 in England felt that music made them ‘feel happy’.

    The Outreach programme depends on financial support to deliver its vital work in communities, so the new partnership with Huawei is a major boost to Chetham’s long-running activity. Over the last year, the Outreach programme has engaged more than 70 schools and 10 community groups, including 40% of schools in areas with the highest rates of child poverty in Greater Manchester.

    The new Huawei supported project will enable Chetham’s to build partnerships with 10 primary school across Greater Manchester, engaging more than 1,000 children and allowing those involved to access classical music in an exciting way using the theme of great inventions of past 50 years.

    Tom Redmond, Artistic Director and Joint Principal of Chetham’s School of Music, said: “We’re so grateful to Huawei for supporting this project which will enable us to provide free access to music for schools, families, and communities across Greater Manchester. This is important, life changing work. Projects like this support our mission at Chetham’s, to share the magic of music and learning with as many people as possible.”

    Victor Zhang, Huawei Vice President, said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce our support for Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and the Royal College of Music in London. Music, like technology, is about inspiration, creativity and passion. It is more vital than even that young people are able to experience this and reach their potential.

    “The pandemic has been especially challenging for children across the UK, and doubly so far those who have been left isolated and disconnected by a move to remote learning. Businesses like Huawei must embrace the opportunity to inspire talent, and we are fully committed to continuing to invest in young people all across the UK.”

    Additionally, Chetham’s are delighted to be working with Huawei to host their annual Winter Concert on 14 December at The Stoller Hall, featuring performances from Chetham’s students of festive classics. The concert will use Huawei’s connectivity technology to enable a live concert link-up between Chetham’s musicians with performers at the Royal College of Music in London.

    From next year, Huawei will also be supporting Chetham’s as a Corporate Member. Corporate Members at Chetham’s enjoy invitations to exclusive concert openings, behind the scenes tours of our buildings and collections, talks with leading musicians and entertaining opportunities in our incredible event spaces.

    Please contact Hanaa Skalli, Director of Development on hanaaskalli@chethams.com to find out more.

  2. A week of kindness

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    What a week of kindness it has been!

    We’ve been actively supporting a national Anti Bullying Week campaign, and it’s been an incredible experience for students and staff alike.

    On Monday we began our ‘Pro Kindness’ week by asking children and staff to wear odd socks. This was to represent the fact that we are all unique individuals, something that should be shared and celebrated.

    We believe one kind word leads to another and can change the course of a conversation, breaking any negative cycles. Therefore, our whole week has been dedicated to all of us sharing kind words, each day, to those we meet. One kind word turned into an epidemic of kind words until the whole place was filled with kindness.

    Tutor time on Monday was dedicated to the anti-bullying theme and students have been provided with resources, advice and guidance.

    And, as ever, music has been at the heart of everything too. Students have spent the week substituting the words ‘kind’ or ‘kindness’ into well known songs!

  3. Chetham’s celebrates Black History Month

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    Chetham’s School of Music – the UK’s leading specialist music school – provides an academic and musical education to more than 300 of the finest young musicians in the UK.

    Black History Month celebrations at Chetham’s are well underway, spanning the full academic curriculum, with students being encouraged to read and share works by black authors, including At Night all Blood is Black by Senegalese writer David Diop, a tale of two Senegalese soldiers in the First World War.

    Chetham’s junior students have completed research projects on important historical black figures, from Rosa Parks to Barack Obama, Mae Jemison to Louis Armstrong.

    Meanwhile, public concerts during Chetham’s October music course include two remarkable works by inspirational black composers.

    Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra will perform Fairtrade by Ayanna Witter-Johnson, on Friday 22 October. Witter-Johnson – a British composer of Jamaican heritage – is a singer, songwriter and cellist. She was a MOBO award shortlist nominee for Best Jazz Act in 2012 and has composed for the London Symphony Orchestra.

    Chetham’s musicians will perform her work at The Stoller Hall, on Friday 22 October, in the first Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra concert at the venue since before the pandemic.

    On Thursday 21 October at The Stoller Hall, Chetham’s Lower School Orchestra will perform Symphony in G Major by Jospeh Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (pictured above).

    Bologne was a true trailblazer. Born the son of a slave and a white plantation owner in 1745, he became a violin virtuoso, a leading conductor, and a composer in the court of Marie Antoinette. One of the first classical music composers of African ancestry, he lived a remarkable life and left a lasting legacy.

    Chetham’s School of Music is a charity, with a mission to nurture young people regardless of background or financial situation. As the UK’s largest specialist music school, our student body comprises more than 300 students from 28 different cultures and ethnic backgrounds, with a common passion for music.

  4. World’s first “Chinese Music Classroom” set to open at Chetham’s School of Music

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    Students and teachers – at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing – are set to share performances and music teaching ideas, thanks to the unveiling of the world’s first ‘Chinese Music Classroom’.

    The new facility – which launches this September at Chetham’s School of Music – will host a series of cross-continental concerts, teaching seminars and musical masterclasses for students.

    Chetham’s in Manchester – home to more than 300 of the world’s most exciting young musicians, aged 8-18 – is the UK’s leading music school and the only one in the North of England.

    Chetham's student Fang performs in The Stoller Hall with Chetham's Symphony Orchestra

    Percussion student Fang Zhang from Henan province in China received bursary funding to  study at Chetham’s School of Music. He went on to win the prestigious BBC Young Musician competition in 2021.

    Chetham’s mission is to educate and nurture the brightest young musicians irrespective of background or the ability to pay.

    The Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing is China’s leading music school and is home to more than 3,000 national and international students. Its purpose is to share Chinese culture and Chinese music with the world and absorb the excellent music culture of other countries and ethnic groups.

    Now, the two world-leading institutions are uniting as part of a unique cultural exchange, designed to deepen understanding and appreciation of the UK and China’s rich musical heritage and advance music teaching standards, whilst also creating opportunities for students to experience new cultures and performance opportunities.

    Every year, Chetham’s welcomes students from around the world with many supported through the school’s bursary scheme. The school is a charity – with a mission to nurture young musicians regardless of background or financial situation. More than 90% of students are supported by bursaries, funded by the Government’s Music & Dance Scheme and private donors.

    Chetham’s are hoping to create more opportunities for international students by launching a new bursary scheme, helping to ensure entry to the school is based on musical potential, not on the ability to pay and to support diversity within the music industry.

    Chetham’s student Fang Zhang, who travelled from Henan province in China to study at Chetham’s in 2018, was one of many international students supported by the school’s bursary funding. In May 2021, he captured the hearts of audiences across the UK when was the winner of the prestigious BBC Young Musician competition.

    Tom Redmond, Artistic Director at Chetham’s School of Music, said:

    “Within the concert halls and rehearsal rooms of Chetham’s School of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music you’ll find some of the world’s most remarkable young performers at work. We’re very proud to break down some of those walls with this new initiative, to be able to open up new cross-continental performance opportunities for students, to help them exchange musical ideas internationally and to help our teachers learn from each other.

    “Our much-loved student Fang Zhang is a shining example of what can be achieved when we create opportunities for creative talent to cross borders, experience new cultures and teaching methods.”

    Professor Yu Feng, President at the Central Conservatory of Music, said: “We can’t wait to see our own brilliant performers working side by side with the best young musicians in the UK. China and the UK have a long, rich history of cultural exchange. This is a major new step towards continuing that tradition.”

    Research Fellow Zhao Min, Chairman of the University Council of Central Conservatory of Music and Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Chinese Music Classroom, said: “The establishment of Chinese Music Classroom is a practical result of Sino-British music education and cultural exchange, and is also a new platform for young people to learn
    more about the world.”

    Zheng Xiyuan, Consul General of The People’s Republic of China in Manchester said: “We are delighted to be supporting this innovative project which will encourage cultural exchange and learning between Manchester and China. Chetham’s School of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music are both world-class institutions and we are excited to see what comes from this collaboration.”

    Rhys Whalley, Executive Director of the Manchester-China Forum said:

    “This partnership is a brilliant illustration of the strong ties that exist between Manchester and China and the role that cities play in bringing the best and brightest of tomorrow’s generation together. International collaboration across culture and education has never taken on greater significance and I’m delighted to see the UK’s best music school playing a leadership role in this space.”

    The partnership will be officially unveiled at a ceremony and concert in The Stoller Hall at Chetham’s on 21 September 2021, featuring live performances by students at Chetham’s School of Music and remote performances from students Central Conservatory of Music broadcast into the venue from China.

    The event will see the launch of the new international student bursary appeal. In October, the partnership will commence with the first in a major new series of Chinese and British online musical masterclasses for students, delivered by world-leading music tutors from both institutions.

    In November, an online concert – co-hosted by Central Conservatory of Music and Chetham’s – will showcase quartet performances from musicians at both institutions.

    An online academic seminar in December will then share teaching ideas and facilitate discussion between some of the world’s leading music teaching experts.

  5. Grant from The Leverhulme Trust gives more students chance to study at Chetham’s School of Music

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    A grant from The Leverhulme Trust – totalling almost a quarter of a million pounds – will create remarkable opportunities for talented young musicians, aged 8-18, to study with us at Chetham’s School of Music, in Manchester.  

    Chetham’s is the UK’s leading specialist music school and educates around 300 musically gifted students from around the UK and overseas every year. 

    Chetham’s mission is to nurture young musicians regardless of background or financial situation. The school supports 90% of all students through its bursary scheme thanks to funding from the Government’s Music & Dance Scheme and the generous support of donors.  

    The new Leverhulme Arts Scholarships at Chetham’s School of Music will run from 2022-2025.  

    Hanaa Skalli, Director of Development at Chetham’s School of Music, said: “This grant will enable even more students to study with us from 2022, many of whom might not otherwise have been able to. We’re so grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for their support. 

    “A place at Chetham’s School of Music is a truly life-changing experience for students. Thanks to the Leverhulme Trust we can break down the barriers that prevent gifted young musicians from accessing a world-class education and reaching their full potential.” 

    Students at Chetham’s enjoy a well-rounded music and academic education with one-to-one tuition from renowned musicians and incredible performance opportunities at world-class concert venues including The Stoller Hall. The school offers boarding accommodation as well as welcoming day students who live in the local area.  

    Earlier this month more than 300 students performed at Bridgewater Hall in four concerts given as part of Chetham’s end of year celebrations. The massed choir and three orchestras were the first youth music ensembles in the UK to perform to a live audience for more than a year.  

    To find out more about bursary funded places at Chetham’s, visit our admissions page. 

  6. Chetham’s students perform first live youth orchestra concert for 16 months

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    Chetham’s students are performing in front of a live audience today – becoming the UK’s first youth orchestra to do so since the pandemic began.

    The event – which is the culmination of a two-week festival of music at Chetham’s School of Music – features all 328 of our students, spread across four concerts in one day.

    Chetham’s is home to many of the country’s finest young musicians, aged 8-18. Their performances, in front of socially distanced audiences, are taking place at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

    Chetham’s School of Music Joint Principal, Tom Redmond, said:

    “It is a long time since any young person in this country has performed in a youth orchestra in front of a live audience. These are the experiences which really shape a young musician. It’s  quite emotional for all of us involved!”

    The day of concerts features works by composers from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to Brahms and Resphigi.

  7. Funding to kick start your music career: The Neil Vint Bursary for Chets alumni

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    The Neil Vint Bursary 2021 is now open for applications.

    Each year, the bursary offers one former Chetham’s student the chance to kick start their career in the music industry, with the award of £1,000 in funding.

    The funding is available to former students of Chetham’s, aged between 20 and 26.

    Preference will usually be given to students who have recently left music college or university.

    Neil Vint, a student at Chetham’s School of Music from 1984-1988, died tragically in 1994. In his memory, his parents have established the Bursary Fund to help young musicians as they begin their professional career.

    Former Chetham’s students can apply in writing by emailing a letter of application, outlining why they are suitable for the award and how the funds would be used.

    Applications should be sent to Lesley Haslam, PA to the Joint Principal, by email at lesleyhaslam@chethams.com by Wednesday 30 June 2021. 

    Applicants should include details of their education and professional career, and tell us why they would find the Bursary useful.

    Good luck!

  8. Congratulations Fang: BBC Young Musician winner!

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    Chetham’s percussion student Fang has been named winner of the prestigious BBC Young Musician competition!

    The competition is the UK’s leading contest for young classical musicians, celebrating the most promising young performers.

    It has launched the careers of international stars such as Nicola Benedetti, Mark Simpson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

    Fang came from China to the UK to enroll at Chetham’s School of Music in 2018, to study a full range of percussion, including snare drum, marimba, timpani and vibraphone.

    His studies at Chetham’s have been supported by The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Bursary. Bursaries support more than 90% of Chetham’s students, ensuring entry to the school is based on musical potential, not financial background.

    In February 2020, just one month before his BBC Young Musician category final, Fang played Keiko Abe’s Prism Rhapsody on the marimba with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra, in front of a packed audience in The Stoller Hall. He played the same piece again during the BBC Young Musician Grand Final. Watch his stunning performance here:

    Fang is a member of the China Youth Percussion Orchestra and has won prizes at many Chinese and international youth percussion competitions, including the China Youth Percussion Competition, the New York International Percussion Competition and the Tokyo International Percussion Competition.

    As a result of the pandemic, Fang has recently returned to his family in China where he will continue to study marimba, and is looking forward to performing in front of live concerts audiences once again!

  9. Good luck Fang: BBC Young Musician competition

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    Chetham’s wonderful percussionist, Fang Zhang, will star in the prestigious BBC Young Musician competition this weekend!

    Fang was the brilliant winner of the Percussion Category Finals, filmed in 2020 just before the Covid-19 lockdown. Watch that stunning performance again here.

    Now, much delayed due to the pandemic, BBC Young Musician returns for it’s long-awaited final two rounds this Friday and Sunday evening.

    The competition is the leading UK contest for young classical musicians and has launched the careers of international stars such as Nicola Benedetti, Mark Simpson and Sheku Kanneh-Mason. It celebrates the talent of some of the country’s most promising young performers.

    Join us to cheer on Fang from 7pm on BBC Four on Friday 30 April.

    The Grand Final will be broadcast on BBC Four at 8pm on Sunday 2 May and BBC Radio 3.

    Fang came from China to the UK to enroll at Chetham’s School of Music in 2018, to study a full range of percussion, including snare drum, marimba, timpani and vibraphone.

    His studies at Chetham’s have been supported by The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Bursary. Bursaries support more than 90% of Chetham’s students, ensuring entry to the school is based on musical potential, not financial background.

    In February 2020, just one month before his BBC Young Musician category final, Fang played marimba with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra in front of a packed audience in The Stoller Hall. Watch his stunning performance here:

    Fang is a member of the China Youth Percussion Orchestra and has won prizes at many Chinese and international youth percussion competitions, including the China Youth Percussion Competition, the New York International Percussion Competition and the Tokyo International Percussion Competition.

    As a result of the pandemic, Fang has recently returned to his family in China where he will continue to study marimba, and is looking forward to performing in front of live concerts audiences once again!

  10. Choral Evensong from Manchester Cathedral: Live on BBC Radio 3

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    Chetham’s and Manchester Cathedral choristers will sing live on BBC Radio 3, at 3pm, this Easter Sunday.

    This Easter’s Choral Evensong will be broadcast live from Manchester Cathedral, with works by Handel, Stanford and Buxtehude.

    To listen online, or to see the full programme, visit the BBC website here.

    To find out more about joining Chetham’s as a chorister, contact aliceherbert@chethams.com.

    The chorister programme is a passport to unrivalled musical experiences and an all-round education.

    We’re accepting applications to the chorister programme for students aged 8-10 years old, with full Bursary support available.