‘Everyone should have the chance to be alive in and through music’

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Earlier this month, music lovers were treated to fantastic performances from some of the world’s leading young musicians at ABRSM’s Shine event. Shine was hosted in partnership with the Barbican and Classic FM, and celebrated the best of music and music education.

Over 200 young musicians delighted guests during a two-hour showcase, with inspirational performances from Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Josie Duncan, Jess Gillam and Ben Goldsheider. Two London based schools also had the opportunity to share the Barbican stage with some of the UK’s leading professional musicians from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and Southbank Sinfonia.

In his keynote speech at the event, Darren Henley, Chief Executive at Arts Council England said: “Music has a special role in all of our lives. It is the universal language that brings us together and makes our lives richer. It’s an inspiration and a consolation, a means to self-expression and a route to collective harmony. Most of all it brings us delight and pleasure, it makes us truly alive.”

He continued: “Talent is everywhere, but the opportunity for that talent to reach its full potential is not. And that’s not fair. That’s why Arts Council England is supporting a number of programmes including The Music Commission which is being launched by ABRSM and Arts Council England here today. Every young person should have the chance to be happy. Everyone should have the chance to be alive in and through music.”

Sir Nicholas Kenyon will chair the new Music Commission and will lead a panel of experts over the next year to carry out a fundamental review of how to support progression in music learning. Speaking at the launch of The Music Commission, Sir Nicholas Kenyon said: “Through this commission we will aim to make sense of what’s going on and look for the best ideas – not just in the UK but around the world – and make proposals that can give everyone, whatever their ability or background, the best possible support to take forward their musical interests.”

Other highlights from the Shine event included an open rehearsal of the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and dynamic music workshops. ABRSM’s Chief Executive said: “This event is about shining a spotlight on the power of music. We had amazing young performers on stage and heard inspirational stories from musicians from around the world.”

“We were also delighted to honour and recognise the tremendous work of five exceptional music teachers through the Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards. The winners are inspirational role models for the next generation of performers, leaders and ambassadors.”

In honour of the event, ABRSM specially commissioned a new piece of music entitled Shine. The piece was performed by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and then again by all of the performers in a spectacular finale. The piece will be freely available following the event, along with many other resources to take away, share and get involved with.

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