MUSICIANS, singers and rock stars of the future are being given the chance to shine thanks to a new music hub.
The Greater Manchester Music Hub, which is being run by Bolton Music Service, was launched at MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, in November.
Arts Council England chose Bolton Council’s service to head up the hub after they submitted an impressive application — and now work is underway to ensure all youngsters across the region get the chance to develop their musical talents.
Carolyn Baxendale, head of Bolton Music Service based at Bolton Music Centre, New York in Deane, said: “Every child should have the opportunity to play an instrument, make progress, sing and perform with others and through the hub we now have a real chance to make this a reality.”
A total of 122 music education hubs have been set up across the country and Greater Manchester’s includes Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan music services.
As well as using music to raise the aspirations of all youngsters, there will be tutoring for the most advanced musicians in orchestras and bands as well as singer-songwriters.
And the hub will give youngsters from across Bolton and Greater Manchester the chance to work with prestigious organisations including The Hallé orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music.
Regional director Jane Beardsworth, from Arts Council England, said: “One of our really important goals is to make sure that children and young people have a real equal opportunity to experience the richness of the arts.”
She said that the North West’s application was one of the strongest they saw.
There are plans for musical instrument hire schemes and to give youngsters the chance to take part in large-scale performance events. Mrs Baxendale added: “We are really keen children in the North West get an opportunity to move on to careers in the music industry and experience live performance.”
The hub was launched with performances from music ensembles and choirs including Bolton Youth Chamber Strings and Bolton Youth Harmonies.
BBC North director Peter Salmon gave the welcome speech at the event and reinforced the BBC's commitment to music programming, education and learning.
The hub involves all the Greater Manchester boroughs, apart from Manchester itself, which will continue to operate on its own.
The Arts Council is investing more than £171 million of funding between August 2012 and March 2015 in the network of hubs across England on behalf of the Department for Education.
As the hub’s lead service, Bolton is expected to report back to the Arts Council and will be ultimately accountable for its overall performance. Over the next three years, Arts Council England said it expects to see hubs continue to evolve, develop and improve.
They will be encouraged to become a network, working together to increase the quality of delivery of musical education and improve the way they use digital technology.
Chief executive Alan Davey, from Arts Council England, said: “The Arts Council's goal is to make sure that children and young people have the opportunity to experience the richness of the arts.”
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: “These hubs will mean young people around the country can access high quality music teaching, itself an important and fulfilling part of learning.”
Å For information and advice about how to access the hub’s musical opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
uk or phone 01204 333533.