Did you miss this news from the music industry?

Stephen Yarrow | Forwoods ScoreStore

As the lazy hazy crazy days of summer draw to a close and thoughts turn towards autumn leaves, the great Act of Remembrance in November and the ‘C-word’, with its jingling bells and angelic choirs, we want to help you catch up with some of the key stories you may have missed this summer.

Making Music, the umbrella body for voluntary music organisations, reported at the beginning of August a new fund called Creative Civic Change. Designed for ‘individuals and communities using the arts and creativity to bring about positive social change in their local area’, the programme has three key stages:

  • Community call out (until 28th September 2018)
  • Development phase (from autumn 2018 until spring 2019)
  • Programme delivery (from spring 2019 for up to three years)

Find out more, check your eligibility and read about some local case studies [here]

The UK’s professional body for musicians, the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has been keeping a beady eye on GCSE and A-level Music in England and Wales. Figures published on A-level results day 16th August 2018 show a marked decline in A-level Music entries and a smaller proportion of students getting top grades in Music compared with other subjects.

Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the ISM, remarked:

“With the Department for Education determined to pursue the EBacc despite evidence clearly demonstrating how damaging it has been to creative subjects including music, this trend is only likely to get worse. We urge the Government to urgently rethink their EBacc policy, which must be abolished to preserve access to music and wider creative education in schools.”

Read the full story [here]

The news isn’t any better at GCSE, with the Joint Council for Qualifications reporting a more than 15% decline in the uptake of GCSE Music since 2016 in England.

Ms Annetts says:

There is a wealth of evidence from highly respected institutions, like the University of Sussex which shows the damage the EBacc is doing year on year. Further, there is also plenty of rigorous academic research which demonstrates the value of music in the development of a child’s character, linguistic and mathematical skills and their ability to problem solve.

Music is critical to the UK’s economy, our society and the development of every human being.”

Visit the ISM’s website for the facts and figures [here]

It’s not all bad news, though. Ed Sheeran has announced he needs a break and won’t be releasing an album next year. In an interview with BBC News he hinted he might like to ‘do a musical’ and follow up recent cameo movie roles with something more substantial.

Sheeran has sold more than 26 million albums and 100 million singles worldwide, making him one of the world's best-selling music artists. Two of his albums are in the list of the best-selling albums in UK chart history: x (at number 20) and ÷ (at number 34).

More [here]

He might be the most powerful man in the world, but President Donald J. Trump, the so-called leader of the free world, has been sent another cease and desist letter by Aerosmith, who don’t want him using their songs at his political rallies. Understandable.

The band’s lawyer’s letter said:

“By using Livin’ on the Edge without our client’s permission, Mr. Trump is falsely implying that our client, once again, endorses his campaign and/or his presidency, as evidenced by actual confusion seen from the reactions of our client’s fans all over social media”.

Full story, and a blast of Aerosmith to brighten your day, [here]

BBC Proms, as always, has sat astride the summer and kept us all sane. The world’s greatest music festival celebrated the centenary of the birth of the great Leonard Bernstein with Prom 57 – the hit musical On the Town, with the London Symphony Orchestra under John Wilson.

Catch up on iPlayer [here]