LOCAL EDUCATION AUTHORITY MUSIC
County Music Service produced one of those submissions which has an
embarrassment of riches. We were particularly attracted by one unusual
and laudable feature - taking county-wide groups into rural towns and
villages and raising money for charity - and we received details of
several fine examples of that initiative. TAPS (Traditional Arts Projects)
worked with students from the Central Music School and the County Youth
Orchestra first to introduce folk music and, secondly, to work with
GCSE and A level students to compose their own Oxfordshire Folk Suite
for orchestra based on Oxfordshire folk tunes. A four movement piece
was subsequently recorded and taken on tour by the Youth Orchestra.
A second project was also set up by TAPS involving improvisation and
crossover/fusion resulting in a meeting of eastern and western instruments
and musical styles. The Service maintained the publication of the thrice
yearly Community Music Newsletter and, as a means of further encouraging
community and school music across the genres, continued to support area
music festivals, providing an increasing selection of performance opportunities.
The LEA charged for group lessons, but funded a remissions policy exceeding
£160,000 per annum and guaranteed free access to all weekly ensembles
and orchestras. The Service remains sensitive to the needs of pupils
and students with special needs and disabilities.