PRS Foundation Diplomas are awarded to music services in which a
passion for new music is ingrained across all activity. Fresh ideas,
new initiatives, regular performance opportunities and a focus on
composition are all of paramount importance.
Once again, East Lothian impressed us with their extensive programme
of new work. There have been some fantastic achievements this year,
most notably the groundbreaking prison project for young inmates at
HM Saughton. The venture proved to be inspirational for all involved
- boosting confidence, self esteem and musical ability.
Pupils also explored the science of music and hearing in a workshop
with musician Dave Trouton, focussing on emotions in different compositions.
The Y Bands project, run in partnership with Recharge, a local youth
development organisation was also a big success. The scheme offers
music lessons in guitar, drums, keyboards, voice and computer software,
with regular opportunities to perform at various events over the year.
Training on popular music software is also available.
Across the service’s work, there is inspiring use of technology
coupled with a tangible enthusiasm for new music. There is
also an exemplary dedication to promote creative music in both the
classroom and community.
Blackpool’s wide variety of new music initiatives proved very
popular with PRSF staff. An ongoing annual programme of work featuring
new pop bands from the USA and Canada provided motivation for many
new compositions, several stemming from improvised sessions.
There is an excellent composition element within Blackpool’s
wider work, with a clear focus on performing new pieces written by
young people. The service runs composition competitions based on local
social issues and several departments are currently building their
own music studios. As a result of this investment, local school Claremont
Primary was recently awarded the regional prize for composition by
the Prince’s Trust.
Staff at PRS Foundation were impressed with Oxfordshire’s
focus on technology, improvisation and composition.
Alongside effective partnerships with local community education
initiatives, a music technology consultant was able to visit
schools throughout the year. There was also a three-day residential
course in composition for young people, followed by a concert
which premiered new works created at the session. Original
compositions were also created as part of regular rock and
Two percussion students penned the splendidly-titled ‘Dinnertime’,
premiered at the Chair of County Council's Charity Dinner.
Developed later by a larger ensemble, it was performed at
the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham. Bon