LEA Awards 2008 title

(In association with the Music Education Council,
the PRS Foundation and Jazz Services)


Performing Rights Society Foundation Diplomas

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.

East Lothian

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 pop workshops.

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 appétit!

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