It was good to see an application from this small city Authority.
The Music Service suffered from a 10% reduction in funding for
instrumental tuition (in spite of a broadly supportive Authority)
and yet have continued to provide a substantial set of opportunities
and ensembles as well as supporting an Aberdeen Young Musician
competition and a new City Music School for especially talented
pupils. We perhaps would have liked to have seen more partnerships
such as that with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Aberdeenshire provides a substantial amount of tuition in a logistically challenging
environment and makes good use of the funds received from the Youth Music Initiative.
CPD is especially strong and a good range of diverse ensembles are provided, with
the Authority being especially strong in jazz which is reflected in the Jazz Services
awards (see below). As a panel, we would have been happy to have had more detail
on the scope and range of the programmes provided.
The panel was especially impressed with the way East Renfrewshire addresses issues
of music technology, four major projects showing admirable commitment in this area.
Concomitant with this, indeed partly because of it, was a very strong submission
in the area of special education needs. Use of resources and classroom teaching
was also strong, but we were a little concerned about the extent to which imaginative
and exciting longer-term programmes were identified in the application,
given the very strong and diverse nature of the opportunities provided.
Glasgow’s submission contained a huge range of exciting and varied programmes,
ranging from a Big Band to a Victorian project, from a tech zone to a Songbook
of Unsingable Songs. There is clearly no shortage of creative minds working in
the Glasgow Music Service! The panel were also impressed by classroom provision
and the use of technology. The submission drew our attention to the wide range
of work going on in Glasgow, whether directly run by the authority or otherwise.
A strong submission.
This is a small service with relatively small budget, with which they have achieved
much, as their calendar of events clearly shows. The Authority clearly has many
strengths in its music provision; however it was difficult to assess from the submission
many of the areas that were of significance to the panel. We would welcome more
narrative detail in future submissions.
Kingston upon Thames
Kingston Music Service finds itself in a difficult position as it is being moved
towards being entirely self-funding, and as a result is having its funding gradually
reduced by the Local Authority. The key to success under these circumstances is
partnership working, and the panel were gratified to note the range of partnerships
burgeoning in the Authority – ranging from professional providers to local
community groups. We were also impressed by the creative and interesting programmes
being undertaken and a strong emphasis on Wider Opportunities. This is clearly
a Music Service that is on its way up, and we would be very keen to see applications
in the future when even more progress has been made.
In this very large, very rural county, the Authority has been influential in creating
a good range of opportunities for its pupils across the board, and is particularly
strong in providing a diverse range of music, especially jazz. They have made good
partnership use of SoundLincs, the county’s community music organisation.
We would welcome more detail about the outcomes of some of their programmes, and
would like to see a stronger range of initiatives especially in more traditional
As is so often the case, a very strong submission from Oxfordshire, which is lucky
enough to have a relatively well-resourced and highly experienced Music Service
providing a substantial and wide-ranging set of music opportunities. The application
evidenced a host of exciting programmes, strong advance in music technology, and
a coherent and effective LA-wide strategy. The panel was a little concerned about
the diversity of music provision, and felt that the significant resources of Oxfordshire
could be directed somewhat more at addressing a differing range of musical opportunities
for its pupils.
We were delighted to see another application from Warrington, who continue to
impress with an imaginative and strong use of a very limited budget. Their range
of exciting and impressive programmes, with considerable diversity in evidence,
should be the envy of many a better-resourced Authority, and the panel specially
commended them for the value for money they provide. The panel would, in an ideal
world, have liked to have seen slightly more provision for gifted and talented
and special educational needs than was cited in the application.