Diplomas are awarded annually by what is now Jazz UK in association with the Music Education Council’s Music Education Awards’ Scheme. They matter for two reasons:
First, they are the only means of according national recognition to those music Hubs and Music Services which demonstrate an outstanding commitment to jazz education;
Secondly, they matter because they acknowledge the work of those field practitioners who are actually delivering jazz education in school and other settings, and especially those who are helping to combat the still widespread jazz phobia among classroom music teachers and instrumental tutors.
The Diplomas are named in honour of Will Michael who until his death in 2008 was a hugely respected jazz educator on the national stage and joint architect of this scheme.
This year the Awards’ presentations took place at the Royal College of Music on 1 December and comprised a well-attended reception and presentations ceremony followed by a concert tribute by the RCM Big Band, directed by Mark Armstrong, and a Trio set by Phil DeGreg, to two distinguished jazz educators – Eddie Harvey and Will Michael.
To conclude this introduction my esteemed colleagues on the Awards Panel – Dr Catherine Tackley, Andrea Vicari, Richard Michael and Bill Martin – offer warm thanks to
- all those colleagues most of whom, above and beyond the call of duty, are spreading the jazz gospel nationwide;
- the Music Education Council, of course!;
- the WCoM for their generous support over the past two years and whose Master, Andrew Morris, formally presented the Diplomas;
- the RCM for hosting the occasion and Mark Armstrong and the RCM Big Band and the Phil DeGreg Trio for the musical tributes to Eddie Harvey and Will Michael.
Ivor Widdison, Chair, Jazz UK Jazz Education Awards Panel.
View the 2015 report...