In the second in our series of blogs focusing on partnership activities, we take a look at the work of the London Music Fund.
In 2011 a new music education charity was established to bring high-quality music education to children in London from low-income backgrounds. The aim was simple, to ensure children who demonstrate significant musical ability, enthusiasm and commitment to learning an instrument have the opportunity to develop their potential.
Working with London’s 32 Music Education Hubs and other education and music providers across the capital, the London Music Fund has since made a big difference to the musical lives of thousands of children and young people. It’s awarded 600 four-year scholarships and funded more than 50 inspirational projects involving over 10,000 young people, with 50,000 others benefiting through concerts, workshops and taster sessions.
We’ve been supporting this amazing charity since its inception and were delighted to join them to celebrate their 10th birthday at a gala concert earlier this year. What better way to celebrate 10 years of musical achievement than through a concert showcasing some amazing music making. In February, past and present LMF Scholars and ensembles came together to perform at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Hosted by LMF Ambassador saxophonist and broadcaster YolanDa Brown, the concert featured Hackney’s Classical Meets Jazz ensemble, the Animate Orchestra and the South London Samba. Also performing were a specially-formed LMF Wind ensemble, former LMF Scholar Ignacy Stefanowicz, now studying the violin at the Yehudi Menuhin School, and an ensemble of new LMF Scholars who had created their brand-new piece earlier in the day. It was an evening packed with energy and excitement culminating in a performance of ‘A Celebration’ by Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman.
Lincoln Abbotts, our Executive Director of Strategic Development and a musician and educator, has been actively involved with the LMF for many years through their creative Playing Days, and was also at the gala concert leading one of the ensembles. “This partnership is all about widening access, promoting progress and celebrating achievement in music. It’s inspiring to work with current and graduate Scholars and see first-hand their passion for music.”
Young musicians at the concert ranged from eleven-year-old LMF Scholar Ayomide who plays
the drum kit and particularly enjoys “how we come together and coordinate so well in short periods of time … we created the piece (TEN) in just a few hours,” to Meghan, one of the first LMF Scholars who continued to play the flute after her four-year scholarship, as well as the piccolo and saxophone, and is now studying at the London College of Music.
“Welcoming these young musicians back for our 10th Anniversary concert was incredibly exciting,” explains LMF’s Chief Executive, Chrissy Kinsella. “We are so proud that many have gone on to do brilliant things with their music and we are incredibly grateful to be continuing our successful relationship with ABRSM.”
In the last decade the London Music Fund has had an enormously positive impact on the lives of thousands of children and young people and the charity aims to build on this success with ambitious plans for the future. We’re delighted to be supporting them in their work to make sure even more young musicians can realise their potential.
Find out about the London Music Fund