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Newsletter - Autumn 2014


Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) is the second-largest festival of early music in the UK and is a vibrant part of the autumn cultural landscape in Brighton and Hove.  2014 was the Festival’s 12th year and saw 26 events themed around ‘Cities, Musical Centres and the Journeys between them’ in a variety of venues across the city.


Outside the successful Festival, Brighton Early Music Festival also reaches more than 1200 school children each year through education and outreach work. For autumn 2014 the Festival is collaborating with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) and SoundCity on Watercycle – a major music education project.


Watercycle is a large-scale music education project created in by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment which includes work with primary schools, secondary pupils, homeless people, local amateur singers and players, and community groups.  In Brighton & Hove this will be delivered in partnership between the OAE, Brighton Early Music Festival and SoundCity, supported by the Mark Williams Foundation, Southern Water, The Garfield Weston Foundation and The East Brighton Trust.


380 primary children from the city are taking part in visits from OAE players this term where they are learning several songs related to water.  The schools will all come together for concerts in December, where they’ll also get the chance to hear the OAE play live.  Also taking part will be a GCSE Music group from Varndean School who have been working with composer James Redwood to create “Concerto for Brighton”, inspired by a new poem from Brighton poet Rosy Carrick.


As part of Watercycle in Brighton & Hove, the project partners are also striving to raise awareness of and interest in the bassoon, now something of a neglected orchestral instrument.  Year 4 pupils at Westdene Primary School are starting to learn the bassoon and are benefitting from an introductory term of lessons and instrument-loan, funded by SoundCity 


Westdene Music Co-ordinator Emma Bright commented ‘This is an amazing opportunity for our year 4 pupils.  We currently have 17 children learning the bassoon all funded by SoundCity. They are thoroughly enjoying their lessons and practising hard for their first public performance in December.’


Peter Chivers from SoundCity added ‘The bassoon is a fantastically versatile instrument that plays a vital role in many music groups.  However it is not always an obvious choice, with a decreasing number of children choosing to learn.  We are pleased to be working in partnership to bring this exciting opportunity to the children and hope the project will have a lasting impact by significantly boosting the number of children playing bassoon in the city.’


Watercycle culminates with schools concerts on 5 December, and then a final community concert on Saturday 6 December which brings together the OAE, the BREMF Community Choir, pupils from Westdene School and local student and amateur musicians, including several learning through SoundCity.  For more details and tickets see




Laura van der Heijden, Sir John Tomlinson and Richard Durrant are just some of the celebrities backing encore - the new alumni network for the Brighton Youth Orchestra with an initial call out for photographs and archive material.

Planning for our annual concert at the Brighton Centre is well underway. This year, we'll be featuring some newly composed numbers by pupils

SoundCity, music education hub for Brighton & Hove, has won national acclaim for its work getting children and young people into music.

SAVE THE DATE.  Monday 2 February, Joint Practice Development Day & Music Conference.  'Creating a Singing City'

Brighton Early Music Festival: A SoundCity delivery partner talks about the Festival's 12th successful year featuring 26 events, and a Basson collaboration with BHMA

SoundCity and Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra have joined forces offering music centre/orchestra members £1 tickets to selected events.

BHMA are once again working with The Place to offer a unique training programme with their CAT scheme.

Awards for Young Musicians has recently been awarded a large grant from Youth Music to support the development of their Furthering Talent programme with SoundCity. 

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and SameSky are delighted to announce that the theme for the 2015 Children's Parade is 'taking flight'. 

Events Co-ordinator, Holly Griffiths, tells us of her love for organising exciting events and international tours and her first musical memory of the steel pans!

SoundCity partners have been taking part in a practical and innovative approach to training exploring different ways to enhance vocal creativity.

SoundCity has become a 'Phase 2' Arts Award Development Hub, working across the arts/cultural sector informing children and young people of opportunities.

The Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, The Starr Trust and Drum United are welcomed on board as the most recent additions to the SoundCity partnership. 

to Grade 4 standard or above? Come along to the BHMA Adult Concert Band get together on Thurs 4 Dec - you might like to join the band after hearing them play.

BHMA is planning for the next Summer School and they would love to hear what courses you would like them to put on next year. Tweet @BHMusicandArts using #SS2015.

The SoundCity: Connect network of hub working groups monitor and develop music provision for children and young people across the City. Why not get involved?

4 classes from Year 7 have been taking part in a brass pilot project, supported by the school and the Head Teacher, using ptrumpets and pbones (plastic).

Ray Chi-Hang Long will join BYO when they perform on Saturday 28 November at St John's Church, Knoyle Road at 7pm.

The BYO concert scheduled on 13 Feb 2015 at St Paul's Church, West Street, will be dedicated to Jenny Caws, much loved and much missed inspirational teacher.

Also performing at the Brighton Centre on 8 Dec will be BHMA percussion ensemble along with pupils from 5 primary schools.

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