We are absolutely thrilled to tell you that the BBC Performing Arts Fund is awarding over £250,000 to groups across the UK through its Community Music scheme!
Grants of up to £10,000 have been awarded to 47 not-for-profit groups in order to develop the talent within the group, encourage new members, produce workshops and projects that bring them closer with their communities and raise their profile. The scheme has encouraged groups to take on more challenging projects through commissions and working collaboratively with other local organisations as well as professional artists.
The successful groups were able to demonstrate that their projects were challenging and ambitious yet achievable, that their project would develop the group and its members, and that the group would collaborate with and have an impact on the wider community. From producing a programme of workshops for marginalised youth throughout Manchester to inviting a drumming expert from Africa to the Shetland Isles for intensive tuition - the projects are as diverse in idea as they are in location.
The Aestaewast drumming group, image by Monika ParzcyhMiriam O'Keeffe, Director of the Performing Arts Fund, said: "We are delighted to be providing an avenue for these projects to flourish. The passion these groups have for music is inspiring. The range, not only in the types of groups but also in the spread of ages, shows us that music really is for everybody."
Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra, image by Indigenous Design & Photography Ltd
How will the Performing Arts Fund grants help these community groups? We'll let some of the successful groups tell you for themselves:
"The support from the BBC Performing Arts Fund will enable us not only to stage a concert for some of the most vulnerable people in our community, but to develop the skills within our Choir to provide a lasting resource for the future…ReSound Community Choir, and the future audiences of West Lancashire, would like to say a big thank you!"
ReSound Community Choir, Lancashire
"…for the vast majority of our participants this will be a totally new experience - it will result in a lasting memory for the performers and have a really positive effect on music making throughout the local community."
Dacorum Community Choir, Herts
"We now look forward to getting on with our project and producing a dynamic and tangible illustration of the enabling benefits that the Performing Arts Fund can bring to local communities and society in general."
Voicemale Men's Choir, Northumberland
To see the full press release please visit the BBC Press Office website and you can download a list of all the winners here. To keep updated on the activity by the groups, join us on Twitter & Facebook and don't forget to sign up for our Newsletter.
Congratulations to all the groups and break a leg! We can't wait to see the finished projects as they come together in 2013.