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BBC launches Young Composer 2021 competition for ages 12 to 18

Musically minded young people of all technical abilities, backgrounds, and musical influences are invited to submit an original composition and recording to the BBC Young Composer competition.

Entries will be split into three age categories (12–14, 15–16 and 17–18) and winners will participate in a development programme with a mentor composer, working on a project with the BBC Concert Orchestra. This will culminate in a performance or broadcast opportunity.

All genres, instrumentations,

and methods of composing are welcome, and the BBC is encouraging anyone who loves to create their own original music to enter, even if they don’t think of themselves as a composer. Entries are judged anonymously and assessed on their compositional idea, creativity and originality.

Last year’s entries embraced a range of musical styles including hip-hop, electronica, contemporary classical and orchestral film music, with inspirations coming from subjects such as racial identity, the natural world, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BBC’s Young Composer competition was rebranded in 2020 with the aim of reaching a wider pool of talent than the original competition, launched in 1998 as BBC Proms Inspire.

David Pickard, director of BBC Proms, said: ‘There is a wealth of musical talent across the UK, and it’s more important than ever to nurture the next generation of music-makers from every style and genre.

‘The BBC is incredibly proud to be able to offer these mentorship opportunities for young musical innovators and we look forward to hearing from aspiring composers working in all genres.’

The judging panel is to be announced in due course. Entries close at 5pm on Monday 28 June 2021.

Budget 2021: ‘Short-sighted and disappointing’ for education, and £408m to support the arts

The Budget announcement in March revealed a £408m pledge to support the arts sector, while school leaders are labelling the lack of emphasis on education a ‘missed opportunity’.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget covered the government’s plans to support national recovery from the pandemic, including extending the furlough scheme and investing in apprenticeships through raised incentives for employers.

The £408m that has been promised to support recovery in the arts sector – including further investment in the Culture Recovery Fund and national and local culture – ‘hits the right note’ for many musicians, according to the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM).

ISM’s chief executive Deborah

Annetts praised this injection into the arts, as well as the extension of support for those eligible for the self-employed scheme, furlough and the Universal Credit uplift. She added: ‘The government must invest in the UK’s cultural industries until this crisis is over, including measures to help the estimated three million excluded freelancers.’

Prior to the Budget announcement, the government had revealed increased investment in school spending over the coming years and a




further £705m catch-up fund. This includes a £302m ‘recovery premium’ and £200m for secondaries to run summer schools.

However, commenting on the Budget, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: ‘It is disappointing that in a Budget focused on national recovery after the Covid pandemic, so little mention has been made of the role of education.

‘The Chancellor should have used this Budget to set out the government’s spending plan for catch-up support over the remainder of this parliament. Instead, education was scarcely mentioned despite the government’s insistence that it is a national priority. This Budget was a missed opportunity to back up warm words with a concrete spending plan.’

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, commented: ‘It is short-sighted and disappointing that the government continues to ignore the funding pressures the education sector faces. The government has said schools are a “national priority”, yet this Budget has provided schools with no new resources to manage coronavirus.’

The Budget document confirms the catch-up investment for ‘lost learning’ and supplementary support for free school meals.

MUSIC TEACHER F April 2021 F 7

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