As we approach Christmas 2021 it is perhaps a good opportunity for us to take a step back and consider what we and our students have achieved since the start of the disruption to all our lives at the start of the pandemic back in March 2020. Throughout the Covid-19 crisis it’s a source of pride to us all here at the Oldham Music Centre that we have not stopped teaching since the online tuition platform, YUMU, was established within two weeks of the first closure of schools. Through this and other digital means such as Zoom, we have continued to deliver lessons, initially as bespoke, pre-recorded sessions and thereafter, live and in real time to our students. Also, our teachers have been back in schools, in person since restrictions were lifted sufficiently for this activity to resume. As a result of all these efforts, I am delighted to say that the amount of music teaching being delivered each week to Oldham’s young musicians in schools already exceeds pre-pandemic levels.
This time last year we were also encouraging Music Centre members to record themselves playing/singing various pieces. These solo contributions were then brilliantly stitched together digitally to produce a unique and one-off online Christmas Festival. This was a real triumph and was indicative of the desire to keep making music that our members and staff feel so strongly.
As we look forward, we’re now able to confirm that most of the usual Christmas concerts will be going ahead and, subject to the prevailing regulations, will be as close to normal as possible. These include the Junior Christmas Festival, Mince Pie Gig, The Community Groups’ Christmas Concert and our flagship event, The Senior Christmas Festival. Tickets are now available by clicking on the links to the various concerts above.
Obviously, The Music Centre has lost the best part of two years-worth of talent, with pupils moving on at the senior end and an inability for us to recruit new pupils at the junior stage, so it will take a few years for us to get back to where we were, pre-pandemic. However, I am confident that the resilience of our young and not-so-young learners coupled with the skill and enthusiasm of our teachers will mean that this can and will be achieved and I look forward to seeing that recovery take shape over the coming months.
As ever, thank you for your support and commitment and I hope to see you at the Christmas events.
In both 2020 and 2021 our proposed tour to Liege in Belgium had to be cancelled. We refunded all deposits and wiped the slate clean. However, the tour arrangements are still in place and because we had booked previously, we have been given very favourable terms to rebook. We are proposing to re-instate a 7 day tour for summer 2022, from July 20th-26th inclusive.
The tour will cost a maximum of £550 per person and could be reduced further depending on the success of fundraising events. For a tour of this length, on half board, this represents a very good price when taking into account recent cost rises. We will be giving three concerts and will have a very full itinerary of visits, sightseeing and a theme-park. In order for the tour to be a success we need quite a high uptake up from members of Youth and Intermediate Brass Bands, Wind Bands and Orchestra, to ensure we have viable performing ensembles.
Initially we are asking for you to express an interest in the tour, with no commitment, just so we can get an idea of numbers. Oldham Music Centre tours have a history of being an exceptionally good experience for participants and for many students they represent one of the high-lights of their school age years. I have no doubt that this tour will be the same.
Music Centre leavers, who had signed up to the cancelled tour are also invited to contact Mr. Leedale to discuss if they would like to take part in 2022.
In the first instance please express your interest by emailing Mr. Leedale, stating the group in which you normally play and the instrument/instruments you would want to play on the tour. Further information will then be sent out.
PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST BY FRIDAY 12th NOVEMBER 2021.
The Oldham Council Music Service is committed to supporting and fulfilling the musical aspirations of all young people living in the borough (in and out of school), and engaging people of all ages in a variety of exciting musical activities.
The Music Service has been rated ‘Outstanding’ in the Federation of Music Services evaluation programme.
Oldham Music Service is proud to be a founder member of the GM Music Hub, which is an exciting and innovative music education partnership. We are committed to providing the highest quality music education and the best expertise which the region has to offer.
Music can transform children’s lives and we want to work with local families, schools and other organisations to make sure that all children get the chance to play music, achieve great things and inspire others.
Find out more about the work of the GM Music Hub.