13 February 2014

Brighton & Hove's music education hub SoundCity wins national award

PHOTO (Three in middle from left to right) William Deighan, Head Teacher Varndean Secondary School and SoundCity Board member, Emma Collins, Music Learning & Partnerships Manager, Brighton & Hove Music & Arts and Peter Chivers, Head of Brighton & Hove Music & Arts, collect the award.

Brighton & Hove has won a high profile national award for its groundbreaking music education hub SoundCity at this year’s Music Teacher Awards.

The city won the Music Teacher ‘Hub Innovation Award’ beating four other hubs shortlisted nationally for the prize which was announced last weekend during the Music Education Expo in London.

At the awards the judges commented that ‘no other hub had gone as far in achieving its priorities in a short space of time especially in the area of supporting children and young people in challenging circumstances and those with special educational needs or a disability’.

The shortlist was compiled by the editorial team of Music Teacher magazine from over 200 public nominations across all categories. The judging panel then chose the 12 winners.

Led by Brighton & Hove City Council’s Music & Arts service, SoundCity brings together the leading organisations for music in the city to enhance and further develop music education and opportunities in music that reflect the needs of children and young people. Alongside colleagues in schools the key strategic partners are Brighton Dome & Festival, Glyndebourne, Rhythmix and University of Sussex.

Commenting on Brighton & Hove’s Hub Innovation entry judges said: ”SoundCity is a hub that has gone as far as any in setting concrete, achievable goals, and in following them through with conviction. They include high-profile collaborations, specific support of those in challenging circumstances and a programme of clearly defined progression opportunities for all.”

Cllr Sue Shanks, Chair of the Children & Young People Committee said:

“Congratulations to all the young people, parents and teachers who have been involved in SoundCity and who deserve this accolade.

“The creative talent that’s making music across the city, whether it’s in school classrooms, bedrooms, studios or live music venues, is inspiring. SoundCity is fostering collaboration and creativity to further develop Brighton and Hove’s fantastic music heritage.

“I am particularly pleased that judges praised our work with disadvantaged children and those with special educational needs or disabilities across the city’s schools. Music plays such a vital role in children’s lives.”

Brighton & Hove City Council Music and Arts Head Peter Chivers, said:

“It’s exciting to have won this award because it recognises the  innovative and high quality music education opportunities across our SoundCity partnership that support all our young people to get involved and develop their music making.

“I am proud because The Music Teacher Awards are the most prestigious music education awards in the UK and feature a wide range of categories and we have won out of 123 hubs. This is the only award for music hubs nationally.

“It feels special that judges have highlighted how we have worked together to deliver our local priorities and bring more music to children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and in often challenging circumstances.”